The Underline Project: A Step Closer to Bringing Miami Together


Anthony Fajardo

Through the Underline Project, the government and community of Miami plan to expand parks and create trails below the Miami Metrorail.

In an effort to solve the environmental problems in the city, the Miami community has come together and partnered with the Florida government and privately owned organizations to bring forth the expansion of “green areas”.

Working with the Department of Transportation and Public Works, as well as with the Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, the people and officials of Miami have designed numerous blueprints for potential parks, beginning in the area of Brickell.

The primary plan for park expansion is called the Underline, which, as its name implies, aims to convert the 120 acres that exist under the Miami metro-rail system into a trail full of wonders like butterfly gardens and large fields. Work on the project began in December 2018. Underline is composed of three different phases, with its first phase transforming the land into the current Brickell Backyard, a space where people can enjoy long walks in nature.

After the Brickell Backyard’s successful opening in 2021, the DTPW and PROS have continued to work with the Underline on its second phase in Vizcaya Station, which is set to be opened by 2023. The final phase, which should be finished by 2025, would expand these parks through the rest of Miami.

“Seeing both pictures and the real version of the Underline project, I can tell that the parks are going to be beautiful. It is important that Miami keeps up with environmental issues and makes the city an eco-friendly environment. The project is definitely a good first step towards this, as it promotes beautiful scenery while being made up of mostly nature,” sophomore Taronish Unwalla said.

I am glad that they are expanding parks in Brickell and the rest of Miami. As a teenager, parks are places where I get together with my friends to play sports and just hang out in general. I feel like this new project could bring the community together and provide more experiences like these to other teenagers,

— sophomore Atlin Miller

These plans for the city of Miami have shown potential with Brickell Backyard already becoming a center of spirit and bonding activities for those who live in the area.

For example, the Underline offers a free gym for those who visit, which also includes a yoga center. Underline’s organization also hosts a variety of community events. Their weekly walking club, Walk4Life, encourages members to walk together every Thursday, logging their milestones while connecting with the rest of the community.

The project promotes health while providing a link between the people of Miami. The expansion of parks is also inspiring teenagers and young adults across Miami to pursue their passions as there are plans to provide a public art center where they are encouraged to display their work.

This motivation has also extended to the young adults at Forward Spaces, an organization dedicated to advocating for the reuse of infrastructure in the United States. Hosting their Highline Network 2022 Symposium from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14, Underline served as a symbol for their cause and encouraged project leaders to discuss topics like public space design and its connections to Miami. Here, teens were able to present a panel on the possibilities and benefits of expanding public spaces for youth development.

Not only does the project bring the people of Miami together, but it also holds environmental benefits. One section of the Underline, known as the River Room, is filled with extensive amounts of native grasses and pollinating plants, serving as a relaxing sight for pedestrians at the waterfront while cleaning the environment of the area. Another section, dubbed the Oolite Room, is the site of four different butterfly gardens, where people are encouraged to meditate and sit on oolite rocks that give the area a natural feel. Though it comes with costs, the Underline project is designed to clean and strengthen the nature of Miami.