No matter where you track on the timeline, no matter the highs and lows of the journey, Florida Rd has always been steadfastly Durban. Now, thanks to the collective focus of passionate “doers” in both the public and private sectors, Florida Rd is set to reveal its character and reclaim its place as a key player in the future growth of Durban.
SO STAND BY FOR THE FLORIDA RD VIBE…
A vibe that embraces local experiences and businesses.
A vibe that serves different people and communities.
A vibe that engages diverse needs and desires.
A vibe that holds true in an ever changing local and global reality.
Unravelling the Florida Rd character
After more than 18 months of research, surveys, workshops, meetings, participation processes and public engagements, a new Florida Rd brand is ready to emerge, and with it the action plan and interventions needed to help the road reach its full potential as a go-to-place for Durban’s locals and visitors alike.
With an authentically urban beat interwoven with iconic snippets of history, both finding their place along a busy thoroughfare, Florida Road is uniquely Durban. Yet despite its history and its people, despite its restaurants, galleries, and bars, by 2013 Florida Road had begun to slide into urban decay, slowly losing its’ reputation as one of the city’s trendiest streets.
Thankfully, through a collective urban management intervention that saw the creation of the Florida Rd Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) in late 2013, safety, attention and care have been restored, and Florida Rd is once again poised for change with an inclusive and long-term identity.
Initiated in June 2016 by a collective of the Florida Rd UIP and the Ethekwini Municipality’s Economic Development and Tourism departments, Florida Rd took its first steps on a journey of discovering its brand identity. This long and inclusive process looked to uncover the road’s true character, understanding who it is and who it isn’t, how it wants its personality to be communicated and the image it would like to shake off.
The two lenses of Florida Rd
This journey exposed a Florida Rd vision of the future with the capacity to open and connect communities and entrepreneurs from across the corners of the City, allowing platforms to do business, play and prosper.
Its ability to provide a space for the coming together of culture, styles, ages and demographics is key to the character of this unique place, one that is to be nurtured and grown within the Durban mix.
This vision and the development approach by the Florida Rd UIP team, place-making committee, City leaders and private sector collaborators focuses on stakeholder needs and is developed into detailed implementation plans to enable Florida Rd to develop and directly support the City’s vision of being “The most liveable City in Africa” not by 2030 but right now!
How will this be delivered?
Through the inter-connected lenses of place-making and urban planning. The place-making and branding of Florida Rd focuses on building the Florida Rd community by interlinking public and private spaces in terms of what they offer and how they offer it. This plan looks at what the product, service and public open space mix should look like and what quality standards will be set to uphold them?
It also talks to the idea of value, and understanding what benefits Florida Rd needs to provide to its stakeholders and how the place can go about fulfilling these needs.
This brand lens is summed up by the new Florida Rd logo, the delicious and gritty x-factor that is Florida Rd. This logo forms part of a branding toolkit for how business, communities and the drivers of the road use this brand and position Florida Rd – including a new brand for the Florida Rd UIP.
The Florida Rd UIP, place-making committee and city structures are working on a Florida Rd Urban Development Framework, an effort that combines urban architecture, planning, transport and engineering designs with the findings of the DNA process. In its basic form, this framework looks at optimizing the street, its public open space and urban character, and the pavements, parks and places in between, for human interaction. In addition to this are detailed design concepts around parking provision,
impact on surrounding roads, overall traffic flow etc.
THE VIBE Launched
This vision, the processes undertaken and underway, and future plans for the road, are captured in the first edition of THE VIBE, a quarterly publication launched at the end of June 2017 by the Florida Rd placemaking committee and Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP). A space to share the news and views of the Roads’ food, culture, work, family, design and party happenings, THE VIBE is where you will learn about this rapidly evolving place.