Making cities better.
ACADEMIC + NONPROFIT
Our work within the community.
In an effort to introduce children to the concepts of place and the factors that influence place, firm principal, Melissa Hege, was selected to create a neighborhood and redevelopment focused planning curriculum for middle school students at the Cushman School. Students learned basic drafting skills, evaluated the components of neighborhood, compared different neighborhoods in Miami and presented their findings to the Head of School.
Non Profit Work
As a board member and Secretary for the MiMo Biscayne Association, firm principal, Melissa Hege developed a strategy for revitalizing Biscayne Boulevard in the historic district.
She was a member of the Underline Health Committee and served as the liaison between this committee and the Design Advisory Committee (DAC). In this capacity she advised the DAC on incorporating health initiatives into their work.
As an Executive Board member of the Gold Coast Section of the American Planning Association, Melissa initiated a health and built environment theme for the 2013 Gold Coast APA event series which included a pop up park concept modeled after New York City’s Play Street program. In the same capacity, she partnered with AIA Miami to bring the author’s of NYC’s Active Design Guidelines to Miami to present the concept and its applicability to Miami.
Melissa Hege was a high school mentor with Take Stock in Children, a program which provides a 4-year Florida Prepaid account for economically disadvantaged students. It has been one of the most gratifying experiences of her life.
Middle School Elective Teacher, City Planning, The Cushman School, 2013
Adjunct Professor, “Real Urbanism”. Florida Atlantic University, 2011
Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center
Affiliate Researcher , 2011-2012
FL APA Annual Conference 2014 “Suburbs to Cities and Why We're Still Searching for that Third Place”
FL APA Annual Conference 2014
“The Planner's New Toolbox: New Technologies for Outreach, Graphic Communication & Design”
FL APA Annual Conference 2012. “Reversing the Trend with Form Based Codes Best Practices for Administration & Implementation”
FL APA Annual Conference 2011. “The Redevelopment Of Downtown West Palm Beach: 20 Years Of Planning And Lessons Learned”
FL APA Annual Conference 2009. “A Planner’s Recovery Toolkit”
FL APA Annual Conference 2008. “Capacity Drive Codes vs Form Based Codes - a New Vision for West Palm Beach”
MHCP COLAB is developing a process for reviewing and approving tactical urbanism and temporary pop-ups in downtown West Palm Beach with the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority and in collaboration with a working group of City development services staff.
MHCP COLAB is creating 4 pedestrian zones in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood to make it safer for children and parents to walk to school in partnership with City of Miami and Health Foundation of So Fla. This includes a media and pr campaign. More crosswalks, green streets, longer crossing times and better maintenance is recommended.
MHCP COLAB developed the public engagement strategy, urban analysis and implementation plan for the Wynwood Street Tree Master Plan as a subconsultant to ArquitectonicaGeo.
MHCP COLAB has been developing the needs assessment and recommendations for the Gainesville Urbanized Area 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan as a subconsultant to the Corradino Group. The plan includes protected bike lanes and an improved sidewalk network.
This art installation is designed to activate downtown Miami's waterfront. Spearheaded by MHCP COLAB, the project is a collaboration among the City of Miami, Miami Foundation, Miami Dade County and international designers ArquitectonicaGeo.
MHCP developed concepts for four roadways in Cutler Bay to provide equal space for bicycles, pedestrians, County buses and cars. Part of a pilot project funded by the County TPO, strategies included shared bus lanes and parklets.
MHCP COLAB drafted various elements of the Fort Lauderdale Comprehensive Plan including Public Schools, Intergovernmental Coordination, Capital Improvements and Administrative Elements, as a subconsultant to the Corradino Group.
MHCP COLAB worked with the City of Miami Department of Real Estate and Asset Management to evaluate redevelopment opportunities on their Pier 5 in the Miamimarina.
Worked with a private investor to analyze current and future transit for the purposes of developing a transportation app. Provide research and analysis of commuting patterns and transit data.
Created a strategic marketing plan for this tech startup to build market share in municipal governments. The software provides automated 3d building massing based current zoning codes.
While with Zyscovich Architects, firm principal, Melissa Hege developed a new zoning code, for the 56-acre Buena Vista rail yard which was transformed into Midtown Miami--the most significant redevelopment project both in terms of private investment and program size. The team integrated the massive, vacant site into the urban fabric to create a thriving and bustling neighborhood which has created a sense of community, increased jobs, and added value to the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Village of Pinecrest Council engaged MHCP COLAB to develop a 5-year community driven strategic plan to improve the quality of life for its residents. In addition to Council interviews, staff interviews, and community focus groups, MHCP COLAB conducted a telephone survey of 400 households to measure the community’s concerns, values, needs, and desires. The plan prioritized areas of focus, key intended outcomes, and measurable indicators. The findings provide a baseline for the future.
While at the Miami Downtown Development Authority, firm principal, Melissa Hege prepared grant applications for over $1M in funding for various transportation improvement projects in Downtown Miami. These included a Transportation Alternatives Program grant through the Florida Department of Transportation and grants to the Health Foundation of South Florida for a multi-use waterfront trail and a design for a Complete Street pilot project.
Firm principal, Melissa Hege prepared the most recent plan amendment for the Coral Springs Community Redevelopment Plan which emphasized new construction and programs to support a new city center with robust public spaces, a dynamic mix of uses, and cultural and educational opportunities. The recommendations from this collaborative effort were translated into a 10-year financial plan and budget which was designed to be amended periodically.
Firm principal, Melissa Hege oversaw design plans to improve access to Metromover stations and enhance pedestrian crossings at key intersections in Downtown Miami. These improvements were funded by the Florida Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and administered by the City of Miami. The projects were included in the Downtown Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan.
While working with the Corradino Group, Firm principal, Melissa Hege lead Miami Beach’s 10-year city-wide initiative to improve its mobility in terms of roadway function, transit opportunity, pedestrian and bicycle circulation. More than 30 projects were ranked and selected and included a description and analysis, cost estimate, and ranking. Most of the projects have been implemented and have helped to improve mobility throughout the City.
Firm principal, Melissa Hege lead an exciting effort to improve and connect a 3-mile waterfront trail on Biscayne Bay in Downtown Miami. She successfully opened 2-miles of continuous walkway and obtained commitments from multiple property owners to upgrade lighting, improve maintenance, and increase safety. She built partnerships with key property owners and institutions including the City of Miami, Port Miami, the Florida Department of Transportation and Bayfront Park Management Trust.
Firm principal, Melissa Hege was lead writer and investigator for a natural and cultural resources study for the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor in Boston. As a result of early industrial activity, this old mill river contained a high level of toxins which threatened cultural and natural resources along its banks. The inventory and assessment included recommendations to protect and improve these resources in light of growing development pressures and migration from Boston.
Early in her career, firm principal, Melissa Hege, helped develop a plan to improve wayfinding and historic and cultural resources for the National Parks Service’s Boston Freedom Trail. Through this project, Melissa learned how to collaborate with multiple stakeholders and coordinate print content for the final plan. The final plan was printed and distributed to over 200 individuals.
The Tampa Innovation Alliance (TIA), representing the 3rd largest employment center in Tampa, was formed by the University of South Florida, Busch Gardens, the Moffitt Cancer Center, and Florida Hospital to improve the declining neighborhood surrounding their holdings. Working directly with each CEO, firm principal, Melissa Hege, identified opportunities to capitalize on research, health and education and a funding, management and leadership strategy which has helped attract 100+ companies.