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The Changing Face of Ft. Lauderdale

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Sam Poole Sam Poole

"We live in a little piece of heaven called Ft. Lauderdale." So said Stan Eichelbaum, President of the Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Civic Association at a general meeting on Jan. 10,2013. The meeting featured a panel of four speakers who gave their own personal look at the changing face of the city.

 One of these was Sam Poole, a partner in the law firm Berger Singerman who said it is "really critical to recover walkability" in Ft. Lauderdale. Poole said that many years ago "Andrews Avenue was our Main Street. Now there are only remnants left, such as the Himmarshee area just east of the Broward Centre for the Performing Arts."

He pointed to "the economic miracle" of San Antonio, Texas which has done a great job at making their inner city people-friendly. "Downtown is where you achieve cultural diversity," he said. "A critical missing element is slowing down the cars and making the streets outdoor rooms for people. It is how we have lived for 3,000 years- it's fundamentally a part of our DNA." He noted that the small parks in the area seem to be isolated from the nearby buildings. The use of green space, and more trees, is important to build a viable community.

Marvin DejeanMarvin DejeanDiversity was also the major theme of another speaker, Marvin Dejean, CEO of Gilead Sanders. "Diversity is going to be a whole new ballgame," he told the audience of about 40 members of the Association meeting at the Watergarden condo. "It's not just black and white anymore. Racial and ethnic lines are breaking down. We see a massive demographic shift in terms of the workforce in the next 20 to 30 years."

Among the trends that will affect Ft. Lauderdale is the growing Hispanic population of the country, expected to triple in the coming decades, an influx of Brazilians moving here, and the role of women becoming stronger in the workforce.

"US corporations are becoming globally based with people from other countries being brought here to work. It will become a multicultural, diverse workforce."

The future of Ft. Lauderdale? "Expect your community to change."

Clifford Cunningham can be reached by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Clifford Cunningham

Dr. Clifford Cunningham is a planetary scientist. He earned his PhD in the history of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland, and has undergraduate degrees in science and ancient history from the University of Waterloo. In 2014 he was named a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of 14 books on asteroids and the history of science. In 1999 he appeared on the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Asteroid 4276 was named in his honor in 1990 by the International Astronomical Union based on the recommendation of its bureau located at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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