2019 All-America City Finalist – Doral, FL

Application Summary for the All-America City Awards:

The vision of making Doral the premier place to live, work, learn, and play was held by community leaders, elected officials, business owners and residents even before Doral became a city in 2003.

Today, Doral moves towards that vision with the help of 12 Advisory Boards. These boards are made up of residents who volunteer their time to meet regularly at public meetings to discuss pertinent topics and explore ways the community can improve. Residents are also engaged through the meeting series, “Mayor on the Move” where Mayor Bermudez, along with city directors, visits Homeowner’s Associations to talk about local issues and answer questions.

Three project examples showing how this community leverages civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues:

1.) Step Up Your Health, Doral!

“Step Up Your Health, Doral!” was created as part of the Mayor’s Wellness Initiative to encourage the community to get healthier together.

The program has three parts:

  1. Step Challenge- The Step Up App can be downloaded on any phone for free and automatically tracks the participant’s steps. To keep participants motivated, local restaurants offer discounts to participants and incentives for certain milestones.
  2. Free Programming- Participants are offered free fitness classes, seminars, health screenings, cooking classes, and several other programs. Programs are offered for free and are held at different parks throughout the city to ensure that the programs are accessible to every resident.
  3. City Employee Wellness Challenge– City employees take part in a 10-week Wellness Challenge where they are encouraged to participate in employee-only fitness classes and compete in bi-weekly weigh-ins.


Health Champions (resident leaders) and advisory boards have given input on how to promote “Step Up Your Health, Doral!” to the community. Promotional tables and materials are being placed in front of community centers, in community gyms and playgrounds, and in neighborhood associations’ monthly newsletters. City staff have put tables outside of Publix to talk to shoppers about a healthier shopping list and healthy recipes before they go into the store. There is also the Mayor’s Wellness Council that is comprised of people within the community that promote and drive the health initiative. Members include restaurants, businesses, health providers and schools. This council helps provide incentives, programming, and promotion of the initiative.


2.) Doral Parks for Tomorrow Bond Referendum

Due to rapid population growth, the City of Doral needed to update its Park System Master Plan to stay aware of newly developing recreational needs.

Parks System Master Plan used 11 different analysis and engagement techniques to identify high-priority needs of Doral residents. This process included a total of 6 public workshops, a community survey, focus groups, stakeholder interviews, and numerous presentations. This multi-year process revealed that the community’s parks and recreation needs were extensive and would require building new parks, recreational centers, trails and more.

After considering the information gathered during the Parks System Master Plan Update, population growth estimates, and additional feedback from the community, the city council decided to proceed with a $150-million bond referendum.

A Bond Committee was created to help educate the community on the bond, and staff hosted eight community workshops throughout the city to discuss what the bond is, why it’s needed, the cost, project details, and timeline. Educational materials also went out via social media and direct mail. A website was also created where residents could calculate the impact on their household, learn about the bond projects, provide feedback, register to vote, and review the ballot language. The website was linked with Google Translate to translate text to over 100 languages.

Doral residents voted yes to enhancing their quality of life and expanding opportunities for improving health. It is anticipated that the city will issue the bond for the first phase of the funds as early as 2019, with project construction to begin shortly after.


3.) Traffic Relief Efforts in Doral

As Doral has grown, so has the need for the city and its partners to alleviate traffic congestion.

Doral, along with its regional transportation partners, has invested in numerous transportation projects including:

  • Completion of the NW 25 Street Viaduct- The viaduct is an elevated bridge that facilitates cargo traffic.
  • Development of an Urban Core- Mixed use developments minimize the dependency on automobiles.
  • Operation of the Doral Trolley- The trolley is a free-of-charge local circulator that runs to major destinations.
  • Construction of a Single Span Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge- The bridge will provide a connection along the Turnpike Trail over Doral Boulevard.
  • Construction of Bike Trails- The city has constructed 17.81 miles of bicycle lanes.
  • Enhancement of Freebee and Bicycle Sharing Programs- Freebee is a shared short distance, on-demand, free of charge, electric transportation system. A bicycle sharing program pilot was started in 2018 to provide an alternative mode of travel.

Doral always looks to residents when making plans. Through feedback received from surveys and e-mails, existing Doral Trolley routes were evaluated to consider the community’s current and future needs. As a result, the Doral Trolley service was expanded to Florida International University (FIU) and to the Dolphin Park-and-Ride, near the Dolphin Mall.

In addition to infrastructure and project investments, the city also recognizes the importance of citizen engagement and responsibility. As a result, the city launched a bilingual campaign aimed at raising awareness for the importance of following the rules and laws – “We Don’t Do This Here/No Hacemos Eso Aqui.”

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