Fort Lauderdale, FL 2021 Finalist


Ten years ago, in 2011 the City of Fort Lauderdale celebrated its centennial. The historic milestone offered an opportunity for us to reflect and honor our past, recognizing challenges we had overcome and appreciate accomplishments we had achieved.  It was a good point in time to look ahead to shape “Venice of America’s” future.  We launched a Visioning Initiative to imagine tomorrow’s Fort Lauderdale.

We embarked on a comprehensive community outreach campaign in 2012 that utilized a variety of avenues, including a visioning committee, personal interviews, an interactive website, meetings-in-a-box, telephone town hall meetings, a big ideas event, neighbor summit, and a neighbor survey which provided community-wide opinions about the quality of life in Fort Lauderdale. The outcome yielded our collective aspirations for 2035:

    We move seamlessly and easily through a safe transportation system where the pedestrian is first.
    We are a resilient and safe coastal community.
    We are a neighborhood of neighborhoods.
    We are an urban center and a vacationland in the heart of South Florida.
    We are a subtropical City, an urban laboratory for education and business.
    We are a strong and vibrant kaleidoscope of multigenerational cultures, ethnicities, and community partners.

WE ARE FORT LAUDERDALE, a community of choice.
We are the City you never want to leave.

Our tropical climate and unique location on the east coast of beautiful South Florida makes Fort Lauderdale an appealing place to live, work, and visit, attracting people from all over the world. Through civic engagement and collaborative efforts with neighbors, businesses, and local government we are continuously focusing on growing a symbiotic, better, and stronger community for all.

In the ten years since the visioning initiative, we have made great strides implementing initiatives and programs that align with the aspirations, addressing challenges, and advancing our City toward a prosperous, inclusive, equitable community.  One example of our dedication and commitment to inclusivity and equity was recognized when we received perfect scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equity Index (MEI) in both 2019 and 2020. The MEI evaluates how inclusive municipal policies, law and services are of LGBTQ people who live and work in the City. In 2020, 506 cities were rated on 49 different criteria, and Fort Lauderdale was one of 94 cities earning the maximum 100 points.

Although we have made great progress, we cannot stop. As 2020 has shown, we are consistently facing new and different challenges that require agile and continuous attention. The aspirational values from the visioning initiative serve as the foundation that we build upon when we engage in extensive community collaborations to create and sustain an equitable and resilient community!

Welcome to Fort Lauderdale!

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