This event has been postponed to a date to be announced soon!



This one-day conference will feature experts who are at the forefront of the transit-oriented development (TOD) that is transforming Florida. Speakers include leaders of Brightline Trains, the chief economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation, transportation leadership from Central Florida and Miami-Dade County, attorneys, developers, other transportation executives and directors, and academics who are working on projects reshaping our state.



The following topics are listed in order as they will occur on the day of the program. 

Miami-Dade County – the Long and Winding Rail
Miami Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins and the land development team from Stearns Weaver Miller will present a case study of development along Miami-Dade County’s rail system. Using GIS data, speakers will provide invaluable perspectives on the obstacles faced and the successes achieved over the past four decades and explain why land use policies and potential incentives should be prioritized in tandem with the siting of transit to ensure the best outcome.    

A View from the Top
Brightline's leadership will discuss their company’s progress in developing, financing, building, and operating the first privately owned passenger rail system in the U.S. in decades, its present operations, and the company’s future plans. They will also discuss the company’s major investment in TOD in Miami and the development of non-company TOD benefiting from Brightline stations. Leadership of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority will also present the current status of Tri-Rail operations and stations and their plans to connect to other systems.

The Big Picture
Dr. Jerry Parrish, chief economist at the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation will be our lunch speaker, addressing trends in Florida’s residential and commercial development and the direction of future transit-oriented development in the state.

Central Florida—Moving on Up (the State)
The transportation leadership in Central Florida communities and developers who have actually built projects along the transit lines in the City of Orlando and other parts of Central Florida will present on the historic and current rail systems operating in Central Florida and how they were financed. They will also discuss the successes and challenges in the development process and plans for future development in Central Florida.

Deseret Ranch—The Future is Now
Don Whyte, Chris Sinclair, and Karl Pischke—the legal and planning team for the initial phase of Deseret Ranch (300,000 acres in Osceola, Orange and Brevard Counties)—will discuss how they are developing a community that is unburdened by workarounds from existing development. They will talk about how this unique project is intended to address TOD reflecting current attitudes toward access to light rail. 

Connecting It All
Finally, leading planning professors and academics will summarize what has been presented for the day, and identify urban areas in Florida likely to follow the examples that currently exist. They will also discuss the cultural and sociological patterns that affect decisions to live and work within a radius from a rail station, including choked roads and streets, Uber and the popularity of electric scooters to make the first and last mile work.


Since the conference is a few blocks from Brightline's West Palm Beach station, conference attendees should consider relaxing on their way to and from the event by taking advantage of a free ride on a Brightline train.

Check back soon for instructions to acquire your free ticket.


Special thanks to the following committee members who were instrumental in the planning of this conference.

Reggie Bouthillier
Stearns Weaver Miller

Vivian Cuevas
Holland & Knight

Peter M. Dunbar
Dean Mead & Dunbar

Manuel Farach
Mrachek Fitzgerald

A. Wayne Rich
Nelson Mullins 

Margaret “Peggy” A. Rolando
Shutts & Bowen

William “Bill” P. Sklar
Carlton Fields

Eugene E. Stearns
Stearns Weaver Miller

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