October 22, 2020

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Continuing to Evolve

David Denor | 2/26/2020

Our state continues to experience tremendous growth. With more than 900 new residents a day, Florida needs to make sure it is taking the right steps to manage that growth. That includes planning for needs related to health care, education, housing, land and water usage, telecommunication, technology — and the particularly challenging issue of transportation.

Through my involvement with Leadership Florida, I recently spent some time in Jacksonville. While there, our class had the opportunity to share time with Nat Ford, CEO of the Jacksonville Transit Authority. Ford’s leadership and vision for travel in and around the Jacksonville area are inspiring.

The city is becoming a testing ground for autonomous vehicles, and my classmates and I got the opportunity to ride in one.

The experience was unlike any other and truly opened my mind to the possibility of a driverless future.

JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) aims to convert and expand Jacksonville’s automated people mover (known as the Skyway) into an autonomous vehicle network, extending the Skyway’s reach within the urban core and into adjacent neighborhoods.

U2C supports JTA’s vision of a vibrant, revitalized and well-connected downtown Jacksonville. To learn more and see a video explaining how the existing infrastructure will be transformed, go to u2c.jtafla.com.

The progress that Ford and his team have made in moving their vision forward is impressive. I look forward to watching Ford, JTA and Jacksonville connect their city through the use of an autonomous vehicle network.

As Florida continues to grow, so does the diversity of its architecture. In this month’s Economic Backbone, we look at some of the more captivating architectural designs around the state. I think you’ll find the feature eye-catching and also learn about some of the leading design firms in Florida.

On a more somber note, our feature package looks at the state of Florida’s prison system, examining issues relating to safety, funding, staffing and programming aimed at rehabilitating rather than simply incarcerating.

This issue also looks at how Florida universities are adjusting their MBA programs to remain relevant. This year, we decided to focus on MBA deans, who offer their thoughts on what students and employers are looking for in MBA programs.

Florida continues to evolve and shape itself for the future, and we here at Florida Trend look forward to continuing to ride on this journey with you — helping to inform and educate you along the way.

— David Denor, Publisher
[ddenor@floridatrend.com]

 

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