logo Perspectives The Jaxson on Jacksonville Today
Analysis and original reporting from the team behind The Jaxson, which is dedicated to urbanism and culture on the First Coast. The Jaxson explores the big issues facing Jacksonville in the modern era of urban growth, with a look at today's development in the context of yesterday's history. The Jaxson is a partnership of Modern Cities and WJCT Public Media.
Featured image for “OPINION | Changing the urban landscape in 2023”
January 24, 2023

OPINION | Changing the urban landscape in 2023

2023 could be a year of big change for Jacksonville’s urban core. Here’s a look at five trends to watch through the year.

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | The railroads of Jacksonville”
January 17, 2023

THE JAXSON | The railroads of Jacksonville

Today, Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia continue to be served by several railroads.

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Featured image for “OPINION | How to fit a gas station into LaVilla”
January 10, 2023

OPINION | How to fit a gas station into LaVilla

These examples of urban gas stations show that a Daily’s station being proposed for LaVilla can be improved dramatically with some minor changes.

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Florida’s disappearing citrus processing industry”
January 3, 2023

THE JAXSON | Florida’s disappearing citrus processing industry

The orange tree has been a major part of Florida’s identity for centuries. From Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville and the Citrus Bowl in Orlando to the annual Orange Bowl in Miami, the impacts of the citrus industry are firmly planted within the state’s built environment. Unfortunately, it is an industry in perilous decline. Rise and decline Florida’s days

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Waterfront parks: 5 models for Jacksonville”
December 20, 2022

THE JAXSON | Waterfront parks: 5 models for Jacksonville

Downtown Jacksonville boasts one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the country, but historically, our public space along it hasn’t kept up. While investments like the popular Riverwalks and the ongoing renovation of Friendship Fountain Park have been positive additions, the city has a tendency to get in its own way, notably by spending $25 million and counting to turn

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Featured image for “OPINION | 4 myths about Jacksonville’s city government”
December 13, 2022

OPINION | 4 myths about Jacksonville’s city government

Jacksonville City Hall provides no shortage of things to criticize, but there are some common complaints that don’t stand up to scrutiny. Looking around the country shows that. Myth 1: Jacksonville City Council is too big Reality: Jacksonville City Council is smaller than the councils of other consolidated cities One recurring claim about Jacksonville’s city government is that its 19-member

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | List: The urban core’s largest historic public parks”
December 6, 2022

THE JAXSON | List: The urban core’s largest historic public parks

Jacksonville is one of largest cities by area in the contiguous U.S., covering 747 square miles of land area. It also is home to the largest urban park system in the nation. Prior to the city’s 1968 consolidation with Duval County, Jacksonville was a 30-square-mile pedestrian-scale community with 200,000 residents. Here is a look at the city’s five largest urban

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Your tabletop Christmas Village is illegal under modern zoning laws”
November 29, 2022

THE JAXSON | Your tabletop Christmas Village is illegal under modern zoning laws

You may think your miniature Christmas Village is a quaint tribute to the building traditions of yesteryear. However, its walkable, mixed-use, architecturally diverse layout is a flagrant violation of modern zoning laws and an affront to the single-family development ascendancy. Christmas villages are popular seasonal displays in no small part because they have the qualities that make real neighborhoods and

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | The first Thanksgivings on the First Coast”
November 22, 2022

THE JAXSON | The first Thanksgivings on the First Coast

Five decades before the Pilgrims celebrated their feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts, French and Spanish colonists held feasts of celebration on Florida’s First Coast. Origins of Thanksgiving Thanksgiving has its roots in European traditions. All across Europe, it was customary to give thanks to God after the yearly harvest and other important events. In the age of colonization, it became customary

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | LaVilla’s Railroad Row in color”
November 15, 2022

THE JAXSON | LaVilla’s Railroad Row in color

Between 1890 and 1920, more than 20 million immigrants arrived in the United States. Many found Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood as a destination to pursue the American dream, as the district was home to the largest passenger railroad station south of Washington, D.C. Sandwiched between the city’s major railroad depots and the riverfront, West Bay Street emerged as a place where

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