The Jaxson 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 “The Jaxson: 6 Gullah Geechee communities in Jax”
February 8, 2022

The Jaxson: 6 Gullah Geechee communities in Jax

Who are the Gullah Geechee? The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of Central and West Africans who have traditionally lived along the coasts of southeastern North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Northeast Florida. The African presence in Northeast Florida dates as far back as the 16th century, well before the 1607 founding of the British colonies, and included people

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February 1, 2022

The Jaxson: 5 Black history sites in Brooklyn

In honor of the beginning of Black History Month, here’s a review of sites in the quickly changing neighborhood of Brooklyn with ties to Jacksonville’s Black heritage. Platted in 1868 by Miles Price on a portion of the former Dell’s Bluff Plantation, Brooklyn quickly became a centralized destination for formerly Gullah Geechee people and their descendants. As a result, in

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Featured image for “Opinion: A sad lesson from Broad Street’s past”
January 25, 2022

Opinion: A sad lesson from Broad Street’s past

If you travel down Broad Street in Downtown Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood today, you won’t pass by much that’s open. In fact, despite having traffic counts that make it a prime candidate for a targeted retail revitalization approach and its being one of a few Downtown streets that see traffic seven days a week, there are more empty lots than standing

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Featured image for “Opinion: Rethinking Jacksonville’s convention center dilemma”
January 18, 2022

Opinion: Rethinking Jacksonville’s convention center dilemma

A new convention center has been in Jacksonville’s long-term plans for decades, but the Downtown Investment Authority now says it could be another 10 years before the city is ready for the type of major center it has typically explored. However, if we rethink our expectations and build upon the existing assets of the Downtown Hyatt, Jacksonville could have a

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Featured image for “The Jaxson: Northbank Renaissance continues with 4 new projects”
January 11, 2022

The Jaxson: Northbank Renaissance continues with 4 new projects

Driven by adaptive reuse and historic incentives, Jacksonville’s Downtown Northbank is experiencing a veritable renaissance of new development. Here’s a look at four new projects that have sprung up in the last month. The Northbank Renaissance We’ve spent much of the last year covering the explosion of development projects quietly happening in the Downtown Northbank. With at least 14 major

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January 4, 2022

Opinion: Changing the urban landscape in 2022

Jacksonville’s Urban Core is growing again after decades of decline, the Emerald Trail has broken ground, and the Downtown Northbank is seeing a veritable renaissance of adaptive reuse developments. Looking forward to 2022, here are four trends that could permanently change urban Jacksonville for the better: 1. The Urban Core is growing again Released in August 2021, the results of

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Featured image for “Opinion: What Shad Khan gets right – and wrong – about Downtown”
December 21, 2021

Opinion: What Shad Khan gets right – and wrong – about Downtown

Jaguars owner Shad Khan recently criticized the progress of Downtown revitalization in Jacksonville, saying the area has “gone downhill” over the last decade. Here’s a look at what his comments get right – and what they get wrong. Downtown going downhill? Speaking to the media aboard his yacht Kismet on December 13, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan expressed his views

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Featured image for “Opinion: Duval Schools headquarters must stay Downtown”
December 14, 2021

Opinion: Duval Schools headquarters must stay Downtown

Duval County Public Schools’ announcement that it plans to sell its Southbank headquarters and relocate is welcome news for those who want a more active use on the waterfront parcel. But if DCPS and its 600 employees leave Downtown Jacksonville altogether, it will be a blow that outweighs the benefit of the move.  The background On December 7, the Duval

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Featured image for “Opinion: The forgotten factor behind Downtown Jax’s struggles”
December 7, 2021

Opinion: The forgotten factor behind Downtown Jax’s struggles

Analyses of Downtown Jacksonville’s continued struggles typically focus on factors within Downtown’s boundaries. Though generally overlooked, one external factor may play the biggest role: the Urban Core neighborhoods that historically sustained Downtown have seen their population plummet by 100,000 since 1950. Most takes on why Jacksonville’s Downtown continues to struggle while our peers are turning the corner tend to focus

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Featured image for “Opinion: 5 development myths that hold Downtown Jax back”
November 30, 2021

Opinion: 5 development myths that hold Downtown Jax back

Does demolishing old buildings prime the pump for flashy ones? Is 10,000 residents the magic number necessary to enliven Downtown Jacksonville? Is downtown development really as complicated as we make it? Here are five widespread but false myths about urban development that have held Downtown Jacksonville back for years:  Myth 1: It’s easier to develop an empty lot than adapt

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