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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 | Parking craters: A Downtown vibrancy killer”
March 8, 2022

OPINION | Parking craters: A Downtown vibrancy killer

Despite a common perception that parking is difficult in the city center, Downtown Jacksonville has more surface parking lots, garages and empty land – in other words, “parking craters” – than standing buildings. This vast amount of dead space has long been one of the biggest hindrances to Downtown’s progress. What is a parking crater? A Google map of surface

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | 5 female writers from Jacksonville”
March 1, 2022

THE JAXSON | 5 female writers from Jacksonville

In honor of the start of Women’s History Month, here are five women with ties to Jacksonville whose writing affected the world: Born in March 1891 to prominent Jacksonville attorney John Doggett and and Florida history writer Carrie Van Deman, Carita Doggett Corse was a historian and writer in charge of the Works Progress Administration’s Florida Writers’ Project during the

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | 5 Gullah Geechee dishes to try in Jacksonville”
February 22, 2022

THE JAXSON | 5 Gullah Geechee dishes to try in Jacksonville

The Gullah Geechee descended from enslaved Central and West Africans who worked the plantations of the Lowcountry in the coastal Southeastern United States. After the abolition of slavery, the Gullah Geechee settled in remote areas, in particular the barrier islands stretching from North Carolina to Northeast Florida, where they formed a unique culture and strong communal ties that remain today. 

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Featured image for “OPINION | 7 big projects that moved Downtown forward (and how they did it)”
February 15, 2022

OPINION | 7 big projects that moved Downtown forward (and how they did it)

Downtown Jacksonville has its fair share of “gamechanger” developments that have failed to deliver, but when done right, major projects can help move the city center forward. Here’s a look at seven projects from the last 25 years that positively impacted Downtown Jacksonville – and why they’ve succeeded where others failed. 1997: Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts renovation In

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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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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | 5 Black history sites in Brooklyn”
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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