Raymond A. Mohl


In the past several years, the Miami metropolitan area has experienced fast-paced, almost frantic, urban change. The Liberty City and Overtown race riots of 1980 and 1982, Haitian-Cuban refugee problems, high rates of violent crime and murder, and a lucrative drug smuggling trade have all kept Miami in the national news. A new and dynamic urban economy based on international banking, foreign investment, and a prosperous Latin American-Caribbean trade has insulated Miami from the national economic recession. Indeed, during the past decade, Miami has been transformed into the trade and cultural capital of the Caribbean basin. New skyscraper construction in downtown Miami and mushrooming residential development all across the urban periphery symbolize the rising star of Miami in the Sunbelt constellation. Passing virtually unnoticed amidst the rapid growth and change of the early 1980s was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Miami’s innovative metropolitan government.