Maria I. Nardi
Maria I. Nardi was appointed Director for Miami Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (PROS) effective August 1, 2017. Ms. Nardi is responsible for one the most diverse and largest park systems in the country. She oversees Planning and Development, Park Stewardship Operations and Administration of a system that includes over 270 park properties, over 13,000 acres of park land comprised of active and passive parks, as well as protected, environmentally sensitive properties, serving 2.7 million residents and approximately 1.4 million residents for the unincorporated area. They include the Deering Estate at Cutler, Zoo Miami, over 26,000 acres of Natural Areas Conservation and Management (NAM), Golf Enterprise, 14 miles of Beaches, Agriculture Extension, Causeways, 260 miles of roadways, Disabilities Services, Marina Enterprise, and multiple Operating Regions.
Ms. Nardi also oversees the implementation of the Parks and Public Space Masterplan to transform Miami Dade into a more socially, economically and environmentally vibrant community through a system of parks, public spaces, natural and historic areas connected by greenways/blueways and complete streets designed as linear parks. Her vision includes the role of parks and public spaces in shaping cities; the emerging evidence based science of health and the built environment; and the creation of equitable, resilient communities through parks and public space.
Prior to her work at Miami Dade County, Ms. Nardi initiated Miami21; a rewrite of the City of Miami’s zoning to transform the city into a walkable, pedestrian friendly community. Ms. Nardi has spoken extensively on issues related to the role of public space in the development of cities. The Parks Masterplan and Recreation Program has been recognized by the White House and the National Park and Recreation Association as a national model for transforming communities. She has been recognized for her work, including the International Progressive Architecture Urban Design Award, the University of Miami Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Architecture Profession, the Harvard Honor Award for Excellence in the Study of Landscape Architecture, The Mayor’s Woman Pioneer Award and the Miami AIA Leadership in Government Award.
Ms. Nardi is committed to public service and the enhancement of the community’s health, happiness and prosperity through the implementation of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department’s Planning and Design Excellence, Health and Fitness and Conservation Pillars. She has worked in the public sector 20 years where her vision for a sustainable and resilient community focuses on the attribute that every great community has a great park system.