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Health Promotion Among Diverse Populations: Downtown Miami


Description of the Community

Downtown Miami is positioned around the Central Business District (CBD) of Miami. This is the major financial area in the city of Miami. The majority of buildings are sky-scrapers competing with one another in height (Viglucci, 2017).

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The history of Downtown Miami is not very long, but it is rather interesting. Miami was founded in 1896, and at that point, there was no Downtown yet (Iraola, 2015). At the beginning of the 20th century, the city started growing at a huge speed, its population booming from 5,500 to 30,000 (Iraola, 2015). The majority of growth processes occurred in the Downtown area, which later became a separate district.

Type of community: urban, suburban, rural

Downtown Miami is an urban community.

Physical Environmental Considerations: The Community as a Place

Description: General Identifying Data


The community is situated on the islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. Geographically, Downtown Miami is a part of South Beach (“Miami: Geography and climate,” n.d.). In the east, the islands of Miami Beach and Key Biscayne protect the bay from the Atlantic Ocean (“Miami: Geography and climate,” n.d.). Downtown Miami is situated in the eastern part of Miami City, with sandy beaches and access to the ocean.

Topographical features

The topography of the community is “remarkably flat” (Romm, 2013, para. 3). Nearly 50% of the area surrounding Miami rises less than 5 feet above sea level (Romm, 2013). The highest elevation is observed at the limestone ridge in the south, and it is 12 feet (Romm, 2013). Since Downtown Miami is located in the east, its topography puts it at risk of flooding.


The climate in the area is semi-tropical all year round. Summers are warm and long, with abundant rainfall. Winters are dry and cold (“Miami: Geography and climate,” n.d.). Downtown Miami is the second most humid area in the US. In September and October, the community is frequently subject to hurricanes (“Miami: Geography and climate,” n.d.).

Boundaries, Area in Square Miles

The area of the Downtown Miami community is approximately 10 km2 (MDDA, 2016). The boundaries of the district are set by such neighborhoods as Wynwood Edgewater, Little Havana, The Roads, and Coral Way (MDDA, 2016). The community is highly populated, and there is a tendency of population growth in recent years (MDDA, 2016).

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Sanitation: water supply, sewage, garbage, trash

The Department of Solid Waste works hard to promote a healthy and clean environment through gathering and disposing litter in a cost-effective and efficient way (“Mission statement,” n.d.). The only source of fresh water in the community is groundwater from wells (“Water supply & treatment,” 2018). Citizens are encouraged to protect water as the most vital resource.

Pollutants, toxic substances, animal reservoirs or vectors, flora, and fauna

The most dangerous pollutants in the community are those concerned with air and beach damage. Such common pollutants as exposure from agricultural practices and sewage have a detrimental effect on coral reefs (“Study: South Florida pollutants,” 2013). Apart from that, these substances harm citizens’ health and may lead to serious diseases. Major attention is paid to the protection of such sensitive ecosystems as beaches, fisheries, mangrove wetlands, and naturals forests (“Ecosystem protection,” 2014).

Air quality: color, odor, particulates

The quality of air in the community is considered good (“Today’s air quality,” 2016). Still, throughout the year, there are several times when the Air Quality Index falls to below the good level (“Today’s air quality,” 2016). The air can become of a dark color and have an unpleasant smell due to particulates or gases that appear in it. The major danger to the air is produced by car emissions. What concerns particulate matter, such particles as desert dust, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and pollen, are sometimes observed in the area (“Air quality and pollen forecast for Miami,” n.d.).

Food supply: sources, preparation

Since the community is not agricultural and is located in the urban zone, it relies on markets for its supplies of food. Take-out food is also popular with the members of the community. Ethnic dishes include many vegetables and seasonings, and the ways of cooking are prevalently boiling and stewing (“Miami’s ethnic dining scene,” n.d.).

Potential disaster in the population

Due to the community’s geographic location, the greatest potential disaster is that of sinking beneath the sea. Miami is one of the lowest-lying places in the US, which makes it vulnerable to hurricanes and rising tides that provoke floods (Cox & Cox, 2015). Although the community is called Downtown, it is actually situated in the eastern part of Miami city. Thus, there is a constant danger of water being forced into the streets and putting people in danger.

The extent of disaster preparation in the population

In 2014, the city commission supported the development of a beefed-up flood-preventing infrastructure (Cox & Cox, 2015). Numerous pumps were installed in the area, allowing to reduce flooding considerably. With the help of such a measure, the community hopes to avoid future floods.


  • Types of housing (public and private). Private housing prevails.
  • Condition of housing. Comfortable and appropriate.
  • Percent owned, rented. 47% rented (“Miami-Dade County,” 2017).
  • Housing for special populations.
  • Near homeless. M. Teresa Mission of Charity, Chapman Partnership (“Miami homeless shelters,” n.d.).
  • Homeless. Miami Dade Homeless Trust (“Miami homeless shelters,” n.d.).
  • Frail elders. Two Sisters Love and Care, Mercy Family Care #1 (“Senior living,” n.d.).

Leading Industries and Occupations

Trade, banking, and tourism.

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The People of the Community

Population Profile

  • The total population for 2016 (year of the last census). 88,540 (MDDA, 2016).
  • Population density. About 23,300 persons per square mile (MDDA, 2016).
  • Population changes in the past 10 years. Increase from 2010 Census: 32.6% (MDDA, 2016).
  • Population per square miles. 23,300 persons (MDDA, 2016).
  • Mobility. Annual domestic in-migrants in 2014: 71,086, foreign immigration in 2014: 36,763 (MDDA, 2016).
  • Types of Families. Mostly young families, 25-44 years old (MDDA, 2016).
  • Biological Considerations/Vital and Demographic Population Characteristics
  • Age composition. Median age for men: 38.8, for women: 40.7 (“Miami, Florida,” 2018).
  • Sex distribution. Males: 49.7%, females: 50.3% (“Miami, Florida,” 2018).
  • Race distribution. Whites – 72.6%, African Americans – 19.2% (“Miami, Florida,” 2018).
  • Ethnic group composition and distribution. Asians, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders (Miami, Florida,” 2018).

Mortality Characteristics

  • Annual birth and crude death rates. The highest birth rates – to black women (66.8), the lowest – to American Indians (26.9) (“Birth rates,” n.d.).
  • Age-specific death rate. 688 per 100,000 (“Florida vital,” 2017).
  • Infant mortality rate. 5.2 per 1,000 (“Infant mortality rate,” 2016).
  • Maternal mortality rate. 12.9 per 100,000 (Hernandez & Thompson, 2018).
  • Cause-specific death rate (specific health area). Diabetes – 3.8%, chronic lower respiratory disease – 5.2% (“Leading causes,” 2017).
  • Leading causes of morbidity. Heart disease – 26.2%, cancer – 21.6%, stroke – 7.7% (“Leading causes,” 2017).
  • Incidence rates (specific diseases). No data are available.
  • Prevalence rates (specific diseases). No data are available.

Psychological Considerations

  • Significant historical events. None.
  • Future economic prospects. A very promising region with a developed infrastructure.
  • Formal and informal communication network. People can communicate with the authorities both through official correspondence or at personal meetings.
  • Rates of suicide and homicides for specific subgroups within the population. Suicide: 8.1 per 100,000 (“Age-adjusted,” 2016). Homicide: 17.14 per 100,000 (“The 30 cities,” 2017).
  • Adequacy of protective services. A variety of options available.
  • Common sources of Stress (e.g., unemployment, lack of affordable housing). The most common source of stress is the lack of affordable housing.

Sociocultural Considerations: The Community As a Social System

Socioeconomic status

  • Income of family. The average household income is $97,671 (MDDA, 2016).
  • Major occupations. Accountant and banker.
  • Estimated level of unemployment. 4.9%.
  • Percent below poverty level. 19.9% (“Percent of population,” 2018).
  • People retired. No data are available.
  • Educational level. Higher education (MDDA, 2016).
  • Religious distribution. Christians, Protestants, Roman Catholics.
  • Marriage and divorce rates. Divorce rate: higher than 11% on average in the country (“Miami-Dade County,” 2016). Marriage rate: low. Many young people are unmarried.
  • Language. Spanish, English.
  • Government and Leadership
  • Type of government (mayor, city manager, board of commissioners). Board of commissioners. The representative is Ken Russel.
  • City offices (location, hours, services, access). Offices are located in the central area of the community. Office hours are predominantly from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m.


  • Public educational facilities. There is a variety of public schools, such as Coral Reef Senior High School and School for advanced studies.
  • Private educational facilities. Downtown Miami Charter School, Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School.
  • Libraries. Louis Calder Memorial Library, Miami-Dade Public Library System.

Services for special populations

  • Pregnant teens. Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services.
  • Adults with special problems. Special shelters and healthcare facilities.
  • Children and adults who are developmentally disabled. Daycare centers.
  • Children and adults who are blind and/or deaf. Special signs on the roads, pavements, and buildings.


Public transport (metro movers, buses), cars.

Behavioral Considerations

  • Consumption patterns (general nutritional level of the population). People tend to eat fresh vegetables and healthy food, but they frequently eat out.
  • Leisure pursuit. People spend time on the beach.
  • Other health-related behaviors (e.g., frequency of seat belt use). No data are available.
  • Health System Considerations
  • Identify existing services. Medical centers, private and public hospitals, special care facilities.
  • We are assessing the current level of performance. The level of performance is very high.
  • Availability and accessibility of specific types of health care services. Public hospitals are free, but there may be a long line. Private facilities are more accessible, but they may be expensive.
  • Health needs lacking services. None.
  • The extent to which health care services are overused and underused. None are overused or underused.
  • Financing of health care. Federal and local.


Age-adjusted death rate due to suicide. (2016).

Air quality and pollen forecast for Miami. (n.d.).

Birth rates by race/ethnicity: Miami-Dade County, 2013-2015 average. (n.d.).

Cox, S., & Cox, P. (2015). A rising tide: Miami is sinking beneath the sea ─ but not without a fight. The New Republic.

Ecosystem protection. (2014). Web.

Florida vital statistics annual report: Deaths. (2017). Web.

Hernandez, L., & Thompson, A. (2018). Florida’s pregnancy-associated mortality review 2016 update.

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Infant mortality rate. (2016).

Iraola, A. (2015). Take a trip through time in Downtown Miami. The New Tropic.

Leading causes of death – 2017. (2017).

Miami-Dade County, Florida housing data. (2017).

Miami Downtown development authority. (2016). Greater Downtown Miami demographics ─ 2016. Web.

Miami, Florida population 2018. (2018).

Miami: Geography and climate. (n.d.).

Miami homeless shelters & services for the needy. (n.d.).

Miami’s ethnic dining scene. (n.d.).

Mission statement. (n.d.). Web.

Percent of population below the poverty level in Miami-Dade County, FL. (2018).

Romm, J. (2013). Scientist: “Miami, as we know it today, is doomed. It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.” ThinkProgress.

Senior living communities in Miami, FL. (n.d.). Web.

Study: South Florida pollutants increase coral reef disease. (2013). CBS Miami. Web.

The 30 cities with the highest murder rates in the US. (2017, November 13). Rapid City Journal. Web.

Today’s air quality. (2016). Web.

Viglucci, A. (2017). What’s the view of Miami like from 1,000 feet? You may soon find out. Miami Herald. Web.

Water supply & treatment. (2018). Web.

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