In February 2010, Rebecca Bradley and Gage Couch founded Cadence. Leaving a decade’s worth of work in the corporate design industry behind, the two founders looked forward. Leaving a decade’s worth of work in the corporate design industry behind, the two founders quickly set their sites on the future to re-identify how their role as landscape architects, and to create a new breed of firm focused on landscape architecture and urban design. The Cadence approach is holistic to each project site, and looks to innovative methods of business development and utilize their professional skills to better the built environment for everyone. At its core, the founders built the firm where engaging with their local community is commonplace and executing quality design for people to interact in a new cadence with the natural world is paramount. Cadence has established a reputation in the South Florida design and development industry for their ability to educate the general public on the social and environmental benefits of Landscape Architecture.
Cadence is committed to using a triple-bottom line measure of success to expand the reach of how the profession of landscape architecture is perceived. Social, environmental and economical implications must exist in a harmonious balance for a project to achieve its maximum potential .For each project the principles below are evaluated:
Social – Connection to other humans and how well communities thrive is directly related to their relationship with their physical surroundings. As Cadence approaches each new project, they look to maximize the human capital factor of those impacted by the specific project at hand. It is important to make sure human systems and organizations are interconnected to the environment and economic streams that make the most of their relationships to one another.
Environmental – Nature is our greatest teacher. Her systems, ability to adapt and wealth of bio-diversity make her our greatest partner. Our projects find solutions that bring forth the power of connecting to nature. The landscape offers society endless benefits; education, reduction of stress, improved physical wellness, and economic renewal can all be derived from a strong connection with the natural environment.
Economic – Economics must work to drive projects forward. Cadence enters each project with the knowledge of understanding project budgets, on-going maintenance costs, and increased value added to the communities where successful outdoor space is executed. The Cadence teams also understands that only evaluating projects by a singular bottom line dollar is an antiquated way of measuring success in today’s social atmosphere. Evaluating economics alongside environmental and social implications leads to success in the categories that matter to Cadence, sustainability and resiliency.
Cadence understands the business they conduct affects both the physical and social landscapes where they work. The co-founders started the company with the simple value of abiding by the Golden Rule, treat others as you wish to be treated. Cadence could not encourage clients to be responsible developers or homeowners in regard to their community and surrounding environment if they did not practice that themselves. From inception, Cadence has worked diligently to bring the tri-county of South Florida meaningful projects, demonstrations, and gatherings that will lead to long-lasting improvements to the public realm. Each project Cadence works on is an opportunity to raise the bar and to inspire others to do the same, no matter what industry they work in.
In June 2012 Cadence utilized their knowledge of urban design and looked at the desire of residents, property owners, and businesses to see physical improvements to the areas public realm to create a grass roots urban design demonstration called Better Block FTL. Better Block is a national tactical urbanism movement that began in Texas. Past master planning for the street was reviewed and a community workshop 100% volunteer based was conducted at the Cadence office. The outcome was a one day street makeover on June 16, 2012. The majority property owner on the street’s vision and desire to grow this area was renewed, in the spring of 2013 he commissioned Cadence to highlight the new found support and excitement of this street’s potential. Cadence produced a living streetscape vision plan. Design budgets developed at the concept phase totaled $1.6 mil in green infrastructure improvements.
This streetscape vision utilizes the context of the area and the historic importance the railway use to connect community and commerce. The space is designed to make visitors slow down and connect with their surroundings. NW 1st Avenue in FATVillage is a destination for Fort Lauderdale residents, visitors, a hub for local creatives, and an art district. Currently, once a month the street is used for an art walk event. On this one night a month of 5,000 visitors ascend the city street and warehouses to view cutting edge large scale art installations.
The vision for this streetscape is to utilize existing assets, retain warehouse structures utilizing adaptive reuse methods, highlight street murals, nurture artists already in the area, maximize connections to downtown residents and provide spaces that enhance collaboration with the artists that have made this street special. The street has a flexible design that works for its everyday use as a vibrant city street, and by night as a space that transforms into 600 linear feet of outdoor gallery and urban dining and entertainment promenade. Art walk visitors will experience a venue that accommodates pockets of gathering space, various styles of art, and new food and beverage retailers.
Vibrant communities are connected communities. The urban design solution Cadence employed here, proposes the implementation of a living street model. The proposed design of NW 1st Avenue would address a multitude of users, encourage outdoor interaction and accommodate the pedestrian, bike, and automobile. Native plant material, pervious paving options, bio-swale planting and LED street lighting would all be utilized to create a new palette of urban design materiality not yet present in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Over 7,500 square feet of asphalt and unorganized parking were transformed into multiple outdoor rooms and gardens for the four existing buildings of the village to be utilize for church programming. Rock-salt concrete banding, decorative pavers, improved ADA access, garden seating, a shade trellis and decorative fence now create a space for the church to welcome in the community and entertain its parishioners. Locally quarried oolite block walls, coral stone pavers and various Florida native plantings were introduced to create a unifying identity for the church campus. An added street-front terrace and patio along SE 15th Avenue and natural oolite blocks were added as an outdoor study space for youth group programming at the Harbour. The design team worked with existing specimen gumbo limbos, live oaks and a stand of sabal palms to create an environment that blends with the natural hammock setting of the Colee Hammock neighborhood.
The new courtyard is versatile in its appeal, providing an attractive street corner amenity for neighbors to walk by and enjoy, as well as serving both intimate and large group church events. In 2016 the project was awarded a Broward County Emerald Award for excellence in environmental design.
In 2011 Cadence won first prize in the Jefferson Parish international design competition. Fueled by a desire to return to the region she was raised in and the hometown of her mother, co-founder Rebecca Bradley had deep roots connecting her to this particular place. The design crafted for Jefferson Parish Canal wholeheartedly embodies the lively spirit of the community it nourishes. The substance of this design competition illustrates a deep commitment to enriching the lifestyle of Parish residents, and in doing so affirms that the greatest resources of this Region are its own people. Thus, our integrated solution strives to unite the strengths of the project site with the vivacity of the local community and inspire a renewed sense of pride in the West Esplanade Canal ~ Vive L’Esplanade!
At the beginning of the design process, we asked a series of big-picture questions:
What if a Parish beautification movement was fueled by the community it serves? Can a redefined common space breathe new life into a forgotten, yet valuable amenity? Will local business owners partner with groups of individuals to enrich their common ground? Can the transformation of Jefferson Parish’s canal system inspire a nation of communities to invest in themselves like never before? The resounding answer to all of these questions is YES.
Each community holds a wealth of spirited individuals with a unique connection to each other and to the land they share. Incorporating each segment of the population to transform shared space will foster ownership surrounding the transformation of the canal.
All too often communities across our nation pursue lofty design solutions which never reach full implementation. Budgets run dry, communication falters and leadership wanes. By contrast, a solution that relies on full social collaboration cannot help but gain speed and retain the momentum of time and talent given by those who would benefit from the results.
At the core of our solution are six guiding principles that serve as the foundation for our holistic vision. We sought to beautify, repurpose, implement, define, grow, and engage with this design.
Our comprehensive solution provides programmed space for community events, a playground and several educational components including a pilot bio-swale program that filters stormwater runoff, minimizing the contaminants drained into the canal. Improved access and circulation are addressed through a hierarchy of access points, increased cross canal circulation and unified signage. Our solution is a combination of entry-level steps to facilitate immediate progress and long-term partnerships between businesses, residents, community organizations, and places of worship to accomplish more complex improvements.
The social, motivated and caring community members of Jefferson Parish are uniquely qualified to nurture a valuable new amenity. Our recommended solutions embody the sincere belief that the people of Jefferson Parish can bridge the gap between design and reality to enrich opportunities of the place they call home.
Mockingbird Trail was conceived in the spring of 2014 by Cadence and Flagler Village Resident, Chad Scott. How could the highly creative neighborhood of Flagler Village create a project by the community for the community that addressed this major issue residents were facing – un-friendly walking conditions and lack of access to quality green space in the urban realm? The question posed initiated Cadence to apply for a Community Foundation of Broward, Art of Community Grant. In 2015, the ensemble was awarded $20,000 by the Foundation and embarked on a 14 month effort to engage the community on what an urban art hiking trail should look like for their neighborhood.
Funded by Community Foundation of Broward and BBX Capital Foundation, Mockingbird Trail started as an exploration-based project that engaged the community in the process of place-making. Utilizing the Florida State bird as the project’s figurehead, the Northern Mockingbird is a familiar bird to residents and an avid urban dweller. The urban art trail re-examined the way the community connects with native wildlife, flora and each other in a thriving downtown environment. Artists and Landscape Architects, Cadence and sculptor, Miami-based Valeria Yamamoto collaborated to bring large site specific public art sculptures to the neighborhood’s existing street grid. Her initial work “the evidence” series furthered the theme Valeria created for the Trail – the tale of the mythical orange mockingbird. Elusive to the human eye the giant orange mockingbird (orange from feasting on our regions citrus trees) has left evidence of her existence throughout neighborhood in the form of large scale public art sculptures.
The 2.5 mile trail route, sculpture locations and the concept for the series of sculptures were all derived from an intimate conversation during public workshops with the community, an online questionnaire and 6 month social media campaign. Upon the completion of phase 1, Cadence was commissioned by BBX capital Foundation to complete a Strategic Plan for the organization, structure, maintenance, and programming of the Trail. This 50 plus page document will now serve as the guide for development and construction of the Trail. The newly formed board of directors for the Friends of Mockingbird Trail will utilize the document for funding the design, construction, and programming of the Trail.
#TreesofFortLauderdale was initiated in 2014 as an exploration based project. This experimental project effort was created to bring attention to the wealth of tree diversity located within the urban landscape of Fort Lauderdale. The online posts share creative views of the trees physical features, educate the public on the scientific and common names, botanical facts and habitat features of each tree. Catalogued trees are geo-tagged with locations, allowing for anyone to search and find on their own, by foot or bike. To better illustrate the natural resources existing in our cities, our team anticipates to further develop an interactive digital map that can be utilized by schools, locals and tourists and is an element connected to the Mockingbird Trail project. In addition, a collaboration with local photographers will capture images of these specimen trees, showing nature co-existing within the City. This co-existence is so often a relationship many people traversing our automobile-centric City fail to notice. In 2018, a series of gallery events featuring stories from people who have used the geo-tagging to explore and artists’ work focused on the tree collection found in #treesoffortlauderdale will be curated and exhibited by Cadence during a monthly FATVillage Art Walk at the Cadence Pop-up Gallery.