Recommended by the American Architectural Foundation:
Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz’s New Book, Miami Transformed

Former Miami Mayor and 2009 AAF Keystone Laureate Manny Diaz has written a new book detailing his experiences in Miami as a city leader who used community engagement (coupled with innovative design) to help transform his city. He is an alumnus of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, served as a delegate to the National Mayors Summit on City Design, and has participated in several AAF design leadership forums. 


Miami Transformed: Rebuilding America One Neighborhood, One City at a Time

“Manny Diaz was a great mayor, and he will go down in history as one of our country’s most innovative urban leaders because he put progress before partisanship—and because he never stopped asking, ‘Why not?’ His legacy will be defined not only by a soaring skyline but also by cutting-edge policies that made Miami a national leader on urban issues.”     —From the Foreword, by Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Six-year-old Manuel Diaz and his mother first arrived at Miami’s airport in 1961 with little more than a dime for a phone call to their relatives in the Little Havana neighborhood. Forty years after his flight from Castro’s Cuba, attorney Manny Diaz became mayor of the City of Miami. Toward the end of the twentieth century, the one-time citrus and tourism hub was more closely associated with vice than sunshine. When Diaz took office in 2001, the city was paralyzed by a notoriously corrupt police department, unresponsive government, a dying business district, and heated ethnic and racial divisions. During Diaz’s two terms as mayor, Miami was transformed into a vibrant, progressive, and economically resurgent world-class metropolis.

In Miami Transformed: Rebuilding America One Neighborhood, One City at a Time, award-winning former Mayor Manny Diaz shares lessons learned from governing one of the most diverse and dynamic urban communities in the United States. This firsthand account begins with Diaz’s memories as an immigrant child in a foreign land, his education, and his political development as part of a new generation of Cuban Americans. Diaz also discusses his role in the controversial Elián González case. Later he details how he managed two successful mayoral campaigns, navigated the maze of municipal politics, oversaw the revitalization of downtown Miami, and rooted out police corruption to regain the trust of businesses and Miami citizens.

Part memoir, part political primer, Miami Transformed offers a straightforward look at Diaz’s brand of holistic, pragmatic urban leadership that combines public investment in education and infrastructure with private sector partnerships. The story of Manny Diaz’s efforts to renew Miami will interest anyone seeking to foster safer, greener, and more prosperous cities.


Manny Diaz served as mayor of Miami from 2001 to 2009. He was president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is currently a senior partner at Lydecker Diaz, a real estate law practice in Miami, Florida.

Michael Bloomberg is currently serving his third term as mayor of New York City.

Publication Date: Nov 1, 2012
ISBN 978-0-8122-4464-9 | Cloth | $29.95 | £19.50
World Rights | Public Policy

Saunders Robinson
[email protected]


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Posted in: Civic Leaders + Government, Community Engagement, Design Leadership, Economic Development, Keystone Award, Print, Public Spaces, Sustainability, Sustainable Cities Design Academy
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