Metro Jacksonville was founded in March of 2006 in order to share news and information about Jacksonville and encourage discussion. The mission of Metro Jacksonville is to educate and provide an avenue for discussing the important issues facing cities and residents. We strive to be a reliable source of information and to increase public awareness about the urban core, promote continued urban and pedestrian oriented growth with a focus on the Jacksonville metropolitan area, and to provide a platform for the study and implementation of public development policy around the United States.

Metro Jacksonville publishes original content every weekday, and has grown exponentially since its founding. We feature several unique products and one of the most respected public discussion forums in the country. The site has become one of the largest and most comprehensive urban transportation and public municipal policy resources available online and has won widespread respect and recognition for efforts in planning, historical preservation, and public dialogue.





First Coast American Planning Association 2008 Excellence in Media Award

Florida Chapter American Planning Association 2009 Outstanding Public Interest Group Award

City of Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission 2010 Heritage Education and Publication Award

Folio Weekly’s Best of Jacksonville 2010 Best Political Blog

Alan Colmes: MetroJacksonville the future of Media? Citizen Journalism At MetroJacksonville.com A Model For What’s To Come

City of Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission 2012 Heritage Education and Publication Award for Metro Jacksonville’s Reclaiming Jacksonville book

City of Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission 2013 Heritage Education and Publication Award for Metro Jacksonville’s Cohen Brothers: The Big Store book


Metro Jacksonville’s influence has been felt on a number of local issues, including:

City of Jacksonville Public Email Access

In 2006, in an effort to stem the increased public exposure, due to the explosion of local blogs, the Peyton Administration announced plans to eliminated public web access to City Hall. After a few weeks of increased public scrutiny led by Metro Jacksonville, those plans reversed and public web access continues to remain available today.

Lighting Laura Street and Modification of Downtown Parking Policies

Laura Street in 2007.

In April 2006, four Metro Jacksonville members were appointed to be a part of Councilwoman Suzanne Jenkins’ Downtown Improvements Implementations Committee. Metro Jacksonville members used this opportunity to modify archaic downtown parking regulations, which penalized customers with aggressive ticketing schemes. Metro Jacksonville members also introduced the concept of Lighting Laura Street. The Lighting Laura Street presentation focused on concepts such as outdoor seating, better lighting and landscaping in a four block stretch of Laura Street, creating a pedestrian scale cooridor linking Hemming Plaza with the Jacksonville Landing.

In 2007, the Lighting Laura Street concept was incorporated into the JEDC’s 2007 19-point initiative called the Downtown Action Plan.

This 2006 Metro Jacksonville streetscape concept became reality in 2011 with the completion of the $2.7 million Laura Street Streetscape project</b></b>.

Laura Street in 2011.

Metro Jacksonville Crashes JTA’s Transit Planning Party

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October 2007 Metro Jacksonville video illustrating why a downtown bus only mall would be a bad idea for Jacksonville.

In June 2006, Metro Jacksonville began its public campaign on exposing the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s (JTA) proposed +$1 billion Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as one of the largest public boondoggles in Jacksonville history. While exposing the flaws of the BRT plan, which included converting Adams Street into a bus only mall, the group suggested commuter rail and streetcars as sustainable and economically viable transit alternatives.

Successfully winning the backing of Downtown Vision (DVI) and the JEDC, JTA’s plans for a downtown bus mall were eventually eliminated. In addition, the entire original BRT proposal has since been significantly modified and complemented with future commuter rail and streetcar lines. In 2011, the City of Jacksonville approved the 2030 Mobility Plan, which includes a Mobility fee funding mechanism to assist in paying for the construction of these rail lines.

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Metro Jacksonville’s presentation on the future of transit in Jacksonville. This presentation was prepared for the City Council’s Transportation, Energy Utilities Committee meeting, which was held February 20th 2008.

Monroe Street/Duval County Courthouse Public Square

This image highlights a plan led by Councilman Michael Corrigan and Architect Ted Pappas to reconstruct Monroe Street in front of the new Duval County Courthouse. Overlayed by Metro Jacksonville, the Google Earth aerial is intended to visually illustrate how this plan will fit into the surrounding urban landscape. Combined with Adams Street, this option would place six lanes of vehicular traffic between the entrance of the courthouse and the garage/retail structure designed and built by taxpayers to serve it.

In 2009, in an effort to make the best of a bad urban design situation, Metro Jacksonville began its lobbying efforts for the creation of a public square in front of the new Duval County Courthouse, as opposed to rebuilding Monroe Street.

This position was taken early on because rebuilding the street would be a repeat of the same failed autocentric policies that transformed a vibrant urban core into the sleepy place that exists today, over a three decade period. Metro Jacksonville saw a green space at the courthouse’s main entrance as an opportunity to create a setting that allow the courthouse building to better integrate with the surrounding urban environment and serve as a catalyst for attracting future infill development.

Over the next few years, Metro Jacksonville routinely featured articles questioning the City Council’s desire to build a road and the need to properly plan for this future urban environment.

Finally, in 2012 with the backing of Metro Jacksonville and other urban core advocates, Councilman Don Redman and Councilwoman Lori Boyer were able to draft an ordinance saving taxpayers $800,000 by greening the space instead of constructing a road. The new Duval County Courthouse’s square opened in summer 2012 and has quickly become one of the Northbank’s most heavily traveled locations.

Wells Fargo Community Mural Program

The goal of the Wells Fargo Community Mural Program is to provide a unique visual enhancement to the customer experience in its Wells Fargo stores. Designed to be a snapshot of Turn-of-the[Last]-Century America, historic images are chosen that convey a sense of history, tradition, stability, longevity, optimism, and progress. A typical mural design combines Wells Fargo images and local images that reflect the history and diversity of the community. An accompanying legend describes each historical image used in the mural, and credits the source.

In 2011, as a part of Wells Fargo’s acquisition of Wachovia, Metro Jacksonville was brought in to assist the financial institution’s DSSG Strore Formats & Design department with their Florida conversion. Metro Jacksonville’s photo gallery and ability to provide historical research was utilized by Wells Fargo for community murals in Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Sunrise, Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Largo, Weston, Davie and Cooper City.

Jax Truckies, Your Resource For Northeast Florida Food Trucks

Jax Truckies organizers (from left to right): Mike Field, Caron Streibich, Stacey Steiner, and Ennis Davis.

Despite the food truck industry’s nationwide popularity, the industry struggled to survive in Jacksonville due to antiquated anti-industry regulations.

This industry’s struggles appeared to be further exaggerated by Downtown Vision’s (DVI) Board of Directors’ March 2012 decision to further restrict this burgeoning small business sector from being a part of Jacksonville’s downtown revitalization process.

In an effort to showcase economic benefits of this industry and the best of Jacksonville’s local street food culture in a single location, Jax Truckies, The Jacksonville Food Truck Championship was organized.

Fresh off the heels of that successful April 2012 Jax Truckies rally in Riverside, a second rally was hosted in June 2012 to demonstrate how the food truck industry could add foot traffic and small business growth opportunities in downtown for an affordable cost, while being a positive to both trucks and brick & mortar businesses.

Since the launch of Jax Truckies, the food truck scene has exploded throughout Northeast Florida, leading to the creation of jobs, brick & mortar restaurants, new food truck legislation in Jacksonville Beach and designated truck spots in downtown Jacksonville. Today, you can continue to get your daily scoop on food truck locations at Jax Truckies Facebook site.

Jax Truckies June 2012 Downtown Food Truck Rally

The 2013 Mobility Fee Moratorium Compromise

The intersection of Philips Highway and JTB, reimagined as a mixed-use node centered around mass transit.

Adopted by the Jacksonville City Council in 2011, the 2030 Mobility Plan and Fee is an innovative plan that provides a framework to integrate rail, pedestrian, bicycle and road transportation planning with land use strategies to combat unsustainable sprawl. In an effort kill the plan’s effectiveness, the development community lobbied the council to enact a moratorium on the plan’s fee structure, which charges higher transportation fees for new development that places a burden on the existing public infrastructure network.

In response to Councilman Richard Clark’s January 2013 decision to sponsor a bill at the taxpayer’s expense, Metro Jacksonville used its influence to present a counter argument to rally the community. Responding to heavy grassroots-based community opposition, the City Council and the Development Lobby agreed to a compromise in April 2013.

To contact Metro Jacksonville about advertising, content partnership opportunities, press interviews, general questions/suggestions, consulting services or anything else, email at: metrojacksonville@metrojacksonville.com


Ennis Davis, AICP

Ennis graduated from Florida A&M University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s of Architecture degree and has over a decade of professional experience in the fields of Architecture and Planning. He is currently an independent planning consultant/proprietor of Davis Planning & Design, LLC., a published author, and partner in Urban South Investments, LLC., a small urban infill real estate investment and development entity.

Areas of Expertise

• Geographic Information Systems (GIS) • Graphics • Historic Preservation & Research • Master Site Planning • Transportation Planning • Urban Planning & Design • Zoning & Land Use Entitlements

Professional & Community Involvement

• American Planning Association (APA) • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) • City of Jacksonville Southeast Visioning Committee Member • Clearly Jacksonville Board Member • First Coast American Planning Association Board Member • Hogans Creek Greenway Task Force Member • Jacksonville Historic Society Board Member • JAX 2025 Steering Committee Member • Jax Truckies (co-founder) • JTA Bus Rapid Transit Citizen’s Advisory Committee Member • JTA Commuter Rail Citizen’s Advisory Committee Member • Mayor Alvin Brown Transportation Transition Team Member (2011) • MetroJacksonville.com (co-founder and editorial contributor) • Next American City Vanguard 2013 Class • North Florida TPO 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Stakeholder’s Taskforce Member • Springfield Area Merchants & Business Association Vice President (2008-2009) • 2006 Downtown Jacksonville Action Plan Committee Member • Transform Jax 501(c)(3) urban advocacy group (co-founder)

Recognition & Awards

• 2030 Mobility Plan (Consultant for City of Jacksonville) – 2010 FPZA Outstanding Public Study Award • 2030 Mobility Plan (Consultant for City of Jacksonville) – 2011 APA Florida Project Award • Author of Reclaiming Jacksonville - Jacksonville Historic Commission 2012 Heritage Education & Publication Award • Author of Cohens: The Big Store - Jacksonville Historic Commission 2013 Heritage Education & Publication Award

Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com

Daniel Herbin

Daniel graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2004. Since that time, he has worked as a senior software engineer for a large corporation in Jacksonville.

Daniel has been passionate about transit issues, urban sustainability, and revitalization of the city’s core for the past 7 years. He also serves as the lead software developer, photographer, story editor, and business consultant for Metro Jacksonville.

In his free time, he enjoys biking, traveling to interesting cities of all sizes, photography, and videography.

Contact Daniel at dherbin@metrojacksonville.com

Arash Kamiar

Arash graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Florida State University in 2003. He specializes in project management with a focus in advertising, marketing, and branding. Aside from being one of the publishers of MetroJacksonville.com, he is the owner of Solid Profile Media, which specializes in digital publishing and entertainment. Arash is currently developing an advertising agency that focuses on shipping, logistics, and industrial type businesses. In his spare time he’s writing and taking part in art projects.

Contact Arash at Arash@metrojacksonville.com

Robert Mann

Robert Mann is a retired transportation consultant who grew up in Jacksonville’s historic Ortega neighborhood. He attended Jones College locally and Oklahoma State University. Robert owned his own small trucking business in Los Angeles and then launched his local transportation career at Jacksonville International Airport with Piedmont Airlines. He also worked with Continental, United, and Dobbs House, and then moved to a position as a transportation supervisor for Trailways Bus System. He retired from the US Postal Service as a delivery supervisor and began a private consulting position where he worked on final design and operations concepts with the Secretary of Transportation and Inspector General for the national railroads in the Republic of Colombia.

Robert is an author and historian with several books and many magazine articles to his credit. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of city transportation and infrastructure with audiences both local and international. He has fathered plans for rebuilding the Jacksonville Traction Company streetcar system, which he first took to the city in 1980, and is still advocating for today.

Robert currently resides with his wife in the World Golf Village in St. Johns County.

Contact Robert at bob@metrojacksonville.com


Metro Jacksonville Consulting Services

With a socially active and diverse background, the executive board of Metro Jacksonville offers independent consulting services to a variety of specialized tasks and unique needs.

Urban and Land Use Planning

• Analysis and Feasibility Studies • Commercial Development Design • Consultation • Master Site Plans • Mixed-Use Plans • Park Plans • Project Branding and Visioning


• Research/Feasibility Studies • Re-zoning/Variances/PUDs/COAs • Site Plans • Public Presentations

Marketing Graphics

• Architectural and Land Planning Renderings • Marketing Brochures and Postcards • GIS Mapping • Logo Design

Historical Research

• Building and Property Histories • Cultural Resource Management/Historic Preservation • General Public History and Media • Historical Research and Documentation • Narrative Text for Interpretive Exhibits

Publications and Promotions

• Copy Editing • Imagery • Marketing • Publication Cover Design

Lectures and Public Presentations

• Lectures • Panel Discussions • Public Presentations

Social and Online Media Consulting

• Social Media Coaching • Social Media Strategy Consulting • Social Media Training and Workshops

Event Planning

• Pub Crawls • Walking Tours

To inquire about our independent consulting services, contact us at Metrojacksonville@metrojacksonville.com