Driving Downtown – Miami Florida USA – Episode 29.
Starting Point: Biscayne Boulevard – https://goo.gl/maps/vResRgysAcv .
Miami is a seaport city on the Atlantic Ocean in south Florida. As the seat of Miami-Dade County, the municipality is the principal, central, and most populous of its metropolitan area and part of the second-most populous metropolis in the southeastern United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami’s metro area is the eighth-most populous and fourth-largest urban area in the U.S., with a population of around 5.5 million.
Miami is a major center, and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. In 2012, Miami was classified as an Alpha−World City in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory. In 2010, Miami ranked seventh in the United States in terms of finance, commerce, culture, entertainment, fashion, education, and other sectors. It ranked 33rd among global cities. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Miami “America’s Cleanest City”, for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets, and city-wide recycling programs. According to a 2009 UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States, and the world’s fifth-richest city in terms of purchasing power. Miami is nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America”  and is the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality.
Downtown Miami is home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States, and many large national and international companies. The Civic Center is a major center for hospitals, research institutes, medical centers, and biotechnology industries. For more than two decades, the Port of Miami, known as the “Cruise Capital of the World”, has been the number one cruise passenger port in the world. It accommodates some of the world’s largest cruise ships and operations, and is the busiest port in both passenger traffic and cruise lines.
Miami is a major center of commerce, finance, and boasts a strong international business community. According to the ranking of world cities undertaken by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC) in 2010 and based on the level of presence of global corporate service organizations, Miami is considered a “Alpha minus world city”. Miami has a Gross Metropolitan Product of $257 billion and is ranked 20th worldwide in GMP, and 11th in the United States.
Several large companies are headquartered in or around Miami, including but not limited to: Akerman Senterfitt, Alienware, Arquitectonica, Arrow Air, Bacardi, Benihana, Brightstar Corporation, Burger King, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Lines, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, Espírito Santo Financial Group, Fizber.com, Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, Inktel Direct, Interval International, Lennar, Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, Perry Ellis International, RCTV International, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ryder Systems, Seabourn Cruise Line, Sedano’s, Telefónica USA, UniMÁS, Telemundo, Univision, U.S. Century Bank, Vector Group, and World Fuel Services. Because of its proximity to Latin America, Miami serves as the headquarters of Latin American operations for more than 1400 multinational corporations, including AIG, American Airlines, Cisco, Disney, Exxon, FedEx, Kraft Foods, LEO Pharma Americas, Microsoft, Yahoo, Oracle, SBC Communications, Sony, Symantec, Visa International, and Wal-Mart.
Since 2001, Miami has been undergoing a large building boom with more than 50 skyscrapers rising over 400 feet (122 m) built or currently under construction in the city. Miami’s skyline is ranked third-most impressive in the U.S., behind New York City and Chicago, and 19th in the world according to the Almanac of Architecture and Design. The city currently has the eight tallest (as well as thirteen of the fourteen tallest) skyscrapers in the state of Florida, with the tallest being the 789-foot (240 m) Four Seasons Hotel & Tower.