Equipped with state-of-the-art tools, training and technology, the City’s police and fire departments are among the best in the nation, which has helped bring about the most dramatic reduction in crime in Orlando’s history. The Orlando Police Department and Orlando Fire Department aren’t only charged with protecting Orlando residents but also ensuring the safety of more than 59 million visitors each year. Recent public safety programs include:
Mayor Dyer is leading the effort to diversify Central Florida’s economy and create a new breed of high-tech, high-wage careers for residents in cutting edge industries such as digital media and technology, life sciences and modeling, simulation and training.
The long-established success of Orlando Health and Florida Hospital laid the groundwork for Orlando’s growing life sciences cluster. Mayor Dyer and other Central Florida leaders partnered to create Orlando’s new Medical City at Lake Nona. Medical City is a 650-acre living laboratory where one of the nation’s newest medical schools trains the doctors of tomorrow and clinical and research institutes are working on cures for diabetes, obesity and providing care to ailing children and veterans. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) also recently announced plans to create the new home for American tennis, a state-of-the-art facility at Lake Nona.
Replicating the success of Orlando’s Medical City, Mayor Dyer is developing the Creative Village, a 68-acre site in the heart of Downtown Orlando where higher education providers co-locate with technology companies and creative employees. Orlando is already home to one of the largest technology, simulation and training clusters in the world known for products such as EA Tiburon’s Madden NFL Football, Lockheed Martin’s missiles and defense systems and some of the most popular mobile applications.
Mayor Dyer and the City of Orlando foster the growth of small businesses through the Orlando Main Street Program, which focuses on revitalizing our neighborhood business districts by enhancing assets such as distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership and a sense of community. Since the program’s inception in 2008, Orlando Main Street successes include the investment of more than $509 million, the addition of nearly 3,000 full and part-time jobs and nearly 500 new businesses.
No longer simply a weekday employment hub, Downtown Orlando is alive with a growing residential population, lively dining and nightlife options, an emerging arts scene and world-class venues for sports and entertainment.
When Mayor Dyer first took office in 2003, he convened the Downtown Strategic Task Force, a community volunteer committee to develop a road map for the future of Downtown Orlando. Ten years later, more than 140 of the task force’s original 166 recommendations are complete or in progress, resulting in 47 major projects representing $1.86 billion in investments including a new Amway Center, performing arts center and a grocery store and movie theater in Downtown for the first time in three decades.
Mayor Dyer recently convened a new task force, Project DTO, which includes nearly 100 community leaders to help create the strategic plan for the next 10 years.
Additional Downtown Orlando initiatives underway include:
- Community Venues – The creation of world class community venues to include the Amway Center, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, reconstructed Citrus Bowl Stadium and a soccer-specific stadium to host Orlando’s new Major League Soccer team.
- See Art Orlando – Downtown Orlando’s new collection of eight iconic, privately-funded pieces of sculpted art.
- Pathways for Parramore – Pathways for Parramore focuses on revitalizing the historic Parramore community across five key areas: housing, public safety, business development, children and education and quality of life. Pathways for Parramore efforts also includes Parramore Kidz Zone, a unique program modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone which aims to reduce juvenile crime, teen pregnancy and high school drop-out rates.
Ten years ago, Orlando residents could not imagine living without a car. However under Mayor Dyer’s leadership to create a robust transportation network, living without a vehicle is now possible for Orlando residents. The region’s first commuter rail system, SunRail, began service in spring 2014. Orlando also has a fare-free Downtown bus circulator, LYMMO, an existing carshare program and a bikeshare program.
And, that’s only the starting point for public mass transit in Central Florida. Mayor Dyer is working to complete the next phase of SunRail and connecting to the new All Aboard Florida, an inter-city rail system that will allow residents to easily connect with South Florida through Orlando International Airport.
Mayor Dyer currently serves as chairman of the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority and on the board of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and works diligently to market Orlando International Airport for additional domestic and international air service.
Quality of Life
Mayor Dyer recognizes that to foster a 21st century economy, Orlando must be a place where quality of life is second to none. In Orlando our goal is to provide a diverse array of amenities to enhance the lives of our residents and that also attract the creative class and jobs of the future.
These efforts focus on providing parks and green space, embracing our diversity and connecting residents to their City government through technology, social media and innovative programs including:
- Green Works Orlando – Mayor Dyer’s initiative to make Orlando one of the most environmentally-friendly cities in the Southeast.
- Orlando Cares – Engages volunteers in programs that help youth improve their academic success, increase their literacy skills, plan viable career choices and avoid the juvenile justice system.
- Stand Up Orlando – Mayor Dyer’s campaign to end bullying in Orlando.