‘The Canopy’: $30M 10-acre park to be built beneath I-4 in downtown Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — The city of Orlando on Wednesday morning unveiled plans for a new $30 million 10-acre park, which will be built beneath Interstate 4 in downtown.


Construction on “The Canopy,” as the park will be called, will begin in early 2025 and is expected to take about two years to complete.

The park will be bordered by the following streets: West Washington Street (north), South Garland Avenue (east), West Church Street (south) and South Hughey Avenue (west).

The city said the latest proposed design for this space incorporated feedback from an online survey and public meetings held last fall.

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The park’s name was inspired by its design, “which blends nature and technology, drawing inspiration from Orlando’s beautiful canopy of trees,” the city said.

It said the park is intended to serve as a “vibrant, inclusive and sustainable urban oasis that reflects the spirit of downtown Orlando, connects its diverse neighborhoods and fosters a sense of belonging for all.”

The city said the new design focuses on the following six core principles, which were determined to be the most important to residents based off of community input:

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Connection: Seamlessly integrating with various modes of transportation to ensure accessibility for all.

Safety: Prioritizing the well-being and security of visitors through thoughtful design and strategic planning.

Community: Providing ample space for gatherings, festivals and cultural events that bring people together.

Greenery: Infusing the urban landscape with lush landscaping and green spaces for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Mobility: Creating pedestrian-friendly walkways and bike paths to encourage active lifestyles and sustainable transportation.

Artistic immersion: Enriching The Canopy with immersive art installations that captivate the imagination and inspire creativity.

“At night, this will be one of the largest outdoor projection light shows in the world,” said Martin Hudson, the city’s chief urban project manager. “We’re very excited about that. And we believe that that will bring people into downtown Orlando.”

In addition to public art, there will be space for a farmers’ market and a bus stop.

Area cross streets can also be closed to allow for the construction of a covered event space large enough to accommodate 10,000 people.

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The city said it will also pilot a temporary rideshare zone and parking concept between West Pine Street and West Central Boulevard.

It said the zone will include about 150 temporary public parking spaces that can be used for both short-term parking and ride share services.

Construction on the pilot project is expected to begin in early April and be complete by this summer.

The pilot project, which will last one year, seeks to better understand the usage of the temporary zone.

The city said a permanent project design could be modified to meet “future multimodal needs.”

See a map of the park below:

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.