Human-Scaled Development

DTOutstanding: The Best Education in Florida

Authored by: Jamie Kruger
September 13, 2022

Education fuels our bright future. It is a vital part of community renewal, and our investment in education indicates just how much we will prosper as a city. DTO can become Florida’s role model and leader by providing outstanding education through imaginative school facilities, access to technologies, a 21st-century learning curriculum, and problem-solving skills that produce children and adults who are prepared to lead the workforce of the future.

Downtown will be our region’s STEAM classroom. A place where learning has no expiration date. A place where every age and every life stage—cradle through career—is powered by enriched education, including the arts. As educational institutions expand within DTO, so does the potential to cultivate leaders for our economy. We must focus our efforts on developing 21st-century skills—creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking—to ensure that our children can conquer all of the challenges put before them in our increasingly technological world. The equitable provision of education and access to technology for our students is the civic infrastructure investment we must make to support every learner at every life stage in our outstanding downtown classroom. 

With 12 schools located in downtown Orlando, we have a tremendous opportunity to revolutionize education and the way it powers our community. Through a strong alliance with Orange County Public Schools, we can expand and enhance public education options. One of our first role model opportunities is the new Preschool–8 community school in Parramore: OCPS Academic Center for Excellence (ACE). This school will become a model for urban education, serve as a community anchor for the neighborhood, and electrify the educational landscape alongside its higher education neighbors: the University of Central Florida’s Downtown Campus and Valencia College. 

As UCF and Valencia have expanded into DTO, “cradle through career” fades as a phrase and explodes as the next phase in our outstanding educational ecosystem. The commitments and investments of these institutions within our city center signal a future filled with the potential for unprecedented growth as the ripple effect they induce expands in and around Creative Village. 

Education includes radical thinking and kinetic exploration—the cornerstones of invention and creativity. A strong downtown educational focus is needed to contribute to and continually strengthen Orlando’s creator culture. A calibrated educational focus can enhance DTO’s position as a muse for knowledge, creativity, and thought leadership, particularly in the fields of digital arts, health and wellness, and the culinary arts. 

We will provide the best education in Florida by: 

  • Facilitating the development of schools as community anchors and hubs that are accessible to everyone.
  • Positioning and sustaining downtown Orlando as a leader in public education. 
  • Creating adult education and training programs to provide accessible lifelong learning and enrichment options.

View the entire Project DTO Vision Plan

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