Miami’s proximity to water has been its boon, however, it is what threatens the city most today due to Sea Level Rise. Can this threat be turned into an opportunity for the city?
Miami is the city that stands to lose the most real estate value from Sea Level Rise in the world (The National Wildlife Federation estimates $3.5 trillion in assets by 2070). In order to combat this, the city will have to develop new policies, building codes, engineering services, building designs, and entire trades. We will be forced to innovate faster and more creatively than every other metropolitan city in the world, as our problems are bigger and require more immediate attention. These factors and more are part of why Miami could be in the position to leverage its predicament into a global economic opportunity.
Cities across the globe will be feeling the effects of climate change by the end of the century. This will manifest in flooding, dramatic changes in weather, and unprecedented heat. Miami has been dealing with increased flooding and extreme weather for a century and has already been building the tools to combat these. In order to survive the next, Miami will have to adapt to rising seas, more extreme weather, and crisis management.
All of these new skills, policies, and knowledge can be exported around the world to help their escalating problems. Miami could be the hub of Sea Level Rise architects, engineers, contractors, think tanks, public policy groups, crisis management services, and manufactured smart products. The city can be the Silicon Valley of Climate Change, but it will require us to invest more in higher education, creative grant funding, and the testing of new public policies. If not, we will be forced to cede this important future hub to another global city and miss this important opportunity for our city.
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