Quick Take: Miami’s Water Rush

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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EVENT: My Miami Story Happy Hour, hosted by MiamiGrid and Anima Domus

Join us for this special collaboration between MiamiGrid and Anima Domus!


Life in Greater Miami is captured in stories from the 2.6 million people who call this place home. My Miami Story adds your voice to the countywide conversation hosted by the Miami Foundation about who we are, where we’re going and what we can do to get there.

This conversation will be centered on Miami’s urban development, and how we can grow more resilient, prosperous, and fair as a city.

Refreshments and light snacks will be served.

Register online here.

Quick Take: Resilient Re-Design in Miami

Source Material: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article155213369.html

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MiamiGrid’s Take:

The City of Miami is understanding that the battle against rising seas is not a fight, but a negotiation. Some areas will have to be mitigated in order to save others if we truly want to be a liveable city. There are ways to make it work for us too. By upzoning certain areas, developers are incentivized to go in and adhere to newer standards. That city revenue can be used for buyback programs to create floodable zones, that are City parks in lower tides.

This concept mirrors concepts in Amsterdam and Houston. The Dutch’s negotiation with rising seas is hundreds of years old, while Houston passed a flood ordinance just this decade. Houston’s ordinance says that if your home floods, the city must buy it from you at a fair price, and use its land for mitigation. This policy allows for people not to lose their property values and creates a system for frequent flood mitigation.

Miami is taking the right steps with this program, and I hope that they can continue to create programs that do not just kick the can down the road but provide meaningful relief to our flooding neighborhoods.


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Quick Take: Transit Nodes and Place-Making

New Miami Development Appears to be Discovering the Power of Nodes over Systems.

The future of city planning is not based on linear and system-wide relationships, but nodal ones. They are not always at the intersection of system lines but can be catalyzed by historical events, available land, and cultural phenomena. These can explain nodes like The Grove, Wynwood, and Kendall Town and Country. It seems that nodes of access (along with transit stops) are also growing in importance, however, they do not seem to be creating new places, but piggy-backing on existing ones. Placemaking projects along these transit nodes such as Merrick Park and Sunset Place continue to be built with other factors in mind. Access appears to become one of many factors considered. Either way, nodes are a good way to be thinking, and I am glad that developers are following suit.
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