Sea-level rise has emerged as a major threat to Miami, and other coastal cities, that can no longer be ignored.
Occurrences of flooding and beach erosion have removed any doubt about whether environmental changes will impact the city. The effects have already been costly — and that cost is expected to rise. Moreover, experts believe rising sea levels could cause the value of beachfront properties to drop.
The Real Deal quotes a National Wildlife Federation report that said Miami could lose up to $3.5 billion in assets by 2070 because of coastal flooding and beach erosion. The report also said Miami has more exposed coastal assets than any city. In less than 15 years, $69 billion in property will be at risk of flooding in Florida.
There are also concerns that Miami’s famed Art Deco District could be under threat.
Florida has already spent $393 million on replacing sand since the 1990’s. A far greater effort will be needed. This was driven home when an octopus was recently found in a parking lot during a King Tide.
As pointed out by Design Miami’s Chief Creative Officer Rodman Primack in Dezeen, architects and developers are finally beginning to think about what resiliency measures should be put in place. Last year a historic home at 22 Star Island was shifted and elevated to protect it from flooding.
Miami Beach has begun raising street heights and installing water pumps at a cost of at least $400 million.
Two of the buildings with serious flood defenses are Monad Terrace and Perez Art Museum Miami. The Terrace, a waterfront apartment complex, is raised about the ground in keeping with new building codes. The car park is also above ground level. Meanwhile, the museum floats three meters above the ground. It is expected that other property developers will follow suit.
In an October 2015 interview with Fusion, Miami Beach’s Chief Resiliency Officer Susanne Torriente spoke to the city’s major focus on resiliency. She suggested that it would be a model for other cities facing similar challenges of sea-level rise. However, acknowledging that the city on its own did not have enough resources to tackle the issue, she said the focus would be on”smarter decisions and smarter investments”.
Miami Beach’s City Manager Jimmy Morales will be joined Aecom’s Darcy Immerman andDeputy Director for Miami Dade Water & Sewer Department Hardeep Anand at CityAge: Floridaon February 22 and 23. They will tackle the very important topic of building The Resilient American City.