CLIMATE SESSION & WORKSHOP
SEA LEVEL RISE AND THE PUBLIC REALM
An Advanced Urban Design Studio in Miami & South Florida
Climate change is impacting cities worldwide. Coastal cities will be strongly affected, as rising seas increase the occurrence of recurrent, or nuisance, flooding in urbanized areas. This is especially true in south Florida, where cities such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale are not only major critical cruise ship hubs and seaports provisioning Florida and the southeastern US, but also popular resort destinations for visitors from around the world. Further, much of south Florida’s most expensive real estate sits just above current high tide levels on land reclaimed in the early 20th century from coastal mangrove swamps and in shallow areas of Biscayne Bay, making these areas highly susceptible to recurrent flooding as sea levels rise.
Today’s workshop will take a design-driven approach to improving resilience in south Florida. Going against standard flood management solutions epitomized by hard, highly engineered structures that obstruct views and access to the waterfront, this studio explores design responses to resilience that create new civic assets for cities. It aims to integrate flood management infrastructure with public realm improvements and nature and which, importantly, preserve open access to the area’s coastal waterways – a defining feature of life in south Florida. The workshop brings together different disciplines, including urban design, landscape architecture, transportation, environmental planning, as well as architecture.
The workshop is being jointly held by the Miami Beach Urban Design Studios and the Florida Sea Level Solution Centre of the Florida International University (FIU) and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Workshop partners include the Miami-Dade County Office of Resilience, the Broward County Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department, the South Florida Regional Plannning Council, the Dutch Consulate in Miami, as well as the global consultancy, Arcadis.
The workshop aims to gather and discuss input and feedback from key local resilience leaders by exploring the region’s most relevant resilience themes. The outcome of the workshop will be a substantial report by Penn Design Studio’s that aims to frame south Florida’s resilience strategies.