Strategic partnerships have been critical in furthering the City’s resilience planning. Through partnerships with local universities, non-profit organizations, and local municipalities, Miami Beach is able to collaborate with scientists, professors, and students on topics, such as water quality, ecosystem services and urban design. The city’s relationship with academic and regional partners helps to fill data gaps needed to inform planning efforts.
In 2014 Florida International University (FIU) and the City of Miami Beach forged a partnership leveraging unique assets within their organizations. The four anchors of this collaboration include Arts, Culture, and History; Florida Coastal Resilience and Adaptation; Youth and Education Development and Transportation. Since the beginning of this partnership many milestones were reached with regards to sea level rise and resiliency:
- In July 2015, FlU launched the Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC), which is dedicated to designing and implementing short- and longt erm adaptation strategies for a prosperous South Florida. SLSC advances the understanding of sea level rise and its impacts, and converting this into actions that benefit society on a global scale. The City of Miami Beach is a key practitioner partner.
- In September 2015, the City of Miami Beach and FlU hosted Vice President AI Gore and the Climate Reality Project at the 30th Cl imate Reality Leadership Corps training. The former Vice President was engaged in a 90-minute private meeting to discuss the challenges and successes of adaptation planning in the City of Miami Beach.
- The French Consulate, the City of Miami Beach, the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and FlU hosted the French Ameri-Can Climate TalkS (FACTS) conference. Held in twelve cities in the United States and Canada involving renowned scientists, civil society representatives, NGOs, political figures, journalists and entrepreneurs, FACTS aims to mobilize public opinion on the issues of sea level rise and its impact on local communities.
- FlU Professor Nancy Scanlon presented at the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan using the Miami Beach Costal Resilience model with data provided by the City of Miami Beach. Her presentation discussed solutions, highlighting the efforts of Miami Beach around resilience and adaptation- citing the City’s water pumping stations, which pump flood waters out of the streets.
South Florida’s predisposition to weather extremes renders the region’s infrastructure acutely vulnerable. But weather extremes are not exclusive to South Florida. The Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather-Related Events Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN), a newly formed team of researchers, is addressing these challenges on an international scale. FIU biologists Evelyn Gaiser, John Kominoski and Tiffany Troxler are part of the 50-member team of researchers.
Hurricanes, flooding, droughts, heat waves and other extreme events can cripple crucial infrastructure that enables transit, electricity, water and other services in urban areas. With these types of events becoming more common, it is increasingly important to develop infrastructure in different, more sustainable ways.
Representing 15 institutions from nine cities in North and South America, the researchers will evaluate the social, ecological and technical systems related to infrastructure. Their efforts will take into account key stakeholders, including citizens who rely on the infrastructure and city officials, as well as the natural environment in which the infrastructure operates.
The team will evaluate available technology and develop a suite of tools to support the development of urban infrastructure that is resilient and tailored to particular cities.
Through a partnership between 100 Resilient Cities and the Center for Resilient Cities & Landscapes at Columbia University, the Resilience Accelerator was developed. While this was a competitive grant program, Greater Miami & the Beaches was chosen to directly participate. Miami Beach’s West Avenue Neighborhood Improvement Project was selected as one of four projects in South Florida. Columbia University brought together multi-disciplinary expertise to assist the city’s team in advancing the strategy and project design to keep the project moving forward while integrating a more holistic resiliency approach. They focused on strategy and design, stakeholder engagement, and benefits and costs. Over the course of a three day workshop, the team identified appropriate enhancements based on the project’s life cycle, existing and future site challenges, and feedback from the local community. The City brought together the Design Build Team headed by Ric-Man Construction Florida; internal staff from CIP, Environment & Sustainability, Fire, Parking, Planning, Public Works, and Transportation Departments; and, local experts in engineering, architecture and urban design.
In May 2015, the City of Miami Beach entered into a partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Design for a series of sponsored design studios to study the impacts of and potential responses to sea level rise in coastal communities like Miami Beach. The multi -year research project, aims to examine the implications of rising sea levels and increased storm events on our city’s economy, ecology, infrastructure, and community identity. The studios have engaged Harvard faculty members and researchers, as well as other leading academics and professionals in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, planning, engineering, ecology, law and other related disciplines toward developing planning strategies that anticipate potential future scenarios and mitigate present threats.
In the spring of 2018, Harvard completed the study and published a report : South Florida and Sea Level – The Case of Miami Beach.
The final report can be previewed below and downloaded.
100 Resilient Cities, also referred to as 100RC, is an organization pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. 100RC is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC will provide expert consultant support to develop a Resilience Strategy for Greater Miami and the Beaches. 100RC Cities will have access to $200 million in solutions through consultant services over the next two-years as well as access to the network of peer cities
Greater Miami & the Beaches is a unique collaboration among Miami-Dade County, City of Miami Beach and City of Miami created to respond to global trends major metropolis’ face: urbanization, globalization and climate change. In the Spring of 2015, after a highly competitive process, Greater Miami and the Beaches was selected to join 100 Resilient Cities.
Urban resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.
Resilience planning is about making a city better, in both good times and bad, for the benefit of all its residents and visitors, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
Contact the Chief Resilience Officers
With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) was invited to assess the City of Miami Beach’s current stormwater management strategy. In recent years, the City has embarked on a proactive strategy to address flooding and sea level rise, which has included improving drainage systems, elevating roads and public seawalls and installing pumps to replace the aging gravity stormwater pipes. The Urban Land Institute hosted a workshop, led by ULI members from both the local ULI Southeast Florida/Caribbean District Council and the national Urban Resilience program.
The final report can be viewed or downloaded below:
View the video of ULI’s report presentation and Q&A session on the city’s stormwater program:
The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact (Compact) began as a collaborative effort among Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, their municipalities, and their partners. The purpose of the Compact is to unite, organize, and assess the southeast Florida region through the lens of climate change and develop unified action over the next five years. Miami Beach has been a leader within the Compact partners in forging climate adaption and mitigation initiatives forward within the region. From our enhanced stormwater management system to the Atlantic Greenway Network that provides safe alternative pedestrian and bicycle network. This is a great partnership that enhances the city’s accomplishments while learning more about our regional partners’ initiatives.
In October 2012, the Compact released the Regional Climate Action Plan (RCAP). The RCAP’s overall objective is to integrate climate adaptation and mitigation into existing decision-making systems and to develop a plan that can be implemented through existing local and regional agencies, processes and organizations. In 2017, the compact began developing the second Regional Climate Action Plan (RCAP 2.0) and seeks the views of local government staff, key stakeholders and partners, and members of the general public on the issues of foremost regional importance.
In early 2020, the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact reunited their Sea Level Rise Workgroup to release their 2019 Unified Sea Level Rise projections with updated data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The 2019 projection estimates an overall increase from the earlier projections released in 2015. Increase in sea level is estimated to be approximately 10 to 17 inches by 2030, 21 to 54 inches by 2070, and 40 to 136 inches by 2120.