100RC and Columbia University Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes Choose 5 South Florida Projects to Participate in Resilience Accelerator

Building Upon Resilient Greater Miami & the Beaches Partnership and the Southeast Florida Climate Compact, Resilience Accelerator Launches in City of Miami Beach, the City of Miami, Miami Dade County, City of West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach County

Accelerator Kicks Off with Workshop Hosted by Resilient 305, 100 Resilient Cities, Columbia University Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, and The Miami Foundation

MIAMI – Mayors Dan Gelber, Francis Suarez, Carlos Gimenez, Melissa McKinlay​, and Jeri Muoio, in partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), Columbia University’s Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes (CRCL), and The Miami Foundation today announce the selection of five projects to join the Resilience Accelerator. In response to urgent urban challenges facing Greater Miami and the Palm Beaches, the partners have launched this work via a convening of multi-disciplinary expertise. The workshop runs from August 6 to 8, with a focus on advancing strategy and project design; opening and closing sessions are open to the public.

The Resilience Accelerator brings together creative minds and diverse resources to announce, improve, accelerate, market, and implement resilience projects in order to better the lives of people in cities and other urban areas. Its core component is a multi-day workshop which, driven by research and design, offers targeted technical support to increase the resilience value of municipal projects. This Workshop, in taking on five priority projects, is designed to encourage project owners and stakeholders to consider how they may have a larger impact on the Southeast Florida region’s greater resilience efforts. The selected projects span urban sectors and geography, and will each be considered at a project, neighborhood, and regional scale.

“We are confident that this collaborative process will expeditiously enhance efforts to address our resiliency challenges,” said Mayor Dan Gelber, Miami Beach.

“Miami-Dade County continues to be a model of excellence in the 100 Resilient Cities program,” said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Miami-Dade County. “Transportation and mobility are critical components for a resilient community, and we are committed to continue our efforts in this area.”

The Resilience Accelerator is a partnership between 100 Resilient Cities – an organization dedicated to helping cities become more resilient to the shocks and stresses that are a growing part of the 21st century – and Columbia University’s Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes (CRCL). The Accelerator was announced at the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Miami Workshop is one of four Resilience Accelerator projects to happen in 2018, which other site selections to be announced at a later date.

“These workshops are exciting opportunities to continue working together towards making Miami, Miami Beach, and Miami-Dade County the most resilient area in the country, if not the world,” said Mayor Francis Suarez, City of Miami. “This is a truly regional issue, as the challenges we face every day don’t discriminate based on municipal boundaries.”

The thriving metropolitan areas of Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach, came together as Resilient 305 to join the 100RC global network in May 2016. Extended outreach has captured the interest of the City of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County. Outputs from the Resilience Accelerator will not only propel each of the five priority projects forward, but will also provide key examples of resilience in action for the forthcoming Resilient 305 Strategy.

“Confronted with an ever-changing landscape, Southeast Florida has emerged as a champion of resilience thinking and action,” said Samuel Carter, Resilience Accelerator Director at 100 Resilient Cities. “The Miami Workshop is an exciting opportunity to not only demonstrate how resilience thinking brings impact to these five sites, but also how this approach can be utilized in response to regional challenges – for the next 50 and 5,000 projects.”

West Avenue – City of Miami Beach

West Avenue is vulnerable to coastal flooding from both high tides and heavy storms because of its low topography and high-water table. To maintain street access during ever-more frequent flood events, the City of Miami Beach has already elevated several street ends and road segments in the area to an elevation of 3.7 NAVD. Project implementation has been stalled due to disagreements in the community on roadway alignment, on-street parking, turn lanes, bicycle routes, and “harmonization,” i.e. the manner in which the elevated street meets pre-existing properties. The Resilience Accelerator will provide recommendations for resolving the conflict; outputs from the workshop will inform a new round of designs from the contractor, addressing community concerns and incorporating holistic interventions to flooding such as green infrastructure.

Brickell Bay Drive – City of Miami

Miami’s fastest growing and most dense neighborhood, Brickell nevertheless sits at a base flood elevation of only 12’ NAVD. The section of Brickell Bay Drive adjacent to the bayfront features an existing walkway which is narrow and poorly utilized; its aging sea wall is far below the neighboring sea wall to the north, and was overtopped by Hurricane Irma’s storm surge in September 2017. The City has commissioned a storm water masterplan which will likely recommend sea walls to be built several feet higher. The City also sees this stretch of waterfront as an ideal place to test innovative approaches to shoreline protection through a demonstration project funded in part by Miami’s Forever Bond. The Resilience Accelerator will provide specific design recommendations for the demonstration project, as well as consider long-term maintenance and operations costs for innovative waterfront design.

South Corridor Stations – Miami Dade County

To create a more connected, integrated, and livable city, Miami Dade County is investing in a regional transportation network. Within the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan, the proposed South Corridor running from Dadeland South Metrorail station to Florida City will be home to much of the region’s anticipated population growth. An underutilized bus system uses the current right of way but lacks integration with the fast-growing neighborhoods it traverses. Even as these massive investments in transit are contemplated, public transportation ridership is declining. The Resilience Accelerator will identify potential programming for proposed public transit stations, with the aim of better integrating with the community and increasing ridership.

Monceaux Park – Palm Beach County and City of West Palm Beach

This neighborhood park features an existing concrete seawall, which is aging and subject to erosive effects of wind and wave action. The County has plans to build a living shoreline with native mangroves and spartina that attenuates wave action while also improving water quality, estuarine habitat, and biodiversity within the Lake Worth Lagoon. The Resilience Accelerator will provide design recommendations for the living shoreline components as well as assistance in the phasing and coordination of the City’s ongoing stormwater and sewer improvements and associated roadway improvements.

Rapid Re-Housing, a.k.a. “Cottage Homes” on Military Trail – Palm Beach County

A former Tax Collector’s satellite office located in a converted strip mall in an unincorporated area will become a place for people struggling with homelessness to get back on their feet. Planning and design considerations include providing wrap-around service access to a stock of housing, understanding the opportunity for a more traditional form of small-lot residential neighborhoods to address the housing needs for a larger segment of the general population and all socioeconomic groups, and designing a community within the spatial constraints of a land-constrained region. The Resilience Accelerator will work toward a conceptual design for the desired community, which could then be utilized in the development of a future request for proposal to implement the project – with the hope that it can serve as a pilot in the region and demonstrate a new approach to delivering affordable and workforce housing.


About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

About Columbia University’s Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes

The core mission of the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes is to help communities thrive in an age of climate uncertainty through convening workshops and pushing the design, funding, and implementation of innovative infrastructure projects in a range of global contexts. The Center extends Columbia University’s leadership in climate-related work and support of interdisciplinary collaborations with external partners to engage the most serious and challenging issues of our time. Through related academic programming, the Center will integrate resilience thinking into design education, bringing real-world challenges into the classroom to train future generations of design leaders.

About The Miami Foundation

The Miami Foundation partners with donors to champion their causes and improve local quality of life. Since 1967, we’ve done this by taking leadership on civic issues, investing in our community and nurturing philanthropy. Thanks to our more than 1,000 donors, we currently manage over $360 million in assets and have made almost $300 million in grants that create opportunities for residents, make Miami-Dade County more resilient and foster home-grown creativity. Learn more at miamifoundation.org.

About Resilient 305

As a member of the 100 Resilient Cities network, this effort is part of a unique partnership between Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami Beach and the City of Miami and is led by a Chief Resilience Officer from each local government. Together, we’re creating a plan that prepares for tomorrow—and includes everyone.

About The Southeast Florida SE FL Climate Change Compact

In January 2010, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties united to form the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact as a way to coordinate mitigation and adaptation activities across county lines. Since then, the four Compact counties have advanced local and regional responses to—and preparations for—the effects of climate change, including sea level rise, flooding, and economic and social disruptions. They have expanded to work with a growing number of federal, state, regional, municipal, nonprofit, academic, and private sector partners.

100 Resilient Cities: Andrew Brenner (ABrenner@100RC.org; 646-612-7236)
City of Miami Beach: Tonya Daniels (TonyaDaniels@miamibeachfl.gov; 305-216-9462)
City of Miami: Eugene Ramirez (Eramirez@miamigov.com; 305-416-1441)
Palm Beach County: Joseph Sophie (JSophie@pbcgov.org; 561-355-2206)