Miami’s Solutions to Guard against Infrastructure Damage and Climate Change

The city of Miami has demonstrated remarkable resiliency for sewer infrastructures in the Southeast region of Florida. As a coastal city with strong geographical growth constraints, Miami is already experiencing the effects of climate change, including frequent tidal floods. The city is planning a Sea-Level Rise Pilot Program that will use geographic information system data to strengthen innovation and resources for the residents of the city. The geology and topography of Miami make groundwater issues particularly challenging, making flooding issues problematic and frequent. Because of this, strategic and advanced planning becomes a necessity. With the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, a planning committee, a task force of sorts, has been put in place to best prepare for hurricanes and flooding. The committee is expected to become available in all 34 cities in Miami-Dade County. This agenda will be used as a strengthening mechanism for many infrastructures within the city and will help manage coastal areas. Organizing greenTop of FormBottom of Form infrastructure along the coastline is part of the initiative, as well as understanding how green infrastructure like sand dunes, coral reefs and mangroves can reduce potential damages due to storm surge. What appears to be minor flooding can have a big impact on drainage and water flows, primarily due to the very flat terrain.

Miami Beach—where flooding impacts have been more pressing—has self-financed investment in flood pumps and elevating roads. This accommodation required raising sewer fees in certain areas of the city. However, residents have been receptive to Miami’s efforts in implementing coastal infrastructure protection measures. The agenda is also expected to be a helpful tool for the economic stability of the region. Miami continues to be viewed as a trendsetter on sea-level rise and climate change solutions.

Interesting fact: A house built above storm surge height will make the property more resilient when facing long-term risks from higher sea levels.


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