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  • Writer's pictureAaron DeMayo

'The ocean is rising — and so is Miami’s skyline'

The coastal city wants to build its way out of climate change. Is that smart?


Vox’s Umair Irfan recently sat down with Aaron J. DeMayo to discuss building in a challenging environment like South Florida. The detailed article highlights how Future Vision Studios and other architects, developers, scientists, and researchers work together to adapt to these significant financial, environmental, and planning issues.


“The results of Miami’s experiments in adapting to climate change are critical for the rest of the country. More than 40 percent of the US population lives in a coastal county, and that number is growing. Nearly half of the country’s economic output is in sight of the shore, and without any interventions, the rising seas will displace millions of people. “The risks have been there, and with climate change, they’re going to intensify,” said James Murley, the chief resilience officer for Miami-Dade County.”


“The City of Miami’s stormwater master plan — comprising pumps, sea walls, pipes, and injection wells — is projected to cost $3.8 billion over the next four decades. The city also issued a $400 million bond to fund resilience projects, but has yet to fully allocate the money. “Even when we have the funds available, we don’t have the staff to deploy that capital,” said Aaron DeMayo, an architectural designer and urban planner in Miami.” The Miami Forever Bond has been helpful to fund projects. However, the projects still must be planned, designed, and overseen, and the scale of that work is immense.


“DeMayo published his own proposal to build a region-wide network of levees, locks, green spaces, and barriers, effectively gating Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach to protect their respective shorelines from tides and storm surges.” This project is critical to maintain insurance throughout our region and adequately plan where to retreat, build, and adapt.


We're grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this conversation and collaborate with experts in our community.

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