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If You Cant Beat it


In the past few years, there has been a lot of conversation about the lately raising of the Miami sea levels and how this will affect the future of the city. What is most notable is that this will obviously affect the most expensive zones of the city where the most ambitious real estate is located and where the wealthy live but also where the most important elements of the city are being located (Museums, stadiums, etc). There’s not much that can be done to reverse this phenomenon, its effects can only be reduced but the flooding of some of Miami need to be taken into account as it will be imminent.

"..Florida could rise another half a foot by 2030, and two more feet by 2060..."

-(Nobel 2014)

As planners and designers, a different approach must be made today, as it may be a problem of the future but the structure and neighborhoods we build today will have to be relevant for the decades to come. The designs for the entire city need to account for flooding’s, as expressed by the author Edgar Kiviet in this post, “Combine functionality with design by integrating infrastructure with public spaces such as parks, squares, sports and playgrounds, in such a way that they can serve as temporary rainwater storage areas.”. Designs need to be functional, they need to account for this anomalies and integrate them so when the sea level rise, the flooding’s can actually serve a role that the designers anticipated, creating structures that will change with the seasons as the floods come and go. What needs to be done?

  • As said, architects and designers need to create structures that accommodate for these events.

  • Planners need to design cities that have destined public spaces in the possible flooding zones to eliminate the risk of a catastrophe and using these spaces as temporary water banks and confinement zones.

  • Landscape architects need to design landscapes that can withstand the high and low flooding seasons, using vegetation that is capable of withstanding these events and using topography to create slopes that protect the near structures and roads.

  • Engineers should design a transportation system that wont be obstructed by any of these events, maybe elevated roads are the best way to go and these should be far from flooding zones.

This matter is a multidisciplinary issue as a city is designed by all kinds of different professionals, its our duty to demand better designs today if we wish to see cities like Miami or NY being relevant by the 2030s. The effects of global warming can’t be reversed, but they can be foreseen and this is the key for a sustainable and successful city design.




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