Sea level rise, an increase in the level of the world's oceans due to the effects of climate change, is one of the primary threats to the infrastructure of South Florida, one of the world’s largest economic hubs. Miami Beach is one of the areas most vulnerable to sea level rise and the flooding it causes, especially during seasonal king tides, according to research by FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts’ Eyes on the Rise.
To help combat this, FIU Architecture has collaborated with the City of Miami Beach to develop an inspirational resilience vision campaign that imagines what the tropical-metropolis would look like in the year 2070 as the city plans and adapts to sea level rise. As a result, an advanced architecture design studio course titled “Historic Preservation, Sea Level Rise, and Inspirational Resiliency Visions for Miami Beach in 2070” was created.
Taught by FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios’ John Stuart, the course consists of three parts, with a focus on the Flamingo Park Historic District — from Meridian Avenue to Lincoln Road south to Española Way.
“Students will first develop detailed historic contexts for the building of their choice and will then study the city’s resilience-building guidelines — utilizing sea level rise projections and data to outline ways the buildings can be preserved that include green, blue and gray infrastructure and technological innovations,” explained Stuart.
Lastly, students will develop models and renderings that showcase daily life in the city’s preserved historic district in 2070 while transforming it into a more resilient neighborhood for the future.
“Creating innovative adaptations was a key part of the 2018 Urban Land Institute review of our resilience strategies,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “We’re proud to partner with FIU’s students and faculty to develop that vision for our community and ensure Miami Beach remains a vibrant place to live for many decades to come.”
“Historic districts make Miami Beach special and are strong economic drivers,” added Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian. “I am very much looking forward to seeing the students’ planned mitigation and adaptation measures as they envision our future.”
The outcome of this course will not only benefit the South Florida and Miami Beach communities as a whole, but the architecture students individually. The course allows for the opportunity to collaborate with a government entity and further prepare students for the workforce through relationship-building and skill enhancement.
Students who have completed the requirements to be considered in their last year of the architecture program may contact their academic advisors for information on how to be selected for the course.