- The City of Miami held the first of eight community workshops on climate change this week, part of an outreach effort as city officials finalize a climate mitigation and adaptation plan.
The City’s Resilience & Sustainability Dept. held a Climate Ready Miami Community Meeting last night at Virrick Park. This meeting was the first in a series of eight to get residents’ input on what issues & initiatives should be prioritized in the “Climate Ready Miami” strategy. pic.twitter.com/yNULsVUISm— City of Miami (@CityofMiami) July 30, 2019
- The Climate Ready Miami strategy will be a multi-year plan to address the risks of climate change, including flooding, storms, health and rising temperatures. The plan is set to be released this fall.
- Alissa Farina, resilience programs manager for the city's office of resilience and sustainability, said the meetings are meant to educate residents and hear more about their priorities, which will inform how the plan is implemented and what projects are funded first.
The first community meeting was held Monday in the Coconut Grove district, which encompasses a mix of wealthy coastline homes and a historically black neighborhood.
That, Farina said, brought a mix of concerns about climate change, from the coastal homeowners worried about rising sea levels and storms to minority residents who spoke out about environmental injustice.
Farina said there were two major themes: a desire for more community education about climate's impacts and the role citizens can play, and "an interest in integrated solutions that aren’t just gray infrastructure." Even as residents acknowledged that new building was necessary to protect the city's coast, "aesthetics and connection to nature were really important," Farina said.
The next seven meetings will be held over the next two months, supported with a grant from the Funders Network for Smart Growth and the Miami Foundation. The city is doing online, print and in-person outreach to maximize attendance (the Monday session had roughly 25 attendees) and reach beyond the people who would normally attend such a meeting.
Facing immediate threats from sea level rise, Miami has been aggressive in crafting climate resilience policies.
In May, the cities of Miami and Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County, in partnership with The Miami Foundation and 100 Resilient Cities, released Resilient305, a regional plan with more than 50 actions covering environment, infrastructure and economic prosperity.
Along with Climate Ready Miami, that will give the region a path for protecting citizens from the threats of climate change. As the federal government has downplayed climate change across the government, city and regional plans are becoming more important to deal with its implications, especially to ensure that adaptation plans meet the specific needs of their regions.