Opinion

Miami-Dade’s unique strategy to deal with climate change | Opinion

In May, Miami-Dade County, Miami and Miami Beach collectively released Resilient305, a partnership among government, non-governmental, businesses and academic organizations designed to address the shocks and stresses posed to the Greater Miami & the Beaches (GM&B) from the warming climate.

As our community matures, we must work together to better prepare for shocks such as hurricanes, flooding, pandemics like Zika and infrastructure failures. Our collaboration can also mitigate stresses such as traffic, sea-level rise, affordable housing and expansion of economic opportunities.

With the support of 100 Resilient Cities pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, our strategy partner AECOM and our local champion The Miami Foundation, the Resilient305 Strategy was crafted over the last three years.

It is based on input from a series of public meetings, surveys and focus groups with the participation of thousands of stakeholders. Our residents and experts have shared success stories and opportunities throughout the 34 communities in Miami-Dade.

However, even our passion and dedication doesn’t prevent some of our most vulnerable citizens from falling through the cracks. We hope that the Resilient305 strategy will be the foundation of a successful network that will close our equity gaps. Together, we have an opportunity to work differently – more leadership, collaboration and leveraging of resources.

Resilient305 is a 20-year vision with 59 actions, some of which are already being implemented. Our Strategy has actions in three simple yet important categories — Places, People & Pathways.

Many of us came to this area because we were drawn by the beautiful natural environment. In Places, you will find actions centered on preserving our bay, bolstering our beaches, and creating mobility and neighborhood hubs.

Individual People are the heart and soul of a resilient neighborhood, society and city. In People you will find action items about creating financial stability for our residents and diverse communities, advancing public health opportunities from our youngest residents to our respected elders, and better preparing our community for disasters.

Pathways is our “how to.” Its actions lead us to resilience by sharing resources and providing training and capacity-building opportunities as we create our own Resilient 35 network in the 305.

To turn the actions into reality, we have launched the PIVOT team (Progress, Innovation, and Vision for Our Tomorrow), which is led by the GM&B team and The Miami Foundation. It will grow as participants are recruited for different action implementation.

With commitments to join the Resilient305 movement from 27 of the 34 mayors in Miami-Dade County, we are already well on our way to implementing the strategy. Commissions from Miami, Miami Beach and Miami-Dade voted to adopt the strategy as the policy that will guide their resilience efforts throughout all departments.

Moving forward, we are excited to continue this work as the first community partner of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center.

Resilient305 represents a new, unified approach that looks at the challenges we face through an innovative and holistic framework. This strategy can protect our tremendous natural environment and support the social and economic health of the region so our residents can both survive and thrive.

James Murley, Jane Gilbert and Susy Torriente are the Chief Resilience Officers for Miami Dade County, city of Miami and Miami Beach.

“The Invading Sea” is a collaboration of four South Florida media organizations — the Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel, and the Palm Beach Post and WLRN Public Media.

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