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How can Miami become more resilient? The Resilient 305 strategy has dozens of suggestions

May 29, 2019
By Lance Dixon
By The New Tropic

WHAT IS IT:  To create a region-wide resilience strategy for SoFlo, Resilient 305 is a joint effort between Miami-Dade County, the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, the Miami Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program.

HOW IT CAME TOGETHER: Those cities and the county’s chief resilience officers — along with many more employees — fanned out across the county hosting community meetings, focus groups, conducting surveys, and collecting ideas at workshops, until they were able to finalize the strategy.

Those meetings and discussions kicked off in 2016 and continued through the summer of 2018.

The team also reached out to the mayors and managers of all 34 municipalities across the county to get a sense of how they were  addressing the climate crisis, and what resources they needed.

“We were looking for those opportunities where this unique collaboration could make a difference, where technology and innovation could help us level and scale up, and how we could take equity and use it as a critical lens,” said Jane Gilbert, Miami’s chief resilience officer.

THE KEY FINDINGS: The strategy identifies about 50 action items and goals for Miami that range from doable in the next year or so, to longer-term ideas that will take about five or more years to implement.

That list includes a wide variety of options including:

  • Creating an Actionable Science Advisory Panel, in an effort to have cities and the county use science in a dedicated way to help with planning and design decision
  • Increasing training before hurricanes so neighbors can essentially act as first responders in the event of delayed assistance or extended power outages
  • Creating an educational program to increase resilience literacy in schools

Each Resilient 305 solution is structured with a three-pronged focus on places, people, and pathways.

Places puts an emphasis on physical things like creating affordable housing and improving transportation infrastructure. People is about maintaining citizens’ day-to-day lifestyles while also preparing for big events like a major storm or a financial crisis. And pathways is all about how SoFlo leaders and regular folks make it happen.

WHAT’S NEXT: Susanne Torriente, Miami Beach’s chief resilience officer, said that the team is excited to implement these ideas, and to continue some work that’s already started in her city and elsewhere.

She says that today is when Resilient 305 enters its pivot (which has a sort of backronym that stands for Progress, Innovation and Vision for Our Tomorrow).

“It’s going to be a small organization that we create to start putting together the work plan and setting a time table,” Torriente said.

Their goal is to start working toward the most accessible and “low-hanging fruit” action items, while still strategizing for the ones that require more concerted efforts.

“I think we’re now going to better prepared probably than any other place in the United States,” said James Murley, Miami-Dade chief resilience officer.

Disclosure: WhereBy.Us co-founder and chief operating officer Rebekah Monson is a member of Resilient 305’s steering committee.

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This article was posted by The New Tropic.