Holistic Approach Can Make Miami’s Urban Waterfront More Resilient

Published on November 26, 2019

ULI Logo.png

(Miami, FL November 26, 2019) – According to a report released this week by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the City of Miami should take a holistic approach and bring existing plans and visions together to make its urban waterfront more resilient to climate change impacts. The new ULI report is based on recommendations from a panel of land use and urban development experts convened last year through ULI’s advisory services program to advise the city on strategic recommendations, design guidelines, funding opportunities, policy approaches, and an implementation plan to bolster the resilience of Miami’s waterfront.

“The Urban Land Institute assembled an extraordinarily talented panel who interviewed close to 80 diverse stakeholders in our community,” said City Manager Emilio T. Gonzalez. “These recommendations are being incorporated into the update to our waterfront design standards and citywide resilience strategy.”  

The panel’s visit, which took place from June 2-7, was sponsored by the City of Miami and included tours of the waterfront, as well as interviews with a variety of stakeholders in the community. The visit concluded with initial recommendations by the panel, which were explained in further detail in the report.

The panel recommended that the City:

  • embrace the legacy of the waterfront through design to protect from water, live with water, and create value from water;
  • return to Miami’s history and embrace sensitive transit-oriented development (TOD) on the ridge for future growth;
  • bring existing plans and visions together, act on strategies, and evaluate the outcomes;
  • pursue a portfolio of financial strategies to become the world leader in resilient finance, investment, and construction; and
  • reduce uncertainty for the community and private market through predictability, transparency, and accountability.

The panel was chaired by leading ULI member Ladd Keith, chair, Sustainable Built Environments Program, University of Arizona, College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, Tucson, Arizona.

“The City of Miami and Downtown Development Authority requested that the Urban Land Institute convene a panel of national experts to address the increasing risks of flooding and extreme heat to their urban waterfront,” said Keith. “Our recommendations ultimately balance the various aspects of resilience—economic and social, along with the corresponding environmental challenges and opportunities—and give the city a practical suite of actions they can take to advance the resilience of their urban waterfront.”

Ladd was joined on the panel by Michelle Beaman Chang, found and chief executive office, Imby Community Inc., Washington, D.C.; Jason Bonnet, vice president, development, Brookfield Properties, San Francisco, California; Samia Byrd, deputy county manager, County of Arlington, Virginia, Springfield, Virginia; John Macomber, senior lecturer, Harvard Business school, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Michael Rodriguez, leader, market research and insight, CBRE Mid-Atlantic, Washington, D.C.; Susannah Ross, consultant, Landscape Architecture, Boston, Massachusetts; Matt Steenhoek, vice president, development, PN Hoffman, Washington, D.C.; Byron Stigge, founder, Level Infrastructure, New York, New York; and Jay Valgora, founder and principal, Studio V Architecture, New York, New York. Kevin Rogan, managing director, global real estate and hospitality practice, Marsh & McLennan, Miami, Florida, served as panel adviser.

For more than 70 years, ULI’s Advisory Services Program has assembled ULI members who are experts in the fields of real estate development and land use to advise communities facing complex urban development challenges.
ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by more than 44,000 members.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 45,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information on ULI, please visit uli.org  or follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.