Message from Miami Beach mayor Dan Gelber

Dear Resident,
Our City’s efforts to address sea level rise, stormwater and flooding are not a simple task. Raising 60 miles of streets and installing a new pump system is both expensive and disruptive. In order to ensure our efforts are not misguided and your tax dollars not misspent, the City had two separate groups review our program with a view to making sure we are getting this right.
Both studies confirmed that our program was credible and necessary to preserve the integrity and value of our properties. But both studies also made suggestions as to how we could do this better. Additionally, we have discovered ways to improve our program from our own experiences in the projects we have already undertaken.
I believe a government that doesn’t challenge its assumptions, learn from its history, and embrace criticism does a disservice to its residents. Our City staff — from our Manager Jimmy Morales to all those responsible for implementing these projects — feel the same way. They are excited about improving our efforts and incorporating these suggestions.
We are fully committed to continuing this program. The seas are still rising, the rain events are intensifying, and if we do nothing or simply kick this can down the road, we will put our homes and properties in peril. This isn’t “pausing” our program, it’s a reorientation. We have simply done what any mature government should do, which is seek the most informed perspectives possible and incorporate them into our plans so our residents and businesses receive the benefit of the best available thinking.
That is why our Manager is recommending that the City take the following steps in the short term:
  • Integrate green, blue and gray infrastructure into our stormwater plan through dynamic modeling and design criteria. This will involve the issuance of an RFQ in July to identify a multidisciplinary firm that can take the completed AECOM engineering models and create an integrated neighborhood improvement plan. This firm will also work with City staff to prepare the design criteria package for each neighborhood project moving forward (including the La Gorce neighborhood project).
  • Finish existing projects that are underway (including Indian Creek) and complete the citywide modeling work currently being done by AECOM;
  • Fix any issues that have been identified with completed projects;
  • Move forward with the West Avenue project. In order to do this, we will be announcing next week a collaboration with a major research university that has proposed a demonstration “Acceleration” project that will take the existing plans and update them to integrate green, blue and gray infrastructure at no cost to the City (including the best practices as identified by Harvard, ULI and other sources). The revised plans will be presented to the Design Review Board for approval before actual construction commences.
The City Commission will be discussing this at its June 6th meeting which can be viewed on the City’s cable access channel.
I have included video animations below of our City’s elevations that may also give you a sense of the challenges within your own neighborhood.
Roads 3D FINAL
Click the preview above or click here to view the elevations of every major road in Miami Beach. A higher NAVD means higher elevation.
Click here or above to see the elevation of Indian Creek and Collins Avenue.
Click above or here to see just the roads with the lower elevations in our city.
Thanks for being engaged and, of course, feel free to reach out to me about any of these issues.

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