Introduction

South Florida Resilient Redesign is a Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact (the Compact) design session event which was held for a second time on July 19 – 22, 2015 at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Davie Campus in cooperation with the Florida Climate Institute (FCI) member universities of FAU, Florida International University, University of Florida and University of Miami.

Over the four days the team of volunteer experts who donated their time from both the private and public sectors, as well as academia, designed strategies which can serve as models of resilience for communities throughout the South Florida region. The objective of the design sessions is to identify the physical and planning adaptations necessary to reduce the risk and potential for disruptions, damage and economic losses associated with climate change, severe storms, water supply constraints while considering the preservation of historic and community character and the prominent integration of natural infrastructure. While design strategies are organized around the case study sites, the goal of the workshop is to develop transferable models relevant to development and redevelopment opportunities throughout the region.

The South Florida Resilient Redesign II Workshop is organized as part of a series of regional convenings organized around the priority recommendations of the Regional Climate Action Plan developed and adopted by the Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties as partners to the four-county Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact (Compact).  Support for this workshop is provided by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and the Kresge Foundation, as well as FCI. A summary of the workshop outcomes were presented at the Compact’s 7th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit on December 1-3, 2015 in Key West, Florida.

Background

The Southeast Florida Resilient Redesign began July 2014, when the  Compact collaborated with the Dutch Consulate in Miami to work with local practitioners and stakeholders and experts from the Netherlands to propose resilient design strategies which could serve as models of resilience for communities throughout the south Florida region.  The emphasis being on the integration of design solutions into future development and redevelopment projects, and in advance of a major climate disruption.  This partnership resulted in South Florida Resilient Redesign (SFRR).

For the first exercise, three characteristic south Florida landscapes were chosen to serve as model sites with the intent to develop transferable design solutions for similar sites across the region, these included: Alton Road in Miami Beach, an area of Sweetwater in Miami Dade and Dania Beach Blvd. in Dania Beach, each representing a barrier island site, suburban site and commercial corridor, respectively.

On the first day, visiting experts and local stakeholders made site visits, learning about the locations on various levels, including details pertaining to cultural, economic, social, historic, topographic, elevation, infrastructure and building stock considerations.

The larger event was held on days two and three and included the participation of nearly 50 professionals with diverse expertise, including water managers, architects, engineers, parks managers, planners, hydrologists, and engineers.  In a charrette style format, the group began with a review of the south Florida landscape and development history and then began to consider how to design a resilient community in each of the select settings in response to climate change and natural hazards, while considering area resources or constraints, social dynamics, compatibility with the community’s vision and economics, water management infrastructure and implications to neighboring communities.  Other considerations were historic preservation, uniformity, aging infrastructure, evacuation routes, soil permeability, flood hazards, area transit and connections.

The design results were shared with an audience of stakeholders on the final day and then presented at the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit held in October 2014.  As a result of this initial collaboration, the City of Dania Beach is now working with Broward County on further refining planning scenarios and design recommendations under an EPA planning grant.