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How Are Real Estate Developers Combating Rising Sea Levels?

October 21, 2016

Although the overall theory of global warming may be a controversial subject, there is definitely no arguing the significant evidence that our climate is changing. Our planet is warmer than ever, there are evident changes in the timing of seasonal events, and tropical cyclones and hurricanes are becoming more and more intense every year. There are many more alarming results that come with this change in our climate. One of the biggest concerns is that our sea levels are rising. As a consequence, we need to properly prepare for this climate change with the right care and precautions.

The state of Florida is particularly vulnerable to climate change. This is due most significantly to the area’s general low elevation. Furthermore, many of Miami’s properties are on the coast. These coastal assets are estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Residents and businesses in South Florida, along with the rest of the nation, need to start taking this problem more seriously by formulating solutions for the inevitable effects of climate change. Encouragingly, some cities are already taking action. 

Beautiful view of park by water in New York City.

How is New York dealing with rising sea levels?

After the disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy, the city of New York has taken steps to establish an overall infrastructure network that is more resilient to floods and storms. One aspect of this strategy is to design and construct away from the water’s edge. This is a reversal of old practices where development strategies were pushed towards the water’s edge to maximize property views, user access, and income potential. Today’s best engineers believe that building away from the water’s edge like this should actually be a requirement for the city.

How is New Orleans dealing with rising sea levels?

After the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans has also implemented a new strategy to respect nature by promoting resiliency. The foundation of this initiative has been the construction of buildings that provide recreation and connectivity while still anticipating damage that could be caused by nature.

The Lafitte Greenway is a great example of this new innovative architecture. The Greenway is a 2.6-mile long linear park with two large residential buildings. “The Greenway’s emphasis on green spaces is part of a citywide storm resilience strategy to hold more rainfall on site to send it back into the water table, says Jeff Hebert, chief resilience officer for the city of New Orleans.”

With the rising climate, it’s essential to be prepared for any impact from storms and floods that could potentially cause damage. The cities of New Orleans and New York have evidently done a good job of doing so. 

Beautiful view of downtown Miami skyline.

How is Miami preparing for rising sea levels?

In Miami Beach, the city is fighting the sea level rise by installing pumps that actually take the water and push it back out to sea. To do this, the city has to elevate roads and add seawalls to be successful. Additionally, major thoroughfares are being rebuilt, new storm sewers, and pumps are being installed. This is a very expensive, albeit necessary, process. But, there is much more that needs to be done.

According to the Miami Herald, “To combat flooding, Miami Beach has launched a $400 million project that’s begun installing as many as 80 pump stations throughout the city. In addition, more roads on the island’s low-lying western edge will be rebuilt higher.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the current real estate industry in South Florida is not only remaining healthy. But, property values are going up as the city is starting to get serious about tackling the problems of climate change. That’s why now is the perfect time to get involved in real estate in South Florida. Contact Metro 1 today if you want to get involved in the future of Miami.

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