Miami Beach Establishes "READY" Team for Resiliency

Resiliency

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach Establishes "READY" Team for Resiliency:

Move follows independent review of city's efforts

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales has established a READY – Resilience Enhancement Action Design for YOU – team in response to the independent review of the City’s stormwater management and climate adaptation strategies. The team will be co-chaired by Assistant City Managers Susy Torriente and Eric Carpenter.
 
In addition to this week’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) panel of experts that gave high marks to the City’s initiatives to date along with suggestions for enhancements, the City also recently received the results of a two-year Harvard Graduate School of Design study.

Morales announced the team in a Letter to Commission today. He called the Harvard study “a source of inspiration for innovative design options that integrate green infrastructure with robust engineering”. Referring to the ULI team, he wrote, “Their preliminary findings were not only a validation of our initial efforts, but also a call to raise our standards to ensure a livable and sustainable community.”
 
“I am convinced that we must continue to invest in replacing our aging infrastructure (including water and sanitary sewer) and adapt to sea level rise over time,” Morales wrote. “I am also convinced that as we work our way around the city, we can improve design and deployment.”
 
The READY team is being instituted “in advance of and in preparation for the complete Urban Land Institute final report this summer,” Morales said.
 
The team will convene staff at least once per month “to review all neighborhood design and construction programs as they are being developed for the procurement process,” Morales wrote. “They will bring in our diverse team of experts in not only engineering, but also, resilience and strategic planning, urban planning and design, landscape architecture, environment, sustainability, urban forestry, mobility, and other experts as needed. Together they will package and inform future neighborhood projects in a more interdisciplinary manner, looking for the co-benefits we have been discussing lately.”
 
“I am very excited about this next phase of the Miami Beach adaptation and resilience journey," Torriente told RE:MiamiBeach. “I always envisioned that our broader resilience strategy would be built on the successful engineering foundation.”

Carpenter told us, "I look forward to continuing to advance both the green and gray infrastructure of the City through the READY Team.  As the ULI panel mentioned the continued collaboration of all parties is key to the future of Miami Beach."
 
In addition to the Harvard and ULI reports, the team will look to the 100 Resilient Cities process, the upcoming business case analysis, the public process, and professional recommendations developed by staff and consultants “based on the best available science and/or engineering appropriate,” Morales said.

The READY team will also develop a strategic neighborhood communications plan by analyzing what has worked and not worked during the process so far. “The goal is to create a dialogue with the community to understand resident requests and to communicate how staff develops recommendations for Commission action,” Morales wrote.
 
Carpenter will continue to work with the Public Works, Capital Improvement Projects, and Parks Departments in his role as Assistant City Manager. Morales said Carpenter will also focus on updating the stormwater management plan based on the new information “and ultimate Commission direction”.
 
Torriente will continue in her dual role as Assistant City Manager and Chief Resiliency Officer (CRO). Torriente and Deputy CRO Amy Knowles are working on the Greater Miami and the Beaches Resilience Strategy while also developing the Miami Beach Resilience Strategy, the city's strategic plan. Both are expected to be released in 2019 with the support of the 100 Resilient Cities network
 
 

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