In Miami these days, everything is related to altitude, altitude, and altitude.
Although some scientific models predict that by 2100, enough polar ice will melt South Florida by at least 10 feet, but only a modest 12 inches will make 15% of Miami uninhabitable, and most of the waterfront assets are the most in the United States. One of valuable assets.
Even now, as more and more “tides” emerge from the porous limestone in Florida, pushing fish across the sewers and flowing to the streets, residents are becoming more aware that their city is built on the undulating layers of the fossil seabed Shelf, ridge and canyon.
Sam Purkis, director of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Miami, said: “The water has returned to the previous waters.” “Ironically, what happened 125,000 years ago will determine what is happening in houses now.”
Unpredictable changes between city blocks may mean the difference between survival and retreat, and the rise in altitude is triggering significant changes in community activities and municipal budgets.
Pinecrest ’s neighbors formed the first underwater homeowners ’association in the United States (with the highland yard logo on it) and appointed a marine scientist as the chairman.
Miami Beach has spent millions of dollars to raise roads, upgrade pumps and change building codes so that residents can raise luxury homes by five feet.
But in working-class immigrant communities like Little Haiti, the rising sea level has lost its way in everyday struggles, and most people do not know that their lives are three feet higher than those of the rich in Miami. beach.
They discovered when developers started calling from all over.
“They called from Venezuela from China. Community organizer and long-term resident Marleine Bastien said.” We used to think that the appeal of Little Haiti is that it is close to the city, close to two airports and close to the beach. We don’t know if this is because we are at a high altitude. “
She pointed to a row of vacant shops, outlined the names of a dozen small business owners she said were forced to quit due to rising rents, and listed some others that she unknowingly accepted low-price offers without understanding People in Miami’s housing crisis.
“If you sell a house in Little Haiti, you will think that you are doing a big business, and only after the sale will you realize, ‘Oh, I can’t buy it anywhere else.'”
After her community center and day school priced from three different buildings, she followed the plan to build a $ 1 billion Magic City development project on the edge of Little Haiti, including the promenade, high-end retail stores, and high-rise The apartment was conceived by a consortium of local investors, including the founder of Cirque du Soleil.
Magic City developers insist that they choose sites based on location rather than altitude.
They promised to keep Little Haiti’s soul and provide the community with $ 31 million for affordable housing and other plans, but this is far from enough for Bastien. She said: “This is actually a plan to eliminate Little Haiti.” “Because this is where immigration and climate advancement conflict.”
She fought against all the protesters and the handwritten signs she could call, but until the debate ended at 1pm, the Commissioner approved the permit with a 3-0 vote at the end of June.
Max Sklar, vice president of Plaza Equity Partners and member of the development team, said: “The area we occupy is all industrial.” “There is no real prosperous economy around these warehouses or vacant lots. Therefore, our goal is to create this economy.
“Can we appease everyone? Not 100%, this is not feasible. This is unrealistic. But we have listened to them.”
He reiterated his commitment to donate US $ 6 million to the Little Haiti Community Trust Fund until the ground was damaged, and said he heard at least one request and admitted that the complex is now called Magic City Little Haiti.
However, when Bastien mourned her failure, her neighbor and organizer Leonie Hermantin welcomed it and hoped to achieve the best results. She said: “Even if Magic City does not come today, the pace of upscale is so fast that our people can’t afford the houses here anyway.” “Magic City is not a government. Affordable housing policy must come from the government. “
The Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, told me: “Climate escalation is something we have been closely watching.” “But we have not seen any direct evidence.”
Suarez is a rare Republican who enthusiastically defended the climate mitigation plan and helped support the $ 400 million Miami Forever Bond, which was approved by voters to fund action to protect the city from the waves And strong storms.
He said: “Actually, we created a sustainable fund in Miami’s forever first payment to allow people to renovate their houses so that they can stay in their own houses without having to sell them.”
However, in a city where more than a quarter of residents live below the poverty line, the funding is relatively small, at only US $ 15 million, not enough to alleviate housing exacerbated by each heat wave and hurricane crisis.
Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, said that there is already evidence showing how the climate crisis has affected the rich and the poor differently.
He pointed out that the person who suffered the most may be the one with the least responsibility. Alston wrote last month: “Conversely, although the poor account for only a small portion of global emissions, they will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change and have the weakest ability to protect themselves.”