Historic building with pastel art-deco
(Credit: Elisa.rolle / Wikipedia)

Miami Beach is known for its nightlife and blue-green water. It’s also famous for the pastel art-deco buildings from the twenties and thirties that line the oceanfront boulevard in South Beach.

Torriente: “They’re a very important part of our history and really the, you know, the flavor of Miami Beach.”

Susy Torriente is the city’s chief resiliency officer. She says that as seas rise, these and other historic buildings in Miami Beach are at risk of flooding.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Relocating electrical equipment might be enough to protect some buildings. But in other places, whole homes may need to be elevated.

Torriente: “… and that is allowable, and doable, but it’s expensive.”

So Torriente says not every structure can be saved.

The city has convened a team of architects, urban planners, and coastal engineers to identify which buildings are most endangered, and outline what it will take to protect them.

Torriente: “This process will also help us define what are the properties that are really considered the gems that we want to save, versus some of the properties that aren’t necessarily as significant, and so that’ll be a very transparent process working with our community so that we can make those decisions together.”

Reporting credit: Daisy Simmons/ChavoBart Digital Media.