By Theresa Pinto, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Miami and Miami Beach came together on Thursday to announce the long-awaited Resilient305 Strategy. The Mayors of the three municipalities emphasized the multilateral teamwork that led to the Strategy, and that will continue during the hard work of implementation.
Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities, the organization that originally selected and funded the initiative through the Rockefeller Foundation, opened the launch by emphasizing the unique, regional organization of Resilient305 under Greater Miami and the Beaches (GM&B), the official partnership amongst the County, Miami, and Miami Beach.
As opposed to a single municipality, only three other regions besides GM&B were selected to be part of the Resilient Cities network. And there is great hope that the regional network will not stop there.
GM&B have plans to include the other 32 municipalities in the Greater Miami area in order to continue to foster the overall collaborative nature of the Strategy, lauding the Cities that have already signed the Mayors’ Accord pledge to Resilient305.
And Mayors from many municipalities across the region were present for the launch. As County Mayor Carlos Gimenez stated, he didn’t expect such a big turnout for the “wonky announcement of a blueprint.”
The Strategy itself focuses on three broad lenses to work through — places, people, and pathways — and also recognizes the need to work across fields and domains. Led by GM&B and the Miami Foundation, the PIVOT team (Progress, Innovation, and Vision for Our Tomorrow) will implement the Strategy along with the help of many local partners.
One of them will be a new affiliation of the University of Miami, Florida International University, and Miami Dade College under the Metrolab Network, tasked with creating a “resiliency dashboard”. However the Strategy mainly involves enhancing 59 ‘specific actions’ presently in place throughout the region.
Gimenez pointed out that $192 million in funding had already been raised and budgeted for flood risk mitigation. Although some controversy over whether raised streets and powered pumps are the correct measures to take, there is general consensus that the group’s collaborative efforts are the right path forward, from the international to the hyper-local organizations present at the launch.
During Q&A at the end of the presentation, a member of the audience asked if there would be any citizen resiliency training included in the strategy. Jane Gilbert, the Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of Miami responded that they already have a program in place to do just that.
The Citizens Emergency Response Training or CERT program is a forty-hour volunteer emergency training that prepares citizens to be the best first response to the shocks and stresses that disasters might bring.
Gilbert said the program will begin to fold in sea level rise preparedness and will be shared across the region. To her point, it will take the cooperation and collaborative efforts of everyone, not just GM&B, to prepare for the incoming seas.