High Ground Is Becoming Hot Property as South Florida Sea Level Climbs


Click to enlargeMiami Herald

A sunny day in Miami – and the tide comes in

❝ One of the first sea-level rise maps Broadway Harewood saw was a few years back, when climate activists gathered in his neighborhood to talk about how global warming would affect people in less-affluent South Florida communities…

“Oh, Miami Beach is going under, the sea level is coming up,” Harewood said. “So now the rich people have to find a place to live. My property is 15 feet above sea level, theirs is what? Three under?

“So OK,” he said, taking on the voice of a rich developer, “let’s knock down the projects, and we move in and push them out…”

❝ One of the great ironies of those historic housing patterns in Miami is that for decades under Jim Crow, laws and zoning restricted black people to parts of the urban core, an older part of the community that sits on relatively higher ground along a limestone ridge that runs like a topographic stripe down the eastern coast of South Florida. Now, many of those neighborhoods, formerly redlined by lenders and in some places bound in by a literal color wall, have an amenity not yet in the real estate listings: They’re on higher ground and are less likely to flood as seas rise.

Whether it’s climate change or an eye for good real estate returns, historically black communities on higher ground are increasingly in the sights of speculators and investors. Real estate investment may no longer be just about the next hot neighborhood, it may also now be about the next dry neighborhood.

RTFA for the whole story, details and futures to follow. Gentrification has added a few new qualities to what makes a hot profit-neighborhood. Height above sea level counts for a lot of investment dollar$. Even if the duds in DC don’t care to talk about it.

2 thoughts on “High Ground Is Becoming Hot Property as South Florida Sea Level Climbs

  1. Floridabulous says:

    “A $3 billion problem: Miami-Dade’s septic tanks are already failing due to sea rise” (Miami Herald 1/10/19) https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article224132115.html As sea level rise encroaches on South Florida, the Miami-Dade County study shows that thousands more residents may be at risk — and soon https://www.miamidade.gov/green/library/vulnerability-septic-systems-sea-level-rise.pdf By 2040, 64 percent of county septic tanks (more than 67,000) could have issues every year, affecting not only the people who rely on them for sewage treatment, but the region’s water supply and the health of anyone who wades through floodwaters. High tides or heavy rains can push feces-filled water elsewhere, including King Tide floodwaters — as pointed out in a 2016 study from Florida International University and NOAA — or possibly the region’s drinking supply. http://www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2015-Compact-Unified-Sea-Level-Rise-Projection.pdf
    “In Florida, officials ban term ‘climate change'” (Miami Herald 2015) https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article12983720.html

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