As each project is planned, designed and constructed, city staff works alongside a network of climate experts, urban planners and coastal engineers to identify the best, most feasible resilient-building solutions to integrate into its implementation.
Whether it is environmental resilience (to combat sea level rise or hurricane disasters), economic resilience (to withstand financial recession or rising interest rates) or societal resilience (to maintain civic space or a sense of community), each of the G.O. Bond Program’s 57 projects will help to prepare Miami Beach for whatever natural or human challenges the future may hold.
The majority of the G.O. Bond projects have some sort of energy-saving, storm-protecting, nature-preserving, and/or system-strengthening element. While some projects are completely and directly tied to the city's goals of increasing resilience, other projects are more indirectly contributory.
For example, the Street Tree Master Plan project has a $5 million G.O. Bond budget to fund the planting of up to 5,000 trees across Miami Beach. The sole purpose of this project is to expand the city's overall tree canopy footprint which is critical to the city's plan to reduce its heat island index, CO2 and soil erosion.
The Scott Rakow Youth Center project has its own $5 million budget to fund various site upgrades. Although the purpose of this project is mostly to enhance building aesthetics, increase site security and improve building maintenance, its scope of work includes the installation of impact glass for hurricane protection and a new "cool" roof for energy efficiency.
The Lens of Resilience
Surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the City of Miami Beach is a barrier island that is vulnerable to the challenges of sea level rise, flooding and tropical hurricanes. The G.O. Bond Program is meant to work in coordination with a variety of other city initiatives that are also working to strengthen Miami Beach's systems and structures for the future.
As a pioneer city in urban resilience, Miami Beach follows a forward-thinking strategy that tackles socioeconomic and organizational goals through the lens of resilience. The resilience strategy model is designed to meet the needs of today while also planning for the city of tomorrow. The Strategic Plan through the Lens of Resilience identifies the G.O. Bond Program as a Commission Goal, a Management Objective, and a Featured Action in its "Organizational Innovation Vision".
Separate from the $439 million G.O. Bond Program, the city has a robust stormwater management program that is designed to address the many challenges that are associated with being a low-lying and coastal community. City officials have also passed several environmental regulations and ordinances to reduce waste, protect shorelines and preserve natural habitats.
The city’s resilience initiatives have been recognized and rewarded by major national and international institutions and industries. The city's Community Rating Score (CRS) the National Flood Insurance Program is a Class 5, which qualifies Miami Beach for 25% premium flood insurance discounts. The city's robust resiliency efforts have led to receiving great credit score ratings - a critical factor in the success of Miami Beach's municipal bond sales.
"In our view, the city's position as an internationally renowned destination supports its robust economy and real estate market, which has exhibited a high degree of historical growth and resilience despite being centered on what is traditionally a relatively volatile industry." - Standard & Poors (S&P) in a 2019 Miami Beach G.O. Bond Credit Ratings Report.