The City of North Miami joined forces with the Van Alen Institute and Urban Impact Lab to transformed an empty, flood-prone lot in North Miami into a safe, usable space that brings community members together, adapts to climate impacts over time, and reduces the cost of flood insurance. The project—called Keeping Current: A Sea Level Rise Challenge for Greater Miami—launched in April 2019, inviting architects and designers from around the globe to submit proposals that reimagine and repurpose the City of North Miami’s portfolio of flood-prone vacant lots, known as repetitive loss properties.
The winning designer—Department Design Office—proposed the lot, located at 901 NE 144 Street, North Miami, FL 33161, be turned into an open-air community space that doubles as a storm water reservoir. The design features a retention pond that can hold water for up to twenty (20) surrounding lots. Inside the pond, there is an art piece that uses physical markers that rise above the water to indicate the current level of flooding. This doubles as an opportunity to increase local awareness about how much water the area receives.