Posted by Clara-Meretan Kiah × 02/06/2015 at 4:39 pm

Curious to know if flooding will destroy your house by the end of the century? Take a trip over to theCoral Gables Museum and find out for yourself.

The museum currently features an exhibit on sea level rise put together by FIU students and faculty. A major feature is a 3-dimensional map of Miami-Dade County that lights up to show which areas of the county will be flooded at 2 feet, 4 feet and 6 feet of sea level rise.

The National Climate Assessment estimates that sea level will rise as much as 6-and-a-half feet by the year 2100.

Because South Florida’s topography is primarily low and flat, this could put nearly two-thirds of Miami-Dade County under water in 2100, according to Peter Harlem, a coordinator in FIU’s Geographic Information Systems Center.

[Miami 2100]

Students’ 3-D models show ways to adapt Miami’s infrastructure in preparation for rising sea levels.

“Miami 2100: Envisioning a Resilient Second Century” is the culmination of three years of research and design work by graduate students and faculty. It reimagines Miami in the next century and the changes that could be made to the city and its infrastructure to minimize damage from rising sea levels.

The exhibit combines 3-dimensional models of buildings, canals and roads; maps and illustrations of where flooding could occur; and video and computer-generated graphics to create a vision of what Miami could do to adapt in the future.

An interactive, touch-screen video wall in the exhibit features interviews with City of Miami Beach building directors, South Florida Water Management District officials and local politicians.

“It’s really looking at the way in which politicians, community activists, educators, engineers—a whole range of people—have been dealing with these issues,” said Marilys Nepomechie, a professor ofarchitecture who co-curated the exhibit.

“Miami 2100” grew from a National Science Foundation grant to conduct interdisciplinary work on vital environmental questions facing cities. Students learned about geology, ecology and water management.

Eric Peterson, an architecture professor who worked closely with students, said that the interdisciplinary work done to complete this project will set these students apart from the competition in the job field.

“In a way, the geographers, architects, landscape architects and so on at FIU work together to think in terms of what the future is like,” said Gail Hollander, associate professor of geography who helped direct the project.

Jorge Rodriguez, a graduate architecture student who helped design the exhibit’s layout, said “Miami 2100” has gained a lot of attention for sea level rise in the community, but has been met with some skepticism about the scientific proof behind it.

“We’re not providing proof this is going to happen,” said Rodriguez, “but we are prepared.”


“Miami 2100” will be on display at the Coral Gables Museum through March 1. Click here for museum hours and admission information.

Upcoming events related to the exhibit include a panel discussion on “Designing the Resilient City” on Thursday, Feb. 12, and a discussion with the University of Miami’s Dr. Harold Wanless on rising sea levels on Monday, Feb. 23. Both will take place at the Coral Gables Museum.

A lecture will be given at FIU in GC-140 on Wednesday, Feb. 25, on “Understanding Global Warming and Envisioning Local Impacts.”