Miami has a bit of a sea level issue happening right now. Each year, the sea levels are rising one inch, meaning that at the current pace, by the end of the century they will have risen six feet. A rise of six feet means that areas of the city such as Little Havana, downtown Miami, and Miami Beach could be flooded permanently. Since Miami is built on porous limestone, even if seawalls were built, the water would still be able to seep into the city from underneath.
However, judging by the $10 billion worth of development currently underway in downtown Miami, people don’t seem to be too concerned. For many, these rising sea levels are a bit of an out of sight, out of mind issue. Flooded land 100 years in the future doesn’t affect people’s desire to live along the coast today.
Some people, however, are looking into the future and calling for more construction farther inland on higher ground. But this comes with a whole host of other problems. Less-expensive housing and trailer parks currently occupy much of the land at higher elevation that surrounds Miami. But now, it has become prime real estate for investors and the low-income residents who currently live in these places are being pushed out.
Battles between investors trying to buy land for development and the residents who currently live on that land will most likely be occurring in Miami for the foreseeable future as the city begins an effort to adapt for the future.