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Last November, locals generated hundreds of ideas on how to build a more climate resilient and sustainable community during the 100 Great Ideas campaign. Now, it’s time to bring some of those top ideas to life.
How can we bring about climate solutions?
If South Florida is going to make it to the end of the century intact, we need to begin implementing climate resilience efforts now. Our leaders need to immerse themselves in planning and research and work furiously to avoid the frequent traps of analysis paralysis and deferral of decision-making. As locals, we also can not rely on a powerful few to steer the ship for us. We all have a role to play in lifting up and implementing solutions and we can not sit back and wait for someone to solve this for us.
This week, Radical Partners released a report of the top 100 solutions generated during the most recent 100 Great Ideas campaign on climate resilience and sustainability. Over 3,000 people tuned into the conversation, altogether generating nearly 500 unique ideas. The ideas ranged in size and scope, including highly actionable advisements for policymakers, business-owners, developers, and locals alike. And now, it’s time to bring those ideas from paper to practice.
To that end, applications are officially open for the 100 Great Ideas Incubator. If you are ready to implement a solution from the campaign, you can apply to the Incubator to receive seed funding, coaching, mentorship, and leadership development. We’ll work closely with participants to plan for effective, impactful implementation.
So frequently we see good intentions fall short in the planning stage, which leads to fully predictable messes like the Ultra transit debacle that left thousands stranded or NASA’s recent spacewalk cancellation due to a lack of female-sized spacesuits. This incubator cohort will dial down on project planning, design thinking, and execution management to help a cohort of outstanding locals demonstrate real climate change wins for the region.
Few issues matter to the future of South Florida more than this. If you care about the future of this region, you can not sit out this fight. Consider just a few looming consequences of our warming climate and unsustainable practices:
- Miami-Dade County has 90,000 private septic tanks that are at risk of flooding due to sea level rise.
- Due to warmer temperatures, Miami’s mosquito season is now 337 days a year.
- Red tide, an algae bloom caused by pollution and exacerbated by warmer waters, creates $82 million in economic losses each year to the seafood, restaurant, and tourism industries in the U.S..
- Current projections put between $15 billion and $23 billion of existing Florida property underwater by 2050.
- The Everglades, a sanctuary for our clean water supply and for the plants and vegetation that absorb carbon dioxide, have shrunk to one-third of their original size due to human intrusion, from 3 million acres in 1947 to 1 million acres today.
What kinds of solutions did locals suggest? While some ideas focus on personal actions that locals can take, others identify policy and systems-level changes that would build a more resilient community.
A few of our favorites:
- Requiring sustainability plans for large events (Vivian Belzaguy);
- Making floodplain ordinances more stringent (Dan Espino);
- Planting mangroves and restoring coral reefs (The Nature Conservancy & Matt Haber);
- Building above ground septic systems (Frances Colon);
- Requiring green requirements for new construction (Ceci Be and Benji Power); and,
- Powering government facilities with solar energy (Daniella Levine Cava).
Check out the other 94 top ideas in the report.
Many thanks to the host committee who helped bring the 100 Great Ideas campaign to life: Sierra Club, Urban Paradise Guild, Before It’s Too Late, Dream in Green, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, The CLEO Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Engage Miami, Miami Waterkeeper, VolunteerCleanup.Org, Solar United Neighbors, FIU Sea Level Solutions Center, The New Florida Majority, The Miami Foundation, Catalyst Miami, and the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network. And, thank you to NBCUniversal and The Miami Foundation for supporting the campaign, and Microsoft, Target, and NBCUniversal for supporting the Incubator.