e-Veritas Archive | November, 2016

Resiliency Powwow Produces Bold Ideas

Hosted by the University of Miami School of Architecture, teams of experts, students, and local policy leaders present solutions to adapt to climate change.

By Jessica M. Castillo
UM News


Speaking in the School of Architecture courtyard, David Snow, City of Miami planner, explains the proposal for the Shorecrest site.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 1, 2016)—Engineered mangroves, amphibious development, subterranean light rail, and water-capture gardens conjure images of a green utopian oasis. But these ideas are more than just dreams; the well-researched proposals germinated during four days of brainstorming and could help southeast Florida adapt to climate change and sea-level rise.

Sponsored by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, the Resilient Redesign III initiative was led and facilitated by Nancy Schneider, of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, who worked with charrette leader Sonia Chao and the UM Center for Urban and Community Design (CUCD) to guide participants in their visions for a sustainable South Florida. Chao asked participants at the four-day workshop held at the UM School of Architecture in mid-November to focus on the relationship between nature and manmade systems when they developed resilient architectural and urban design plans for five vulnerable sites in southeast Florida.

“We need to think of a new way to exchange with nature, but also contemplate more efficient alternatives for commuting for today and the future,” said Chao, professor of architecture and director of the CUCD, in one example. “We have to think in terms of the above-ground rail systems we’re designing now being encased and essentially becoming subterranean, or subway systems, by the end of the century.”

Breaking into five teams, one per site—Lower Matecumbe Key in Islamorada, Shorecrest in the city of Miami, and three sites across the Arch Creek basin in the city of North Miami and Miami-Dade County—participants considered local historical, cultural, economic, and environmental nuances when creating their resilient redesigns.

Shailendra Singh, a School of Architecture alumnus and the planning section supervisor for Miami-Dade County’s Department of Planning and Zoning, told the group that architects, developers, and others “sometimes ignore what was historically there” when proposing changes to an area.

His team’s designs for the inland site in Arch Creek include systems of open canals, green space, raised sidewalks, and rain gardens for water capture.

“Over the coming century, as flooding events both on coastal and inland sites become more frequent, residents will either adapt or look for alternatives along higher grounds; increased density and intensity of uses in those areas is therefore likely,” said Chao, who also served as design co-lead for the team designing Arch Creek’s transit-oriented development (TOD) site.

Chao’s co-lead, urban designer Gustavo Sanchez-Hugalde, said that although urban patterns seem to have erased natural ones, nature has a memory and, in the face of climate challenges, natural patterns are increasingly re-emerging.

Among the proposed TOD site designs was the use of the TDR, or transfer of development rights, program, a policy tool that can move populations in more vulnerable areas to less vulnerable areas. The designs centered around creating flood-resistant transportation hubs—with “wet-proofed” ground floors—surrounded by mixed-use and multi-family home development.

In presenting his team’s vision for Arch Creek’s waterfront site, Anthony Abbate, professor of architecture at FAU, said the proposed floating docks, engineered mangroves, and raised streets and parking areas were a composite of the Standard Hotel in Miami Beach and the Highline in New York City. He also noted that the challenges sea-level rise and other climate change impacts pose to humans are unprecedented.

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” he said. “Sea-level rise is not something we, as a species, have ever dealt with.”

Ajani Stewart, environmental programs manager for the City of Miami and site captain for the Shorecrest site, reminded the audience that some of the neighborhoods vulnerable to sea-level rise are home to low-income populations.

“There is a very clear and present human story here,” said Stewart. “There are very real impacts being felt by economically vulnerable groups already dealing with the effects of sea-level rise.”

The short-term proposals in those neighborhoods include raising roads, installing small pump stations, and raising seawalls to protect against storm surges. In the mid-term, changes in density levels and zoning regulations also would have to be considered. Long-term proposals include creating more “amphibious” development.

The Lower Matecumbe Key team suggested increasing the use of multi-family housing and mixed-used development along the U.S. 1 corridor. Buffers to sea-level rise and storm surge would include restoration of Sea Oats Beach and increasing the use of mangrove islands and man-made offshore reefs.

“Getting the historical beach to its former glory is of particular interest,” said Chris Bergh, South Florida conservation director for The Nature Conservancy’s Florida Keys office. “So is interconnecting the system of waterways that is currently poorly connected.”

Bergh described how Lake Iseo in Italy is artistically dealing with sea-level rise and how those designs could be implemented in Lower Matecumbe Key. Even if homes are on stilts, he explained, we need to rethink how people access them. He suggested some areas can borrow Italy’s design of floating piers, or walkways, for people and light vehicles such as golf carts.

“Redesigning this area requires rethinking what we’ve been accustomed to thinking about with luxury homes, to something that’s a bit more humble and responsive to the environment,” said Steven Fett, lecturer at the School of Architecture and assistant director of the CUCD.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Katherine Hagemann, the sustainability officer for Miami-Dade County’s Office of Resilience who served as site captain for all three Arch Creek sites. Hagemann’s office recently oversaw a report by the Urban Land Institute and she worked closely with the three teams to ensure recommendations by the institute were considered in the designs.

One panelist, Islamorada Mayor Deb Gillis, noted that “the problem is how to incentivize people to increase density development, to move whole neighborhoods, and give up their individual access to coastal areas.”

In response, Stuart Kennedy, director of program strategy and innovation at the Miami Foundation, suggested emphasizing pilot projects in adaptation action areas.

Schneider, senior program officer with the Institute for Sustainable Communities, reminded the group that “we have to remember that we’re all in this together and, unlike the siloed developments of the past, we need to work together to tackle this head on.”

Also participating in the charrette were Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the School of Architecture; faculty from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the College of Engineering; members of the Resilient Miami Initiative and the Florida Climate Institute; local environmental design architect German Brun; Max Zabala, School of Architecture alumnus; Ricardo Lopez, lecturer at the School of Architecture and assistant director of the CUCD; David Snow, planner with the City of Miami Department of Planning and Zoning; Susan Sprunt, environmental resources program manager for the Islands of Islamorada; and FIU faculty members Marta Canves and Marylis Nepomechie. Other panel discussion members included Jack Osterholt, Miami-Dade County Deputy mayor and director of regulatory and economic resources; and Mike Roberts, senior administrator of environmental resources in Monroe County’s Planning and Environmental Resources Department.


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2016 FLSA Overtime Regulation Changes Put on Hold

A federal court in Texas has issued a temporary injunction of the Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations that were scheduled to go into effect on December 1. While the temporary injunction was issued in Texas, the order applies nationwide. As a result of the court’s order, the changes required by the revised regulations are now on hold.

The University is working on evaluating the temporary injunction in order to determine the impact on the University and previously communicated changes. The University will provide additional information prior to December 1. If you have any questions, please contact Cristina Elgarresta at celgarresta@miami.edu.



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The University of Miami Earns ‘State Title’ for Student Engagement

By Andres Tamayo
UM News

Robin Bachin and Andrew Weimer

Robin Bachin and Andrew Wiemer

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 23, 2016)—There are many words that have become synonymous with the University of Miami over the years. Academics, research, and athletics are a few that come to mind. Now another word—engagement—which is embedded in every school, college, and department across the University—is receiving the highest validation. ln honor of its 25th anniversary, Florida Campus Compact has declared UM “the most engaged institution of higher education in the state of Florida.”

Adding to a host of other awards the U has received for engagement during the past few years is the Florida Campus Compact’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Engaged Campus Special Award for advancing the “public purposes of higher education, improving community life and educating students for civic and social responsibility.” Comprised of over 50 college and university presidents, Florida Campus Compact has been helping students develop the values and skills of active citizenship for 25 years.

“We are so honored to receive this award in recognition of the tremendous work being done by our faculty and students to promote community-based learning and research on all of our campuses,” said Robin Bachin, assistant provost for Civic and Community Engagement. “We offer over 450 courses with a service-learning component, giving students the opportunity to translate classroom knowledge into real-world problem-solving skills that address our most pressing community needs.”

Bachin and her team at Civic and Community Engagement (CCE) don’t just preach civic engagement. They work hands-on with the community to help resolve some of the city’s most urgent issues. One of these issues is affordable housing.

Recently, CCE helped develop a first-of-its-kind free and publicly accessible tool for affordable housing called the Miami Affordability Project (MAP). Developed in partnership with the Center for Computational Science, MAP provides more than 100 data filters on housing, demographics, and property data that will help develop data-driven strategies for affordable housing development and historic preservation.

The Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, which has been at UM for over 25 years, also facilitates student engagement in the local community. Director Andrew Wiemer and his team serve as catalysts in developing students into engaged citizens who cultivate positive social change within their communities.

The team works directly with more than 40 student organizations that have a service-based focus and organizes campus-wide service days for students, which gives them the opportunity to become educated on local needs and issues in the community. This past year alone, UM students have documented over 157,489 service hours within their curricular and co-curricular experiences.

“This award is a wonderful testament to our students and their continued dedication to the community,” Wiemer said. “The University of Miami has some of the most civically minded and actively engaged students from across the world, and it is a joy to work with them each day as we continue to educate others about the importance of this work and improve our greater Miami community.”

As part of its mission to help students be more engaged, the Butler Center also offers an online platform where students can connect with community agencies. This provides students with ways to serve in area communities, even if the activities are not directly affiliated with UM.

As senior Alina Zerpa put it: “UM, through its various campus programs and community outreach centers, has helped me become more aware of issues local communities are facing and influenced me to volunteer in community events.”

Student Alexis Musick, the University of Miami’s Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow, said her involvement in the community “has done wonders” to contextualize what she learns in class. “It’s one thing to have a unit on public health or Spanish grammar, but another thing entirely to speak with someone in their most comfortable language and see an issue on the ground, from their perspective.”

Many other programs and initiatives at the University provide service in a variety of areas. The Donna E. Shalala MusicReach Program at the Frost School of Music, for example, offers musical instruments and instruction to individuals around Miami with the aim of building healthier and happier communities and positive development of individuals through music.

Partners in Action, or “Patnè en Aksyon,” a partnership between the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School of Medicine and key Haitian-American community-based organizations in Miami, aims to reduce breast cancer mortality among Haitian-American women in Miami by catching the cancer in early stages, ultimately providing a better chance of survival for the patient.

As Campus Compact’s award reflects, UM has a long-standing relationship with the diverse are that surrounds it and is doing its best—the best in the state—to advance not only students at the University but also the inhabitants of Greater Miami.

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Felicia Knaul Participates at 2016 APEC CEO Summit


From left are UM’s Felicia Knaul, Peru Vice President Mercedes Aráoz, and   Merck CEO of Healthcare Belén Garijo.

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 25, 2016)The University of Miami had a key presence in the recently held 2016 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Lima, Peru. Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the University of Miami Institute for the Americas and professor at the Miller School of Medicine, participated in multiple sessions. Peruvian Vice President Mercedes Aráoz, a UM alumna, and Minister of Health Patricia Garcia hosted and led many aspects of this global landmark two-day event.

A forum of 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC seeks to achieve prosperity among member economies. This year’s CEO Summit highlighted the importance of “Quality Growth and Human Development” as well as the key role of women in healthy economies.

During a discussion on “Driving Sustainable Health Systems to Achieve Quality Growth and Human Development,” Knaul focused on the often-ignored roles women play in both the economy and health care.

“Women are the motors of economic growth who also produce the majority of both paid and unpaid health care. Yet, health systems are disabling instead of enabling women,” Knaul said at the Executive Health Dinner held in conjunction with the CEO Summit.

Knaul’s participation was part of ongoing collaboration with Belén Garijo, member of the executive board and the CEO of Healthcare at Merck, who has been spearheading work at APEC on examining the relationship between healthy women and healthy economies. This work builds on her research published in The Lancet on women and health.

While at the summit, Knaul also met with Peruvian Vice President Aráoz, a leading voice and defender of women’s empowerment who graduated from UM’s School of Business Administration. She has accepted an invitation to speak at UM and share her thoughts on women as leaders. In meetings with Garcia, the Peruvian minister of health who graduated from the Miller School of Medicine’s William J. Harrington Fellowship Program, Knaul advanced collaborative work aimed at closing the global divide in access to care for women, particularly cervical cancer screening and treatment, with the Peruvian Ministry of Health, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the University of Miami.

In addition, Knaul participated in the Women in Parliaments’ APEC Women Leaders Breakfast, which featured Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who encouraged ongoing work in which UM is deeply committed on women, health, and the economy. An ongoing series, the breakfast strengthens connections between women in leadership roles in politics, business, and social development initiatives across the Asia Pacific and serves as a network for building dialogue around issues impacting the region.



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Merrick Garage Officially Opens to Brown Permit-Holders

merrick-garageThe Merrick Garage officially opens Monday, November 28, next to the Pavia Garage on Levante Avenue, and all brown permit-holders should begin parking there immediately. The campus community also should  expect elevated vehicular and pedestrian traffic in this area and exercise caution as patrons adjust to the new traffic patterns. Motorists also should remember that the speed limit on internal University roads is 15 mph and 5 mph inside any garage.

Should you have questions, please contact Parking and Transportation at 305-284-3096, option 2. For other parking and transportation options,  check out the Metrorail Discount Program by visiting get2um.com to learn about the Metrorail and various alternative transportation options available to UM faculty, staff, and students.

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