In its new Sessions series, the Van Alen Institute shows the effects of climate change through a variety of lenses
“The results are visible,” says landscape architect Jennifer Bolstad of the effects of climate change on Miami. “Even if people say they don’t believe in climate change, they believe in an octopus in the middle of their street.” This is one of the cheekier lines uttered in a new video series about the effects of rising sea levels on the South Florida city—it’s also the one that perhaps most effectively captures the complex relationship between Miami, its people, and the direct effects of climate change on the city.
Turning the Tide in Miami, a multipart video series produced by the nonprofit Van Alen Institute in partnership with The New Yorker and the documentary filmmaker Merete Mueller, is ostensibly a film about rising sea levels in Miami and their effect on the city’s future. In reality, though, like the fallout from serious climate change, the results are far more complex.
“What we wanted to do was to look at climate change through the lenses of ecology, economy, and equality,” explained Van Alen’s executive director David van der Leer at a screening of the series last week. Over the course of five episodes, Turning the Tide in Miami explores the city’s adaptation to climate change, the cost of rising sea levels, the effect of climate change on gentrification, and the use of techniques ranging from smart landscaping to street art to stem the effects of climate change and to raise awareness of its very real effects.
Though the latter, to most interested in the subject, might seem like an unnecessary step, those involved in the video series revealed sobering anecdotes about ignorance of climate change and its effects among Miami locals. The city is, after all, part of a state that has banned the very term “climate change” in its Department of Environmental Protection.
So how do architects, designers, and activists working in Miami push through measures to design with that taboo term in mind? “You have to leverage—or hack—capitalism,” proposes Walter Meyer, Bolstad’s partner at Local Office Landscape Architecture (LOLA), which redesigned the Miracle Mile shopping area in Coral Gables to increase its resiliency to rising sea levels. “Capitalism, like water, follows the path of least resistance.” As a result, he points out, “we actually see the most innovation coming out of the red states. In Florida you can’t talk about causation, but people want solutions.”
Read the full story HERE >>>> Source: Architectural Digest The Van Alen Institute, in Partnership with The New Yorker, Explores Climate Change in Miami | Architectural Digest