Innovation of the Month: MAP Tool Addresses Sea-Level Change

South Florida Hurricane

Innovation of the Month: MAP Tool Addresses Sea-Level Change has partnered with to bring its readers a segment called the “MetroLab Innovation of the Month” Series, which highlights impactful tech, data, and innovation projects underway between cities and universities. In this month’s installment of the Innovation of the Month series, a project focused on climate change and housing affordability in the greater Miami area, the Miami Affordability Project (MAP) tool was highlighted.

The team that built the MAP tool designed it to map the intersection between housing shortages and looming sea level rises, in order to help leaders build urban resilience. MetroLab’s Ben Levine spoke with Dr. Robin Bachin, Dr. Keren Bolter, Christopher Mader, Jennifer Posner, Ranata Reeder, and James Murley about the MAP project.

Ben Levine: Can you describe the motivation for this project and who is on the team?

Robin Bachin: The Miami Affordability Project (MAP) was launched to provide planners, policymakers, affordable housing developers, and community organizations with a comprehensive look at the distribution of affordable housing and housing needs in the greater Miami area. Miami is ground zero for the tandem threats of sea-level rise and housing affordability, so data mapping the impacts of climate change on Miami’s affordable housing stock was a clear next step for expanding the tool. MAP is part of a suite of tools and reports we released as part of a two-year project entitled “Housing Resiliency and a Sustainable South Florida.”

Jen Posner: The team is an amazing blend of professionals that brought a rich body of work and experience to the tools we produced. Our office, the University of Miami’s Office of Civic Engagement, is led by Dr. Robin Bachin, who headed the project team. I am an urban planner and joined the office as the project manager for the Housing Resiliency project.

Keren Bolter: I lead climate change resilience initiatives in South Florida for Arcadis, the Dutch engineering firm. I was thrilled to work on this project because it aligns with my personal goal of increasing awareness of environmental impacts in a positive way that inspires a call to action. We see that with climate change, there is an information-action gap, and these tools can support data-driven and equity-driven decision-making to close the gap.

Jen Posner: We were also joined by Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, a civil engineer at the University of Miami (UM), and Ranata Reeder from the South Florida Community Development Coalition, which led our community engagement efforts. Our mapping work was headed by Chris Mader in UM’s Institute for Data Science and Computing. We were also supported by two amazing graduate assistants, Catalina Rodriguez and Matt Varkony, and two AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, Bryan Vicente Ortiz and Taegan Dennis.

Levine: Who are the intended users of MAP? In what ways do you hope they will benefit from this tool?

Read the full article at . . .


If you’d like to learn more or contact the project leads, please contact MetroLab at for more information.