‘Climate gentrification’ pulling developers to higher ground in Miami

Little Haiti and other areas at higher elevations are attracting investment

December 20, 2017 12:45 PM

Women walk past a mural in the Little Haiti neighborhood (Credit: Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

As the effects of climate change grow stronger, developers are increasingly investing in neighborhoods that sit on higher ground, pushing out people of color and immigrants who have historically been propelled into those areas and away from Miami’s waterfront, a report says.

“Across Miami-Dade County, the higher elevation you are, the faster the rate of price appreciation, across the entire county,” Harvard’s Jesse Keenan told Public Radio International of the phenomenon activists are calling “climate gentrification.”

In Little Haiti, for example, developers Tony Cho and Bob Zangrillo, along with Plaza Equity Partners and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, are planning a massive mixed-use development on land between Northeast 60th and 64th streets and Northeast Second Avenue to the railroad tracks. The $1 billion project will span 17 acres.

Homes at risk of rising sea levels are also beginning to lose their value across the U.S.

But developers are still building in flood-prone, waterfront neighborhoods and cities like Brickell and Miami Beach. “We actually think that’s probably natural land-pricing pressures that come from good old-fashioned gentrification,” Keenan added. [Public Radio International] – Katherine Kallergis

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