by Andrew Madl (MLA II ’17)
The city of Miami Beach finds itself at a complex intersection of natural phenomena and fluxes that choreograph and organize systematically to provide grounds for potential failure but also the potential to provide for the optimization/reinterpretation of the current urbanism occupation. These networks that govern the function and existence of Miami Beach present themselves not as negative entities, but rather as a framework for opportunity. The various concrete and abstract actions at play can be exposed, and, to a degree, exploited to provide the necessary theoretical framework for a new urbanism that maintains the current identity of Miami Beach while promoting a new explication of the projected future of the spatialization of the settlement. Rising ocean levels, increasing magnitude of storm events, and allocation for new infrastructure drive the re-tooling of the current grid typology and associated development standards. Factors associated with the deconstruction of oceanic systems and ecosystems such as pH levels, salinity levels/gradients, plant community patterns and landform typologies can be leveraged and reimagined to fit the needs of both the urban and native systems at play. These factors, when choreographed together, can produce a new city grid arrangement that allows for social and urban based occupations to intersect the needed performative operations of the vernacular landscape conditions associated with Miami Beach. Metrics based on flow rates/intensities can formulate a surface of multiplicity that plays to the governing and self-organization of an active urban surface that responds to characterizing open space and fully programmed space based on the requirements of the deconstructed parameters of the vernacular systems at play. Ultimately, this produces a stance on urbanism that provokes the need for development and policy to be based not purely upon economic systems but rather on the spatialization of the various simulated data-driven natures that govern the city.