Historic Resources as Green Infrastructure

Miami Beach’s Art Deco district is a testament to the benefits (and beauty) of historic preservation. At the same time, increasing flooding events is forcing Miami Beach to address climate change and sustainability in a way that many cities aren’t. On Sunday, January 14, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., the The Wolfsonian-Florida International University campus on Miami Beach is hosting a panel discussion: Historic Resources as Green Infrastructure: Advancing Miami Beach’s Sustainable Development.

Join a panel discussion moderated by Laura Weinstein-Berman centered around the benefits of historic resources to municipal sustainability initiatives and policies. An expert panel will present their interdisciplinary perspectives on achieving the status of a model sustainable city, while honoring Miami Beach’s architectural heritage. Laura is an architect with The Vagabond Group and manages MDPL’s newly formed Center for Resiliency and Sustainability. She is a Miami Beach resident and recently completed her Master’s in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, where she earned Faculty Honors.

 

Panelists include: Richard Heisenbottle, FAIA, President, R.J. Heisenbottle Architects, P.A.; Christine Rupp, Executive Director, Dade Heritage Trust; and Susanne Torriente, Assistant City Manager & Chief Resilience Officer, City of Miami Beach.


The event is FREE, and you can register at Eventbrite.

Date:  Sunday, January 14, 2018
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST
Location: The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Event organizers: by Dade Heritage Trust Miami, Art Deco Weekend, Center for Resiliency & Sustainability at Miami Design Preservation League, Miami Design Preservation League, The Wolfsonian-FIU Art Museum

‘We as a people will become afraid of the ocean’

This week, one of my favorite journalists, Chris Hayes, is broadcasting an excellent series on climate change. In the series, he traveled to various cities in the U.S. to report on the effects of climate change happening right now. One of the places he highlighted is Miami and Miami Beach.

In the segment, which both showed off the beauty of our cities as well as the seriousness of the sea level rise issue we face, the All In host interviewed Harold R. Wanless, chair and professor in the Department of Geology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami; Ben Kirtman, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at University of Miami; Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; Wayne Pathman, environmental land use attorney; and Nicole Hernandez Hammer, Southeast Advocacy Coordinator for Climate & Energy for the Union of Concerned Scientists

The title of the Miami episode – ‘we as a people will become afraid of the ocean’ – is from comments made by Professor Wanless at the end of the segment. He predicts that at some point mid-century, Miami may face a dystopian future of sea level rise – with a resulting inability to finance, insure or sell our houses – if we fail to act now.


Each night on the Emmy Award-winning ‘All In’, Chris Hayes partakes in lively conversations and debates with his guests. Hayes covers not only the biggest news stories of the day, but also the issues that are personally important to him including social justice and the environment.

New Miami Beach Law Requires LEED Gold for New Buildings

Effective April 1st, the City of Miami Beach is requiring all new construction 7,000 square feet or more to meet or exceed LEED Gold standards… or pay an impact pay a fee equal to 5 percent of the construction costs. The idea is to force builders to address – one way or the other – the very real effects of climate change already being felt on Miami Beach.

South Beach flooding (photo courtesy:  Wikimedia Commons)
South Beach flooding (photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

As Miami Herald columnist Joey Flechas notes, Miami Beach will benefit whether the developers choose to build ‘green’ or to pay the fee:

That’s a big chunk of money. If the city had been collecting that fee for the last six years, it would have about $60 million to spend on green projects like water quality monitoring, cleanup of contamination and charging stations for electric vehicles.

Betsy Wheaton, the city’s environment and sustainability director, told the Miami Herald the city wants to build a fund specifically for sustainability projects like building permeable pavements and improving the Beach’s tree canopy. As the city continues an ambitious, $400 million anti-flooding pump program to combat rising tides, she also envisions incorporating green elements, like reintroduction of mangroves, into seawall projects for stemming sea level rise.

The City of Miami currently requires all new development of more than 50,000 square feet to be built to LEED Silver standards, while Miami-Dade County requires all new county buildings to obtain LEED Silver certification.

Ben Cohen, Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry’s, To Speak at Cinematheque on Wednesday

cinemagreen - Ingredients
On Wednesday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m. Cinema Green welcomes Special Guest Host Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream at Cinematheque, located at 1130 Washington Avenue Miami Beach, Fl, 33139.

Mr. Cohen will be joining us for the film, commentary and to share with our community about his experiences, and his latest projects. Ben and Jerry’s tremendous success is in large part because of its unique company mission, their leadership through progressive values and to their community-conscious commitments to quality ingredients, economic justice, as well as environmental and social responsibility.

THE FILM

CinemaGreen -Ingredients-film
Writer, Director and Editor: Robert Bates
Producer: Brian Kimmel

As American food nears a state of crisis, INGREDIENTS explores a thriving local food movement where community, food-safety and flavor are commonplace.

A feature-length documentary narrated by Bebe Neuwirth, the film takes us across the United States, from the urban food deserts of Harlem to the diversified farms of the Hudson River and Willamette Valleys to the kitchens of celebrated chefs Alice Waters, Peter Hoffman and Greg Higgins. INGREDIENTS is a journey that reveals the people who are bringing good food back to the table, and the myriad ways we all can eat better.

INGREDIENTS empowers and sparks the joy of discovery in creating a healthier, more sustainable model for living and eating well in a world in need of balance.

For more information about the film: http://www.ingredientsfilm.com

Tickets are a suggested $10 donation ($7 for ECOMB Members). RSVP is recommended and tickets may be purchased in advance at the Miami Beach Cinematheque website. Community Service Hours are provided for students.

CINEMATHEQUE’S NEW LOCATION: 1130 Washington Avenue Miami Beach, Fl, 33139

An Evening at the Palms Hotel & Spa – USGBC Miami

This past Wednesday, I joined my fellow members of the US Green Building Council – Miami chapter – for “An Evening at the Palms Hotel & Spa”. Beginning the evening at the on-site Organic Chef’s Garden for a tour and tasting, we then convened in Queen Palm (one of nine meeting rooms available at the hotel) for the “Inspired by Nature” program. We ended with a tour of the hotel and spa.

The Palms, located at 3025 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach, was originally built in the 1960’s and purchased by Hans-Joachim and Ursula Krause in the early 1990’s, going through several name changes over the years. Still owned and operated by the Krause’s and their daughters, Nicola Meyer and Katja Janzon, the Palms underwent a 20 million dollar renovation in 2008 – 2009 that incorporated green features and a shift to green operational practices.

Their philosophy statement says, “Nature is what inspires everything we do at The Palms Hotel & Spa, from the décor to products & services offered to our core company values. Our commitment to preserving the environment and to care for the world we live is expressed in all elements of our guest experience, and beyond into the local community.” Tanja Morariu’s presentation illustrated how the philosophy is applied throughout the hotel.

Currently, 85% of the lighting has been retro-fitted to LED and they expect to have 95% completed by the end of 2013. They have also installed motion sensors for the lighting in administrative offices and other non-guest areas plus centralized lighting/heating efficiency controls. Next year, the east windows will be replaced with energy-saving engineered glass.

So far, one-third of their toilets are dual-flush and using grey water. The eco-friendly commodes have sinks on top of the tanks for hand washing. The used water then drains into the toilet tank for the next flush. The luxurious “rain” shower heads and faucets are low flow at 1.5 GPM. Guests also have the option to re-use their towels and linens during their stay, thereby conserving approximately 7 gallons of water plus electricity from extra laundering.

The hotel has recycling bins available throughout the hotel, including in all guests rooms, allowing for cardboard, plastic, paper and metal to be recycled. Batteries and light bulbs are kept out of the landfills; and the hotel allows employees to bring these types of items from home for proper disposal through the hotel.

The staff cafeteria uses no disposable items. When an employee is hired, they are given their own beverage bottle (which are also for sale in the gift shop). This initiative alone saves the hotel about $10,000 per year in addition to being great for the environment.

Hotel staff uses Green Seal cleaning supplies, no aerosol at all, and 100% post-consumer recycled paper with soy ink when available. Even the pens provided in the meeting room were partly made of recycled cardboard. Dry cleaning and laundry services are all green certified as well.

Attesting to their commitment to community as well as the environment, the Palms donates “mildly used” soaps, shampoos, towels, linens and paper items to Camillus House and http://www.cleantheworld.org/
The Palms also maintains the stretch of beach in front of the hotel through the Adopt-A-Beach program sponsored by the City of Miami Beach and ECOMB (Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches), and participates in coastal clean-up projects throughout the year. http://ecomb.org/programs/litter-prevention/adopt-a-beach-program/

In 2011, the Palms Hotel & Spa won the Miami Chamber of Commerce Sustainable South Florida Award in the Green Practices Category. They have also been recognized as one of only 17 Miami Beach hotels to receive Florida’s Green Lodging Program designation and have achieved a 3-key rating through the Canadian-based International Green Key Eco-Rating Program. http://www.greenkeyglobal.com/default.asp

Tomorrow: The Palms Essensia Restaurant, Chef Julie Frans and her wonderful organic garden

Cinema Green tonight at Miami Beach Cinematheque

The Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches and Cinematheque on Miami Beach invites you Cinema Green movie night tonight at 7 and 9 pm.  First, “follow the story of Jen and Grant as they accept the challenge of creating no waste for an entire year” in the “The Clean Bin Project.” Then enjoy “One Beach,” a look at the importance of keeping our Florida beaches “Barefoot Friendly.” There will be an introduction by Luiz Rodrigues, Michael Laas and Commissioner Jerry Libbin, plus a question and answer session with One Beach cast members Barbara de Vries and Leigh Emerson, and Ben Clutter from the Surfrider Foundation.

Cinematheque is located at 1130  Washington Ave on Miami Beach. $10 for General Admission, $7 for Cinematheque, Surfirder & ECOMB Members (must present ECOMB Green Card). FREE for Students K – 8, $5 for High School Students (must present ID). Students can now get 2 Community Service Hours for watching Cinema Green Movies! TICKETS SOLD ONLINE OR AT THE DOOR  CLICK HERE TO FOR MORE INFORMATION