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USACE BackBay Study I Gray-Green Infrastructure

City of Miami, FL


Curtis + Rogers Design Studio, Inc. was retained by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, Florida to provide technical evaluation assistance and renderings to increase the public understanding of the impact of US Army Corps of Engineers’ Miami-Dade Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study, or “Back Bay” Study, and its most recent recommendations (June 5, 2020) to address storm surge in Greater Downtown Miami. Along with the visual and technical assessment of the detrimental impacts of the USACE Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP), C+R conceptually designed, engineered, validated, and rendered hybrid alternative solutions including nature-based features, such as barrier islands, living shorelines, nearshore artificial reefs and mangrove fringes in coastal areas, elevated berms and bioswales in upland areas, with some smaller floodwalls as a layered and tiered defense. This hybrid solution would create 39 additional acres of natural recreation lands for the City of Miami.

The layout of the nature-based features depicted in the attached renderings has been a landscape architectural led collaborative effort.  C+R worked diligently securing input related to navigational channels, vessel traffic, dredge sites, Florida Power & Light (FPL) mitigation areas, a GIS analysis, and recommendations from coastal and environmental engineers.

These technical recommendations along with rendered graphics are being used widely by different organizations and the media at state and national level to speak about the importance of integrated hybrid and natured based solution in adapting to the challenges of our changing climate, sea level rise and storm surge stressors in a manner that celebrates our heritage of living with water.

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