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ISeeChange Launches Flooding-Focused Initiative in Miami

The social weather and climate platform aims to channel the power of community-sourced knowledge to civic projects

Contact: Claudia Sebastiani, (305) 450-6668, claudia@iseechange.org

July, 31, 2020, Miami, FL – Discussing weather with your neighbors is no longer just small talk. Now there’s a platform that can help those conversations have a greater community impact. Observe, snap, and share changes in your environment, like flooding and extreme heat, using the ISeeChange app or website, where community residents can participate and help city planners and engineers figure out where to monitor and prioritize flood fixes.

ISeeChange, a global community and weather tracking app currently used in 118 countries, is launching a Storms and Flooding Initiative in partnership with the City of Miami to leverage and activate community participation in infrastructure project initiatives in Miami. As communities worldwide continue to experience stronger and more frequent extreme weather conditions, relying on the community as a source for potential and significant information for adaptation and planning will be critical. 

Already this year, Miami has experienced a series of extreme weather events. After months of dry, hot weather, Memorial Day brought property-damaging flooding to South Florida. However, variations in elevation, the status of local stormwater infrastructure, and other local conditions – combined with variable rain intensity – all affect the severity of flood risks. These details are critical for more effective design and prioritization of stormwater infrastructure investments.

ISeeChange observations can be used to improve stormwater models, to help inform infrastructure design, and increase the community’s resilience while centering the voices of the most vulnerable communities–offering a safe platform to share photos and personal climate stories. 

“There are details that radar, models, and  3-1-1 can’t capture about our experiences with extreme weather, but residents can,” said Julia Kumari Drapkin, CEO and Founder of ISeeChange. “ISeeChange stories and data will not only provide insights to the city and engineers relevant to ongoing stormwater master planning and infrastructure improvements. The ISeeChange platform also supports an informed, equitable dialogue between residents and the City to improve our neighborhoods and plan for the future.”

ISeeChange’s project partners at the City of Miami’s Department of Resilience and Public Works and Office of Capital Improvements share the belief that there is a need to include community-sourced knowledge in infrastructure planning. This helps residents develop a greater awareness of their ever-changing natural and urban environment by developing solutions with civic leaders. 

“Over the past several years, the City of Miami has made it a point to engage residents in our resilience planning process, and ISeeChange affords us a further avenue to do just that with the convenience of an app-based platform. This partnership aligns well with goals outlined in the Miami Forever Climate Ready Strategy and the City’s Strategic Plan,” said newly-appointed Miami Chief Resilience Officer Alan Dodd. “We look forward to gathering more on-the-ground data as we continue planning and building for a more resilient future.”

The City’s partnership with ISeeChange invites Miamians into the global community of ISeeChangers in 118 countries who are documenting their changing natural and built environments. In many cities, and now in Miami, ISeeChange community insights are being used to influence critical infrastructure design, planning, and maintenance. ISeeChange and its unique model have been recognized by MIT Solve, Echoing Green, Grist 50 Fixers, and the UN’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change.

To sign up, first, download the ISeeChange Tracker mobile app from your Apple Store or Google Play. Create an account and post your observation under Storms and Flooding investigation. For more information, please visit www.iseechange.org 

Cover photo by Phillip Pessar via Flickr.