Date of Award

Spring 6-2-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Suzanne Mathew

Second Advisor

Robyn Reed


HOST is a thesis investigation that seeks to understand the impact that rising water levels will have on the city of Miami. This investigation will take place within the larger context of global sea level rise and will examine a variety of events including flooding and hurricanes. The goal of the work is to promote a conversation about the types of adaptive strategies that can be applied to Miami, how they can be applied, and how to visualize the dynamic of the impact of rising water levels so that the people who live in, work in, or visit Miami will focus on, and prepare for, this important environmental challenge.

Phase One of this investigation consisted of group research that sought to understand the dynamic and abstract relationship between Miami and water. Questions that were addressed include: what was the original condition of south Florida, how has the city been built and developed on wet terrain, what ecosystems exist in the region, and who are the people of Miami? Importantly, if flooding is inevitable, which ecosystems and communities will be vulnerable and how will the city’s major infrastructure respond to it?

In Phase Two, the focus is on the author’s individual research into questions that emerged from Phase One. A series of visualization methods were applied in order to understand the dynamic of the relationship between water and land, identify what were the critical issues, and develop a first site test.

Phase Three was focused on developing the short-term human adaptation strategy to rising water levels. An alternative adaptive strategy is provided at the end of this investigation to promote a conversation about how to construct our relationship with water.



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