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Team: Jaime Correa

By the mere act of drawing citizens in a can of sardines, surrounded by the United States military highway system, Jose Luis Sert proposed that theory separated fundamental characteristics from idiosyncrasies and casual features. Theory is the point of departure where one begins to know how to observe and where to act in the world. A theory is like a form of ideological inoculation. Theories are not neutral; actions are always informed by our unique visions of the world. But, what kind of theory will work in the absence of permanence? What kind of urban theory would allow us to deal with sea-level-rise?


The urban design experiment of the last 75 years has proven, over and over again, the infertility of Euclidian zoning, urban regulations, bureaucratic procedures, performance metrics, statistics, real estate markets, transportation efficiency, political negotiations, and environmentalism in the production and/or generation of true urban places. The lunacy of our existing situation is that our bureaucratic systems insist on applying the same failed professional strategies while expecting to achieve different results.


Centralized planning is dead and a new paradigm is emerging from its ashes. As top-down controls are fading away, real innovations in city form and global self-organization are emerging from simple rules at the local level. If Miami-Dade County is about to become the “archipelago north of the Florida Keys” then, in the spirit of Sert's CAN CITIES, we hereby propose an analogous counter-proposal. The final conclusion is, let's not waste time in fruitless discussions and simply concentrate our development efforts on those areas which will survive the imminent sea-level rise catastrophe of the forthcoming years.

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