July | 2020
Disposable City is a doggedly researched alarm for all who care about the fate of our coastal metropolises, or how climate change’s body blows land hardest on our most vulnerable citizens.
Climate change science can be deadly boring, fiendishly complex, and hopelessly abstract. Disposable City weaves vignettes from colorful locals who are increasingly stressed by “sunny day flooding” and unimpressed by the city’s buzzy doctrine of "urban resilience.” It paints a comprehensive portrait of the challenges Miami faces, not in the distant future, but in the next fifteen years. A grumpy octopus stuck in a tidally flooded Miami Beach parking garage illustrates how climate change is already affecting the city’s residents. Interviews with restaurateurs whose constantly flooding eateries are suddenly declared basements by insurance companies looking to save a buck, and ride-alongs with salty plumbers who spend their days cleaning constantly overflowing septic tanks, flesh out a picture of a city beginning to leak at the seams. And a dramatic confrontation between a community organizer and a mayor reveals the Social Darwinism underlying the city’s resilience rhetoric.