Threats to land and rising sea levels.
Climate change is causing sea levels in the region to rise at an alarming rate. Between 2000 and 2010, average sea levels in Miami increased by less than a quarter of an inch. Since then, average sea levels have risen 3.4 inches.
Although the amount of park space in Miami-Dade County has increased in recent years, such gains have not kept pace with population growth.
Miami-Dade County not only has less parkland per capita than any of its peers, including densely populated New York City and Chicago, but the amount of parkland per 1,000 residents is also falling.
On average, Miami experiences more air quality days than its peers, giving us ample opportunity to enjoy park space.
Compared to other large communities, Miami invests less in parkland development and maintenance.
On a per capita basis, Miami spends less than half of what New York City and Chicago spend on parks and about 25% less than what San Diego does, but does invest more than Houston.
Low levels of funding have also impacted availability of community and youth programs and activities at public parks. However, Miami-Dade County has proven its ability to quickly ramp up services when necessary.
For example, the number of participants in senior programming provided by Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department has increased ten-fold during the past five years, as compared to youth program participation. But, youth participation in recreational programming for 2015 increased only slightly.
During this time, Miami also experienced an increase in violence. In the first six months of 2015, the number of total murders increased 40% compared to the first half of 2013, and the number of homicide victims who are children increased as well.
Guns have also become prevalent in the lives of Miami youth, contributing to this rise in violence. Parks and public spaces create an opportunity for addressing community and youth safety issues through constructive programming in neighborhoods. Expanding parks and activities for residents will require greater funding.