Episode four of the Urban Exchange podcast comes direct from Cop26 in Glasgow, as Resilient Cities Network executive director, Lauren Sorkin, hosts Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, to reflect on Cop26, climate adaptation and mitigation, and the Mayor’s role in futureproofing Miami through digital technology.
To begin with, Mayor Suarez gives his take on progress at Cop26 and whether he truly believes cities have a seat at the negotiating table during this most crucial of climate conferences. He also explains the trends from the conference that he believes are going to make the biggest impact on climate action plans moving forward, and the importance being held to account on climate promises by new generations.
Later, Mayor Suarez details the specific threats facing Miami in the form of extreme weather and why, personally, climate action is so pivotal to him and his citizens, as Lauren asks whether the shocking weather events in unexpected places in the last year – such as China, Germany and the Netherlands – have become the norm for Miami, and how to mitigate that.
This opens up the conversation to focus on reversing some of the change that cities have seen in recent years, and the resilience plans that Miami has invested in to adapt to, withstand and undo some of the most adverse effects the changing climate has delivered.
Following on from this, Mayor Suarez gives his take on the value of collaboration, global coalitions and networks in delivering the kind of change and resilience that cities truly need, as he explains the part that Miami plays in the number of networks that it’s a member of.
Finally, the Mayor delivers his opinion on the reasons that we can be hopeful and optimistic for the future, considering all of the above, explaining the huge role that individuals can play in changing the situation.