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Regional Collaboration On Climate May Have Set A Precedent For Miami's Amazon Application

Monroe County Mayor David Rice, left, and Broward County Mayor Beam Furr were among officials and business leaders who signed an agreement to collaborate on climate issues at a regional summit in December 2017.
Kate Stein
/
WLRN
Monroe County Mayor David Rice, left, and Broward County Mayor Beam Furr were among officials and business leaders who signed an agreement to collaborate on climate issues at a regional summit in December 2017.

Miami's promising bid for the second Amazon headquarters results in part from regional collaboration on resilience issues including sea level rise, said an official familiar with the plan's development.

The proposal was listed among the 20 finalists announced Thursday by the Seattle-based tech giant. Technically, Miami's plan is a joint effort among Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.

That collaboration stems at least in part from previous cross-county work on the , said Jim Murley, chief resilience officer for Miami-Dade County.

"We have transportation planning organizations that cross county lines. We've got economic development partnerships. We have cultural work that goes across. ... It's really a breakthrough," he said.

Read more: Updated Southeast Florida Climate Action Plan Focuses On Business Partnerships, Equity Issues

The compact was signed in 2010 and includes Monroe County as well as Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. It takes a regional look at solutions to problems including sea level rise, high housing costs and traffic. That could be significant for the success of the Amazon proposal, since traffic, housing and public transit issues are likely to be considered weaknesses by a company that could bring as many as 50,000 people and $5 billion to the city it selects.

Strengths of Miami's Amazon application are likely to include the region’s status as a hub for international tourism and for Latin American business. The full proposals have not been made public.

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Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.
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