Djanm: Mitigating Climate Change Gentrification in Little Haiti, Miami FL

Sharleen Devjani
Master of Architecture

Advised by:
Carnegie Mellon University:
Stefan Gruber, Jonathan Kline & Valentina Vavasis 

South Florida Community Land Trust:
Mandy Bartle & Charles Dabney 

and Members of The Little Haiti Capital Investment Coalition 

Studio Coordinated By Stefan Gruber and Jonathan Kline

Themes: Culture and Identity | Ecology and Sustainability


The global phenomenon of climate change is creating varying degrees of impact on cities and communities around the world. Its effects are quickly being observed in the form of higher temperatures, wildfires, drought, excess rainfall, and flooding, to name a few. 

Rising sea levels, floods and hurricanes are the foremost impacts of climate change felt on coastal areas and communities. One such location within the United States is Miami, Florida. Climate scientists predict that 1 in 8 of Florida’s homes would be underwater by 2100, which would account for almost 50% of the estimated housing value losses in the country.  Where once seaside and waterfront dwellings were highly sought after by the affluent, the same demographic now seeks higher elevation real estate that will protect them from rising sea levels. Unfortunately, this has incurred ‘climate change gentrification’. Within Miami, residents of the Little Haiti neighborhood are facing displacement due to a surge in high-end mixed-use developments like Magic City.

This proposal hypothesizes that displacement caused by climate change gentrification can be mitigated with a multi-scalar approach (urban policy, built environment & socio-economic dynamics), involving practices of commoning and cooperation between community members, government and developers, to create physical and social infrastructure for long-term climate and community resiliency. Mechanisms used to test this hypothesis are the formation of Community Land Trusts (CLTs), concepts and practices of cosmopolitan localism, and changes/overlays to the existing zoning ordinances for inclusivity and climate resilience tested with new architectural typologies.