Miami resident Mario Alejandro Ariza shows us not only what climate change looks like on the ground today, but also what Miami will look like 100 years from now, and how that future has been shaped by the city's racist past and present. A portrait of both a vibrant city with a unique culture and the social, economic, and psychic costs of climate change that call us to act before it's too late.
Insightful and richly detailed, Disposable Citytells the story of Miami’s preparedness for the sea level increase that is sure to come, giving special emphasis to its potential social and economic impact ... Ariza is at his most perceptive when discussing climate gentrification and cultural preservation, neither of which receives much attention in strategies for saving the city ... Disposable City covers a vast territory, yet readers are likely to notice the absence of comparison to other vulnerable cities. Some might also raise eyebrows at the unconventional ending Ariza devised for the book. But they will appreciate its narrative force and Ariza’s adroitness in making a complicated subject accessible.
A nearly lifelong Miamian who has spent years reporting on the city’s political and environmental troubles, Ariza sets out at the start of the book to draft a kind of reported prognosis for his hometown, knowing full well that the final result won’t be encouraging ... ut as he sketches out the myriad threats to the Magic City’s survival, what Ariza shows most convincingly is that Miami is utterly unique, the product of a world-historical combination of bad decisions. What will make life in the city unsustainable over the next century is not a rise in sea levels or an uptick in ocean temperatures but the spatial and social dynamics of Miami itself. The climate crisis, in other words, has merely exposed the rot that was already there.
Miami-based journalist Ariza, who grew up in his native Santo Domingo and Miami, makes a compelling book debut with an urgent analysis of Miami’s vulnerability to climate change ... Miami’s problems, and the nation’s, require leaders 'willing to tear down icons, bust norms, and shift debates rapidly toward recognizing the increasingly dire scientific reality.' ... A forceful depiction of a global crisis viewed through the lens of one of the world’s most vulnerable cities.