Coastal cities historically built in floodplains have adapted through time to the challenges that arise from settling in a landscape shaped by water. Climate change has exacerbated the natural events that these communities face. St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European and African-American origin in the United States, is grappling with vulnerability posed by floods and aging infrastructure. This presentation summarizes the history of St. Augustine through the current day and highlights the ways flooding is projected to impact the region. It will also touch on the projects being implemented by the city, University of Florida and other entities with the intent of creating a network of resilient infrastructure that will ensure America’s “oldest” city carries on its rich cultural and historic legacy.
Isabella Guttuso is the Urban Green Infrastructure Coordinator for the University of Florida’s Center for Landscape Conservation Planning. She is a graduate of UF’s Master of Landscape Architecture program, an Olmsted Scholar, and a photographer with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Isabella works across Florida, conducting applied research on green infrastructure as a resiliency strategy for the state’s diverse communities and ecosystems within the rural-urban interface. Isabella has also published multiple articles and photographs about Florida’s native plants through the Florida Association of Native Nurseries’ “Guide for Reach Florida Gardeners.”