City of Dunedin Partnership

Dunedin is a coastal community in Pinellas county with an average elevation of only a few feet above sea level. The people in the community rely on effective infrastructure for their own day to day lives but also for tourists to feel comfortable coming to visit. This makes sea level rise an acute issue in this community that relies so heavily on a strong coastline for its economy. The city of Dunedin asked USF Honors students to evaluate the city with respect to sea level rise and propose solutions that their community can take to be more resilient. Students developed strategies of response to sea level rise specific to Dunedin based on meaningful data collected through on-site visits, interviews with community members, and representatives from a range of stakeholder groups. In addition, a comparative analysis was conducted to identify successful strategies that have been implemented by other communities facing similar threats, like street flooding, infrastructure, and a housing crisis. Students presented a report of their findings to Dunedin commissioners and discussed the most effective practices for communicating with residents to increase community involvement and raise awareness about climate change and subsequent sea-level rise. The result was the development of a site-specific game featuring realistic climate scenarios and adaptation strategies in Dunedin titled 'Rise Up.' The game represents a unique and effective way to visualize the complex problem of climate change, quickly apprehend the relationships between stakeholders and issues, and get citizens involved in making decisions about their collective future.