A creative approach to community climate action

Xavier Cortada, Miami-Dade County’s inaugural artist-in-residence, spoke at the TED Countdown event in London, England on October 3rd, 2022. 

When he learned of the threat that rising sea levels posed to his coastal hometown of Miami, Florida, Cortada founded a movement around beautifully designed elevation markers highlighting the risk of flood damage. The collaborative art project quickly mobilized action — and excited some controversy. Watch as Cortada offers a creative vision of community organizing inspired by art that engages, educates and empowers.

"It is my hope that all of us, across all sectors, use the power of art - that universal language - to engage our communities, so that individuals can tap into their own creativity and work with others in finding innovative approaches to build a more just, loving and beautiful world."


Below is a visual summary of Cortada’s talk created by Innovation Arts during TED Countdown. To learn more about the event, click here.


The University of Miami’s News@TheU covered a screening of Cortada’s talk at the Cosford Cinema. To read the article, click here.

The artist engages communities in large-scale, interactive eco-art projects through his nonprofit organization, the Xavier Cortada Foundation. In his TED Talk, Cortada highlights two projects that have successfully catalyzed climate awareness and action in Miami, The Underwater and Plan(T).