Master Planning: Unified New Orleans Plan
In September 2006, our team was selected by a vote of neighborhood citizens and the New Orleans City Planning Commission as the urban designers and planners for Districts 3 & 4 (these are the two largest of 13 districts and include 1/3 of the City’s historic neighborhoods and 43% of the post-Katrina population).
For five months, we held over 100 neighborhood meetings (in schools and churches, on front porches and in corporate offices), working closely with residents to design and submit 50 specific, realistic “bricks and mortar,” action-oriented architecture, urban design and planning proposals for funding by the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), for residents who want and need to return to their neighborhoods and homes. The urban design plans and strategies address the immediate and long-term needs such as infrastructure, home repair, public housing, open space, sustainability, transportation, education, community centers, environmental mitigation, safety and preservation.
The Unified New Orleans Plan was initiated to include all neighborhoods and citizens in the planning and recovery of the City. Our objective was to successfully integrate neighborhood input through an in-depth, “bottom up” process that listened to all citizens as opposed to the first round of “top down” planners that quickly and unilaterally dictated, without discussion or community input, the wholesale destruction of the city’s poorest and oldest neighborhoods such as the Lower 9th Ward under the guise of environmental restoration.