For nearly seven years, plans have been in the works to redevelop a three-mile corridor; the once Carondelet canal and railroad, which runs through the center of New Orleans and spans twelve extremely diverse neighborhoods. The corridor runs between Claiborne Avenue in the French Quarter to Canal Boulevard in Lakeview. The main goal of the project is to reunite neighborhoods by creating uses for the vacant land; uniting the 28,500 people living within a mile from the corridor.
Neighborhoods are important because they have helped form the rich cultural heritage New Orleans knows today. By rethinking urban planning into a citizen driven process, the design is sensitive to and reflective of various neighborhoods. Hosting community meetings, group walks along Lafitte street, and a responsive master plan are a few ways community input has been gathered. Community response is only a layer in the complexity of this design. Analysis of the surrounding urban context provides opportunities and constraints for an informed master plan, one developed specifically for the community - not just another tourist attraction. Specific programming elements based on analysis include:
- Transit - Create new pedestrian and bike paths and safe routes to nearby schools;
Parks and Open spaces - Connect the twelve existing and new parks, including historic icons such as Congo Square and City Park. Open spaces provide opportunities for active living, public health, civic engagement and event spaces;
Cultural Landmarks - Create opportunities for the public to engage in cerebral local culture with the implementation of art installations and other initiatives related to Nola’s history;
Environmental Conditions - Provide environmental education, a new tree canopy, along with Best Management Practices such as bio remediation systems, rain gardens, and constructed wetlands to control runoff and storm water.
Maximizing public land and stimulating reinvestment in the city not only boosts the economy but also rejoins unfavored neighborhoods through civic engagement - to make the community more livable and sustainable.
Do most diverse cities try to unify their neighborhoods and people, or does the need to unify exist in other places as well?
Credits: Images by Allyson McAbee. Data linked to sources.