COMMUNCATIONS AWARD OF HONOR
New Orleans: Community Rebuilding & Hazard Mitigation
Heather Guidry, Student ASLA, Dan Spiller, Student
ASLA, Justin Lindabury, Associate ASLA, K. Scott
Smith, Associate ASLA, Brett Szczepanski, Associate
ASLA, Justin Lemoine, Student ASLA, Damon Landers,
Student ASLA, S. Andy Thibodeaux, Associate ASLA,
Shawn Herbert, Student ASLA, Laura Bellone, Associate
ASLA, Tien Vo, Student ASLA, Dawson Ellis, Associate
ASLA, Claudia Tellez, Associate ASLA, Chad Ogea,
Student ASLA, and Tanner Robinson, Associate ASLA
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Faculty Advisor(s): Bruce G. Sharky, FASLA
Intended purpose and audience:
In the weeks and months after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall flooding 80 percent of New Orleans heated, often emotional public debate ensued as to why and how whole sections of New Orleans could be rebuilt. The senior landscape architecture students in LA 5002 developed community-planning options translating the debate into alternative rebuilding with strategies for greater flooding resilience. The work was presented to various public forums at the end of the semester including the Louisiana Recovery Administration, members of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, and members of the coastal and hurricane science community. The student work gave the various constituents a visual picture of what neighborhoods in the Crescent City could look like following rebuilding strategies presented in the publication (attached).
The student work demonstrated that different neighborhood rebuilding options were possible, each option applied to a specific range of topographic, hydrologic, and land use conditions. Many of the proposals incorporated both structural components (flood protection infrastructure) and non-structural approaches (detention/retention, integrated greenway/flood management, and rebuilding wetlands).
Method of Development:
a variety of rendering techniques were explored and used including hand and computer graphics. Final graphics were rendered in PhotoShop and then converted to In Design for page layout and in preparation for publication. A short movie clip was also prepared and presented at various meetings. The movie was composed using Movie Maker with digital images taken in the field and studio by students supplemented by images from various news media on the Internet.
Impact & effectiveness:
One outcome of the public presentations is that other communities saw the work and requested specific assistance. Four students from the class developed planning and location selection alternatives for building temporary and affordable housing for the City of Lake Charles, LA. A partnership was forged with the LSU Office o Sea Grant to provide continued preliminary planning assistance for other communities in Coastal Louisiana effected by the 2005 hurricanes. The Vice Chancellor of the LSU Agriculture Center has attended several of the student presentations and is lending his support in establishing a community planning outreach program through Extension Service.
Landscape architecture students have learned that they will have an important role in the future of providing assistance in their communities in the event of a natural disaster such as hurricanes, flooding, etc. The students experienced the benefits of being a citizen participant in the public realm. Public officials and citizens benefited through the work of the students, for many it was their first exposure to the profession and its capabilities in exploring and developing community rebuilding strategies.