Community Planning & Resilience News
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NEW ORLEANS, LA., FEBRUARY 25, 2016 – GCR Inc. is excited to be a sponsor of RES/Con New Orleans, the premier annual international conference on the practice of successful resiliency and disaster management in an evolving global environment. Along with GNO, Inc., GCR is hosting a special breakfast for Women in Disaster and Resilience Management on March 1, at 8:30 a.m. at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Mosaic Lounge. Kirstjen Nielsen, Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience, will be our breakfast speaker. This unique breakfast conversation will bring together a multi-disciplinary network of women working on issues of great importance to disaster impacted communities. The discussion coming out of this session will provide the foundation for lasting relationships, inspire new ideas and opportunities, and bolster our daily work. This event will be a highlight of RES/CON New Orleans.
This is an official event of RES/CON:
If you are registered for RES/CON and wish to attend the breakfast, please RSVP to email@example.com.
If you are not registered for RES/CON, please attend the breakfast as our guest (RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org). We encourage you to register here to receive the full benefit of three days of exciting conference programming.
GCR is also bringing together national leaders in disaster recovery and resilience from HUD, FEMA and the State of Louisiana for an interactive panel on measuring the impact of resilient investments in recovery efforts. The panel will be held Wednesday, March 2, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
We look forward to seeing you at RES/CON!
GCR is a professional services and technology firm with offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Covington, Louisiana; Indianapolis, Indiana; Windsor, Connecticut; and Alpharetta, Georgia. GCR’s Community Planning and Resilience team combines in-depth industry knowledge, technology, and proven planning processes to deliver solutions to private, governmental, corporate and institutional clients throughout the U.S. grappling with critical infrastructure, economic growth, and community development issues.
Our unique blend of subject matter expertise and technology solutions sets us apart from our competitors. With over 190 employees, we possess the capacity to provide a full range of services to our public and private-sector clients, from disaster recovery management consulting services and customized program management reporting tools to inclusive community planning initiatives that integrate housing, transportation, and economic development.
In 2012, the GCR Inc. planning group was involved in developing the economic impact analysis for the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, which addresses the management of storm water, surface water, and groundwater within the city’s levees in an innovative regional approach. The overall goal of the plan is to change the way residents think about water and their relationship to water, while embracing best practices from places that share similarities with New Orleans’ geography like the Netherlands. The plan laid out a framework for converting the existing drain and pump system to a much more open and sustainable one that allows most of the rain from a typical rain event to infiltrate the ground within the levees, reducing street flooding, energy consumption, and ultimately slowing subsidence.
GCR’s task was to take all of these benefits from the plan and project the total economic benefit of full implementation. In total, GCR was able to estimate an approximate $22.3 billion economic benefit from direct job creation, reduced flood insurance premiums, elimination of costs associated with subsidence (house leveling and shoring), and a reduction in losses paid from flooding. The plan was heralded by the American Planning Association as the first regional water plan of its kind in the country and given a National Planning Excellence Award for Environmental Planning.
Call us today for more information on how GCR’s Recovery & Planning experts can help your community reach its highest potential. Call Robin Keegan at 800.259.6192 or email rkeegan@nullGCRincorporated.com.
New Orleans, Sept. 8, 2014 – GCR, Inc. announces that Richard Hamilton recently joined the leadership team of the Company as a Business Development Executive.
Mr. Hamilton will support GCR’s business development efforts—on a nationwide basis from their west coast office in Los Angeles. Mr. Hamilton comes to GCR Inc. from Infor (US), Inc., where he was a Practice Director for Sales in the Public Sector Services Group. Prior to Infor, he spent 11 years at Xerox / ACS, Inc., and Lockheed Martin—working in sales and operational positions. While there he sold software / services for the Transportation Group / Public Safety Solutions.
Prior to working at Xerox, ACS, Inc., and Lockheed Martin IMS—he formed his own consulting firm and spent six years working as a lobbyist and political consultant within the State of California. He also worked as a police reserve officer with the City of Carlsbad, Calif., for six years and for more than 15 years as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Southern California for American Medical Response.
“We enthusiastically welcome Richard to our team,” said GCR Inc. Vice President Todd Bouillion. “Richard’s experience and track record of sales and leadership within the IT services industry make him a strong addition to our team.”
“One of several service areas where GCR Inc. is an innovative industry leader is with its disaster management services and grant management efforts,” said Mr. Hamilton. “I am excited to take advantage of this unique opportunity to help Offices of Emergency Management (OEM) around the U.S. navigate the National Disaster Resilience Competition and implement planning / response solutions for future emergency and disaster events.”
Mr. Hamilton holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and History from the University of California at San Diego; as well as a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from National University in San Diego. He is a graduate from the San Diego County 54th Sheriff’s Reserve Academy at Miramar College in San Diego. He also completed his initial EMT’s training at San Diego City College.
GCR Inc. is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm that delivers consulting services and technology solutions in disaster and grant management services, disaster recovery planning, real estate acquisition programs, elections and voter registration systems, and government IT.
Vice President / General Manager
2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 500
New Orleans, LA 70122
Baton Rouge, Louisiana:
In the spring of 2009, the State of Louisiana needed a tracking system to provide reports on recovery-related infrastructure projects to the Governor’s office, the Louisiana Recovery Authority, and the public. The system would be the primary reporting vehicle used to track infrastructure projects and expenditure of funds related to hurricane recovery. These types of reports were being assembled manually; and much of the information was being duplicated, causing inaccurate reports with repeated projects and duplicate funding sources.
The challenge in this project was to combine and clean disparate datasets into a database that would capture all project details without duplicate records, and to create an application to provide access to this database. The application had to be web-based and user-friendly; provide reporting capabilities, both custom and pre-defined; provide an interface that would allow users to view data at multiple levels; and be flexible and adaptable to the future needs of the State. An important function was providing transparency on government spending.
Using ASP.NET, GCR designed a web-based application to meet all of these requirements. The new application combines recovery projects from various data sources into a central repository and allows filtering of this data by disaster, applicant, project type, funding, and location. The results are displayed in both tabular and graphic format.
The website, rebuild.la.gov, which went live in September 2009, lists public investment in infrastructure and provides a detailed view of those investments as well as means to track recovery dollars being spent in the state. It is a cooperative endeavor of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.
In October 2009 GCR developed a residential portal for the existing website that provides a comprehensive inventory of investments. Users have the ability to derive counts of applicants by neighborhood, city, or parish; calculate disbursement of funds; determine funding gaps; and track the rebuilding activity in relation to flood damage. Confidential individual household information is only available to authorized OCD-DRU users via a secured admin site.
Rebuilding activity of properties is determined by GCR’s Activity Index©, a compilation of several data elements including U.S. Postal Service delivery records, Louisiana Tax Commission records, etc. The Activity Index has been used by the Louisiana Office of Community Development since July of 2009, and currently uses monthly activity updates of Road Home applicants to determine gap funding needs and target neighborhoods in need of additional case management services. This confidential activity index data is displayed in UI and Map screens on the admin site of the residential portal.
Features of the application include printing residential portal and infrastructure maps into PDF reports, including parcel layers to the admin site; printing parcel reports from the GIS map; and security setup screens for admin.
The Rebuild Louisiana Portal, Rebuild.LA.Gov, serves as a model of how technology can be used to bring government transparency to the public.
New Orleans, LA:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the need for a new framework for development and public investment was evident to the residents and leadership of the City of New Orleans. Outmoded regulatory controls, sometimes contradictory zoning requirements, and the existing, disjointed Comprehensive Plan would not be sufficient to respond adequately to the dynamic development challenges that New Orleans faced. Following the recommendations of the Unified New Orleans Plan, the City set out to rewrite its Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
A team of consultants headed by Goody Clancy & Associates of Boston, was selected to direct this initiative. GCR served as one of the principal consultants on the project team, playing a multifaceted leadership role including a number of “core” planning responsibilities – public outreach facilitation, GIS mapping and geospatial analysis, data management, and demographic analysis and projections.
GCR was also lead coordinator on two central components of the plan. The first element, “How We Prosper,” focused on economic development in downtown New Orleans, the city’s commercial transportation infrastructure, and the revitalization of neighborhood commercial districts.
The second element, “Sustainable Systems,” provided a holistic approach to the city’s infrastructure—evaluating the existing physical needs of New Orleans’ transportation, energy, and hydrological systems, as well as the systems that support social health and safety. Running throughout this element of the plan was a continued emphasis on hazard mitigation and long-term sustainability.
The New Orleans Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance will chart a course for New Orleans’ future for the next 20 years and provides a clear, user-friendly document that will be a tool for implementation.
The New Orleans City Planning Commission and the New Orleans City Council approved the document in 2010.
The City of Central, located just outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a recently incorporated city with large tracts of developable land. As Baton Rouge growth has extended into traditionally rural areas, Central’s residential development has skyrocketed, with growth rates more than doubling.
With this in mind, the government of Central intends to plan for this development in an intelligent and sustainable manner, in which the new neighborhoods, office parks and retail amenities benefit the existing community and allow for the city’s economic growth while not overburdening the city’s existing school system and small businesses. In May of 2008, the City of Central hired GCR Inc. (GCR) to conduct a market feasibility analysis for residential, retail and commercial development through 2020.
GCR initiated the study with a baseline within the city limits and within the greater Baton Rouge area. GCR factored in several key indicators to estimate household growth and economic trends, including recent population growth and development patterns, building permits and home value, government-sponsored economic development initiatives and infrastructure investment.
From the growth estimates, GCR estimated local purchasing power and penetration rates for various retail services to identify gaps in retail services. GCR also estimated the need for workforce housing and commercial space by accounting for metro area and East Baton Rouge parish job growth rates by industry and job classification. Finally, GCR estimated potential sales and income tax revenue based on varying growth scenarios, taking into account the recent economic downturn and potential for attracting regional employers.
The final report is currently being used by the City as a marketing tool to attract new businesses, and provides guidance to local planning efforts by focusing commercial development and zoning residential areas according to the needs and income of the future workforce.