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.