On September 18, 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana Mayor LaToya Cantrell kicked off the Blue & Green Corridors Project in the Gentilly neighborhood. The goal of the Blue & Green Corridors Project is to boost storm resilience and reduce flooding by creating a network of canals and natural drainage features (A.K.A. green infrastructure.)
The project will provide environmental, social, health, recreational and economic benefits to surrounding neighborhoods by reducing flood risk, providing park and recreation spaces, improving opportunities for safe walking and biking, and supporting revitalization and investment.
Reflecting the City’s new “Living With Water” approach to resilience, the innovative Blue & Green Corridors Project will transform major thoroughfares into a network of Blue and Green Corridors. These canals and natural drainage features will reduce flood risk and subsidence, while improving quality of life for residents.
“The Blue and Green Corridors Project exemplifies the innovation of water management and solutions that we know we need in the city of New Orleans,” said Mayor Cantrell. “We’re taking the necessary steps to ensure that we can sustain our presence in our city and in the Gentilly community. Managing water is a top priority for the City of New Orleans.”
The project will focus first on the following streets: Robert E. Lee Boulevard, Prentiss Avenue, Filmore Avenue, Mirabeau Avenue, Elysian Fields Avenue, Franklin Avenue and Peoples Avenue. Neutral grounds and City-owned park land located at the intersections of Robert E. Lee Boulevard with St. Roch Avenue and St. Anthony Avenue will offer a combination of drainage and recreation opportunities.
“These projects, made possible by a competitive HUD grant, will examine the whole health of a neighborhood — access to transit, access to jobs and critical services, protection from flooding, and health effects from heat –- in a way that was not possible under past funding,” said Mary Kincaid, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of New Orleans. “We see these projects as pilots illustrating the potential of green infrastructure to reduce flooding, reduce urban heat, and improve public health. We are excited about the potential to expand this approach into other neighborhoods.”
Like many cities around the country, the New Orleans works to manage stormwater runoff, which can lead to flooding, poor water quality and devalued property. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the City of New Orleans $141 million in federal funding to reduce risk from flooding and subsidence by creating spaces to capture stormwater in the urban landscape in the Gentilly area.
These projects, known as the Gentilly Resilience District, also aim to beautify neighborhoods, support economic development and improve recreation and health.
“We are embarking on an unprecedented effort to reduce flooding, create parks and recreation, beautify the Gentilly community, and improve mobility,” explained Dan Grandal, Stantec design team lead. “Community input is imperative to our success.”
Photo of the Gentilly “Sugar Hill” section of New Orleans is by Infrogmation via Wikipedia.