The Value of the Post-Katrina Louisiana Pattern Book
In this new CNU audio broadcast, Raymond Gindroz, CNU Board Member and Principal of Urban Design Associates, discusses the role of two related publications -- the Louisiana Speaks Pattern Book and the Louisiana Planning Toolkit -- in rebuilding New Orleans and Louisiana following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. His remarks were recorded last night at a CNU-IL sponsored event that included the signing of a charter for the newly organized group. In explaining the need for the pattern book -- 100,000 copies of which are circulating in Louisiana -- Gindroz emphasizes the distinctiveness of Louisiana culture and its relationship to the production of housing. "Eighty one percent of the people in the state were born here...a similar percentage of those people live within a couple miles of where they were born. So what's the result of that? Almost no housing industry."
In dealing with the challenges of a small housing industry coupled with the prospect of rebuilding 250,000 destroyed homes, a major goal of the book was to identify and establish enduring Louisiana patterns "that could be used not just by existing industries, but by new industries that coudl be set up by manufactured housing industries, production companies of various sorts, developers and builders from all parts of the country," says Gindroz. These patterns allow people in New Orleans to reconnect with an important part of their culture. "More than in any other place that I've worked, people in New Orlreans link to the specific character of their house and the way it relates to the landscape and to the community to their lives."