Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan

Tags for this project:

Location: South Louisiana region, Louisiana, USA. South Louisiana

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina and Rita left 80% of New Orleans flooded, damaging 200,000 homes, 81,000 businesses, and 870 schools, and displacing 1.3 million people. In the aftermath of the hurricanes, the project's lead planners formed an interdisciplinary consultant team to develop a bold regional vision and action plan based on the input of tens of thousands of citizens and stakeholders in the recovery efforts.

The project details the elements of a sustainable recovery that restores coastal wetlands, constructs strategic levees, reinvests in historic communities, and bridges the immediate needs of businesses and workers. Beyond recovery, new growth is focused in and around existing communities, linked to investments in protection infrastructure, regional transportation, and economic zones. The plan embraces the region's history while providing concrete steps toward a more prosperous and resilient future.

The plan is organized around three primary goals: 1) Recover Sustainably, which tackles the immediate short term challenges in the aftermath of the hurricanes; 2) Grow Smarter, which builds on the foundation of recovery to develop a safer, smarter, more resilient future; and 3) Think Regionally, which addresses the institutional framework necessary to accomplish the short and long-term actions.

The plan was adopted in May 2007 and early actions are underway to realize its key components, including the adoption of the State's storm protection and coastal restoration plan; the development model codes for local governments; the planning of a passenger rail system between New Orleans and Baton Rouge; and work towards a bold new State Office of Planning to coordinate the roles of state, regional, and local agencies and jurisdictions.

Lessons learned: One of the project's most significant challenges was engaging a region devastated by storms and consumed with the immediate needs of recovery in the development of a long range regional vision for a safer, smarter and stronger future. The team devised a fluid, iterative, and flexible planning process rooted in collaboration among a diverse array of constituents, including the region's key agencies, policy makers, and community leaders. The project team created a detailed outreach plan sensitive to the unique political and social framework of the region and worked with these leaders early and often in the process. This invaluable experience and understanding of how to engage this broad spectrum of actors effectively will be carried on by the project team to all of their future planning endeavors.

Transect Zone(s): T3 sub-urban, T4 general, T5 center, T6 core, SD district.
Status: Plan Approved
Guiding Charter Principle(s): Principles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
Project or Plan's Scale: Region
Features: Affordable/subsidized housing, Civic buildings & parks, Mixed uses, Rail/fixed guideway transit, Sustainable infrastructure, Transit oriented development, Waterfront.
Land area (in acres): 16000000
Total built area (in sq. ft.):
Total project cost (in local currency):
Retail area (in sq. ft.):
Office area (in sq. ft.):
Industrial area (in sq. ft.):
Number of hotel units:
Number of residential units (include live/work): 650000
Parks & green space (in acres):
Project team designers: Calthorpe Associates
Project team developers: Center for Planning Excellence, Louisiana Recovery Authority (clients)

Previous site status:

Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: -