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From Rebuilding to Resilience: Observations from New Orleans


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by Nathan Lott, Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans

This talk covers strategies tried in New Orleans after Katrina, both successful and not, and provides lessons learned.

Published in: Environment
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From Rebuilding to Resilience: Observations from New Orleans

  1. 1. from Rebuilding to Resilience Observations from New Orleans
  2. 2. Welcome to New Orleans • 1768 Dutch Map
  3. 3. Floating City • “This is a floating city, floating below the surface of the water on a bed of mud.” – Benjamin Henry Latrobe, c. 1820 • Bank of Louisiana, c. 1826
  4. 4. Sinking City • Elevation 1895, HNOC • Elevation 2000, FEMA
  5. 5. Draining the Swamp • The Sewer Pipe Yard of Allen Tupper Building Materials company c. 1915.
  6. 6. Taming the River • The Great Flood of 1927
  7. 7. Building the Bowl • Transect from the Mississippi to Lake Pontchartra in
  8. 8. Building a Better Bowl • Lake Borgne Surge Barrier • Lakefront pump station
  9. 9. The Still Status Quo • Impervious surfaces • Aging drainage system • Intense rain events
  10. 10. • Flooding • Subsidence • Higher insurance • Damage to streets and other infrastructure Unintended Consequences
  11. 11. Dutch Dialogues Tulane University, the Dutch Embassy in the U.S., USGBC and numerous design practionners explored water management alternatives
  12. 12. Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan GNO Inc., a regional economic development corporation hire Waggonner & Ball and other practionners to develop a three- parish plan.
  13. 13. A Gray + Green System • Repair aging infrastructure • Fair user-pays funding model • Municipal green infrastructure • Incentivize private retrofits • Link maintenance, workforce The Solution
  14. 14. • Catch Basins • Pipes and culverts • Pump stations • Canals • Lakefront pumps The Gray
  15. 15. • Reduce Runoff • Detain Stormwater • Increase Absorption The Green
  16. 16. Pilot Projects • Sewerage and Water Board MS4 compliance • New Orleans Redevelopment Authority
  17. 17. FEMA • HMGP Funds for municipal green infrastructure • Streetscapes, porous sidewalks and alleys, bioswales
  18. 18. HUD • National Disaster Resilience Competition • Gentilly Resilience District • LA SAFE
  19. 19. Urban Water Series Greater New Orleans Foundation funded trips for staff and policymakers to learn about municipal best practices followed by technical classes.
  20. 20. Front Yard Initiative Urban Conservancy uses philanthropic dollars to reimburse property owners for excess concrete removal.
  21. 21. Water Wise Global Green and Dana Brown & Associates provide education and consultation to Treme residents
  22. 22. Water Collaborative Convene practionners for pro bono projects and professional development; focus advocacy power across the water management sector; conduct public workshops and walk-and- learns
  23. 23. “We are a City that Floods” • 1849 • 2005 • 2017
  24. 24. • Shocks and stressors both invite reform, but shocks tend to bring resources, focus. • The impulse to recover from shocks is strong and often contrary to re-imagining the status quo. • In the wake of recovery, it becomes possible to talk about preservation of what we love and creation of what we want, rather than restoration of the status quo Lessons from Floods
  25. 25. MISSION The Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans is building a diverse, multi-sector, regional partnership actively working towards implementation of the principles of the Urban Water Plan. The Collaborative and its members integrate education, research, policy development, advocacy, and state-of-the-art green infrastructure projects to ensure that the region sustainably lives and thrives with water. Equity | Integrity | Community | Efficacy | Transparency Water Collaborative VALUES
  26. 26. Program Areas PUBLIC OUTREACH Walk-and-Learns, Tours Special Workshops Water Words at NOPL Coloring Book WATERFRONT Series
  27. 27. Program Areas PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Project Share Lunch-and-Learns Conference Presentations
  28. 28. Program Areas POLICY ADVOCACY CZO, Building Code Master Plan Mayoral Forums Voter Fact Sheets
  29. 29. Program Areas PRO BONO DEMONSTATION PROJECTS New Shilo Baptist Crocker College Prep Elementary
  30. 30. Stay In Touch Nathan Lott 504-233-4347 @nathanlott twitter Water Collaborative @GNOH20 twitter @nolawater instagram