4 Designs Aim to Support New Orleans’ Sustainable Neighborhoods Work – Next City

4 Designs Aim to Support New Orleans’ Sustainable Neighborhoods Work

An abandoned part of the old Lafitte housing projects, right, is seen near new public assisted housing that replaces it, with the downtown skyline in background in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Four teams have been selected as finalists in the 13th annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Competition.

This year’s challenge was to design for development in parts of New Orleans’ Tulane/Gravier and Iberville neighborhoods in a way that supports the city’s efforts to create sustainable neighborhoods that maintain a unique history while increasing economic innovation and inclusion. Notably, all proposals included a financial plan with suggestions of how to pay for the projects.

The winning team, which will be chosen in April, will win $50,000.

“All of the finalists make bold proposals for re-envisioning an area that is rich in potential,” said the jury chairman. “This year’s submissions provide new approaches for how a combination of uses all work together to create an attractive destination that is financially realistic. These entries are all reflective of an up-and-coming generation that will provide fresh ideas worth exploring in the creation of sustainable urban landscapes.”

Here’s a look at those proposals.

“Claiborne Grove”
Harvard University

Harvard University’s “Claiborne Grove”

The central design element of this project is a multi-purpose park — with a latticework canopy built of locally salvaged wood — below I-10. The project would prioritize redevelopment along North Claiborne Avenue as a way of revitalizing the entire community. From the team:

Not just a showy display of architectural prowess, the canopy channels storm water runoff from I-10 through a system of retention ponds, planters, and underground catchment basins contained within the landscape of the Grove. Recognizing North Claiborne Avenue’s role as a primary connection between the new University Medical Center on Canal Street and the soon to be completed Lafitte Greenway, the street is designed to maximize pedestrian and cyclist appeal without sacrificing vehicular accessibility.

“Tremé 2.0″
Harvard University

This team believes that the key to a city’s future can be found by unlocking its past — and taking care of the needs of the young and the old. Citing a lack of “millennial‐favored mixed-use developments” and a neglect of senior citizens, the team sees “Tremé 2.0” as a place that capitalizes on the area’s rich history while revitalizing with an eye toward millennials and boomers. From the team:

Responding to these issues, Tremé 2.0 aims to provide a new urban lifestyle: 1) active senior living, 2) mixed‐use millennial neighborhood, and 3) affordable trendy retail complex that New Orleans downtown severely lacks.

“The Crossing”
University of Maryland

University of Maryland’s “The Crossing”

“The Crossing” would touch the Bienville, Iberville and Lafitte neighborhoods and would act as a marketplace of goods, ideas and relationships. The aim is to create a common connecting space where residents mix with tourists. It would also act as an intersection for Louis Armstrong Park and the Lafitte Greenway. The plan addresses gentrification concerns by putting money from the development back into the neighborhoods, assuring residents and local business owners that growth can lead to community benefits rather than displacement. From the team:

The project reclaims the whole southbound segment of Clairborne Avenue adjacent to the I-10 underpass. The lanes between Lafitte Avenue and Canal Street are repurposed with natural turf and bioswales, allowing pedestrians safe access to programmed recreational space underneath I-10. This green space also hosts a portion of the proposed Iberville/Treme streetcar line, which terminates at the northern edge of the French Quarter.

“Quartier Vert”
University of Wisconsin, Madison and Milwaukee:

University of Wisconsin, Madison and Milwaukee’s “Quartier Vert”

The communities surrounding “Quartier Vert” have been impacted by natural disaster and development, but this project aims to create a unified community that thrives on the pride and cultural history that has been preserved in the area. From the team:

With the construction of two medical campuses adjacent to the site, Treme and Tulane/Gravier, benefit from an influx of residents and employees to the area. Building off of these hospitals, Quartier Vert introduces initial development along Canal Street, pulling employees and visitors from the hospital, while taking advantage of the Canal Street corridor and its access to public transit.

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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Tags: urban designparksnew orleansdowntown revitalization