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A Viable Master Plan for New Orleans?

The New Orleans City Planning Commission releases its twenty-year master plan, and the feedback is coming fast and furious.

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If the puns weren’t already exhausted, New Orleans is (Re)New(ing) Orleans all over again.

On Friday, the NOLA City Planning Commission (CPC) released a working draft for its new citywide Master Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) for public view. The CPC says the final plan, which will be posted to its website for public access in June, will be a “roadmap” for the future two decades, with emphases on environmental sustainability, community infrastructure, transportation, arts development, future land use and citizen participation in planning decisions. Each of these elements will include specific implementation and action plans to be followed up by the CZO.

The website includes a section for community feedback on everything from stormwater management to historic preservation, and many visitors have already posted about road conditions, promotion of musical heritage, and revitalizing economic development. Others have made specific requests, like the removal of a fence around Armstrong park and the construction of a grocery store in the Carroltown area. In addition to the virtual forum, the CPC will be holding several public planning meetings and conducting a resident survey on the Master Plan and CZO.

In all likelihood, these feedback channels will soon be flooded , and the CPC will be talking storm management of another kind. With such an ambitious 20-year plan, NOLA may biting off more than it can handle. Some argue that its depiction of the city situation is leaning more towards optimism than reality, though others insist it’s grounded in fact. The several-hundred page plan includes assessments of New Orleans in its current condition and purports to draw from that database to make its recommendations and action plans.

Once finalized, the plan will be sent to the City Council for approval. Last November, a City Charter amendment ensured that the new plan will be backed by the law, unlike previous development and (Re)New Orleans plans.

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Tags: urban planningnew orleans

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