Frederic Schwartz Architects


New Orleans, Louisiana

2008 AIA Louisiana Urban Design Honor Award
2008 AIA New York Urban Design Award

Read a summary of the plan (20 page 8M PDF)

New Orleans Recovery and Master Plan

On August 29th 2005, a monstrous storm of biblical proportions set its eye on New Orleans, exposing our government’s neglect of our aging infrastructure, our coastal wetlands, our public housing, and its failure to protect its people – especially its poor. Following hurricane Katrina, numerous planning efforts were undertaken but none gained significant traction as an all-encompassing tool for reconstruction. In July 2006, the Rockefeller Foundation, Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Bush – Clinton Fund announced the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) process that would build upon previous efforts and constructively move towards an overall recovery plan for the City and its citizens.

In September 2006 we were selected by the citizens of New Orleans and the New Orleans City Planning Commission as one of four lead planners for the Unified New Orleans Plan for Districts 3 and 4 in New Orleans (these are the two largest of the 13 districts comprising of 1/3 of the City’s historic neighborhoods and 43% of the post-Katrina population). The people of the City recognized our intensity, experience and willingness to help by selecting us in a unique process where the citizens themselves had the final vote for the planners. For five months, we held over 100 neighborhood meetings, working closely with residents to design and submit 50 realistic “bricks and mortar” action-oriented planning proposals for funding by the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) for residents who want and need to return to their homes and neighborhoods.

We addressed the districts’ immediate needs such as infrastructure and economic planning, public housing, open space, sustainability, transportation, safety and preservation. We prepared both short- and long- term goals for Districts 3 and 4, the two largest in the City with 21 historic neighborhoods. In a city known for its strong “top-down” government, out outreach and district meetings helped contribute to a loud “bottom-up” voice and a new sense of neighborhood power. The ability of citizens in New Orleans to influence their own recovery plan that supported through this process and continues to this day confirms the success of our work.

As the lead planner for District 3 and 4 which included the largest concentration of public housing in the City, we also had the responsibility to involve the residents in the planning effort to vocally advocate for mixed income housing reintegrated into the neighborhoods and the city’s old street grid. This plan started from the premise that every single resident is afforded the opportunity to return to their own neighborhood and that we make every effort to preserve to the extent possible the unique architectural heritage of New Orleans.

New Orleans Recovery and Master Plan







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