NEW ORLEANS — Mayor Cantrell today kicked off the Blue & Green Corridors Project in Gentilly. The goal of the Blue & Green Corridors Project is to help manage stormwater and reduce flooding by creating a network of canals and natural drainage features. The Mayor also invited residents to participate in the design and implementation of the project through a project visioning workshop this Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.
Reflecting the City’s new “Living With Water” approach to resilience, the innovative Blue & Green Corridors Project will transform major thoroughfares into a network of Blue and Green Corridors. These canals and natural drainage features will reduce flood risk and subsidence, while improving quality of life for residents. The project will provide environmental, social, health, recreational and economic benefits to surrounding neighborhoods by reducing flood risk, providing park and recreation spaces, improving opportunities for safe walking and biking, and supporting revitalization and investment.
"The Blue and Green Corridors Project exemplifies the innovation of water management and solutions that we know we need in the city of New Orleans," said Mayor Cantrell. "We’re taking the necessary steps to ensure that we can sustain our presence in our city and in the Gentilly community. Managing water is a top priority for the City of New Orleans."
The project will focus first on the following streets: Robert E. Lee Boulevard, Prentiss Avenue, Filmore Avenue, Mirabeau Avenue, Elysian Fields Avenue, Franklin Avenue and Peoples Avenue. Neutral grounds and City-owned park land located at the intersections of Robert E. Lee Boulevard with St. Roch Avenue and St. Anthony Avenue will offer a combination of drainage and recreation opportunities.
Like many cities around the country, the New Orleans works to manage stormwater runoff, which can lead to flooding, poor water quality and devalued property. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the City of New Orleans $141 million in federal funding to reduce risk from flooding and subsidence by creating spaces to capture stormwater in the urban landscape in the Gentilly area. These projects, known as the Gentilly Resilience District, also aim to beautify neighborhoods, support economic development and improve recreation and health.
"These projects, made possible by a competitive HUD grant, will examine the whole health of a neighborhood — access to transit, access to jobs and critical services, protection from flooding, and health effects from heat –- in a way that was not possible under past funding," said Mary Kincaid, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of New Orleans. "We see these projects as pilots illustrating the potential of green infrastructure to reduce flooding, reduce urban heat, and improve public health. We are excited about the potential to expand this approach into other neighborhoods."
On Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the City of New Orleans will host an interactive public visioning workshop for the Blue & Green Corridors Project. The workshop will take place at Pierre A. Capdau Charter School at Avery Alexander, located at 5800 St. Roch Ave. in Gentilly, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Gentilly residents are encouraged to attend the workshop to learn about this important resilience project and provide community input. At the workshop, community members will help develop initial design ideas and share concerns and preferences about drainage and flooding issues, potential parks and recreation areas and transportation options. Representatives from the Office of Resilience and Sustainability and the project design team will be present to answer questions and work with participants.
“We are embarking on an unprecedented effort to reduce flooding, create parks and recreation, beautify the Gentilly community, and improve mobility,” highlighted Dan Grandal, Stantec design team lead. “Community input is imperative to our success."
For more information about the Blue & Green Corridors Project and the Gentilly Resilience District, visit https://www.nola.gov/resilience/resilience-projects/gentilly-resilience-district/.