The Trust for Public Land’s tool will help guide data, mapping, and green infrastructure investment
NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is announcing a new partnership with the Trust for Public Land and the Greater New Orleans Foundation to develop a public data and mapping tool to inform, coordinate and guide green infrastructure decisions.
The tool will be developed by The Trust for Public Land, which is building similar tools for more than a dozen cities through its Climate-Smart Cities™ program. It combines data, mapping and community input to guide green infrastructure decisions that will help New Orleans cool down, connect people, absorb water and protect land, while realizing other important benefits for residents.
“We are grateful to the Trust for Public Land and the Greater New Orleans Foundation for their partnership in the implementation of the city’s Resilience Strategy introduced in August 2015,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Through effectively using the resources that support the environment, we have the opportunity to create a healthy, thriving and more innovative New Orleans.”
New Orleans was recently awarded $141 million through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) to build the city’s first resilience district in the neighborhoods of Gentilly which will feature green infrastructure to manage stormwater and provide enhanced recreational spaces. This initiative builds upon New Orleans’ existing efforts including several pilot projects, a new zoning ordinance for stormwater management, and green infrastructure specialists in multiple city agencies. This tool will help improve coordination among all these efforts and citizen-led efforts such as the New Orleans Water Collaborative, among others.
“In order to effectively prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change, we need reliable data and robust analyses to guide our decisions on projects and policies,” said Jeff Hebert, the City’s Chief Resilience Officer. “The City and its partners look forward to working with the Trust for Public Land to develop this resource for New Orleans and using it to inform the implementation of the resilience strategy.”
“New Orleans’ commitment to green infrastructure is crucial to fulfilling the promise of this generation: a resilient and livable New Orleans for years to come,” said Sarah Olivier, The Trust for Public Land’s New Orleans program director. “Green infrastructure can have many benefits, from improving water management to growing local economies, connecting communities, and protecting the city’s most important natural places.”
By combining sophisticated Geographic Information System (GIS) computer modeling and on-the-ground input, the Climate-Smart Cities New Orleans partnership will help New Orleans integrate resilience planning into future projects that can reduce extreme heat during summertime heat waves, capture stormwater during intense rainfall events, and protect natural resources.
The partnership builds upon The Trust for Public Land’s Climate-Smart Cities™ program, which helps cities plan for and implement strategies to slow climate change and reduce its impacts, from protecting riverside parks and wetlands, to creating green alleys and water-smart playgrounds. Through Climate-Smart Cities, The Trust for Public Land has developed similar data-driven decision support tools for cities across the country, including Los Angeles, Chattanooga, and Denver.
To support Climate-Smart Cities New Orleans, The Greater New Orleans Foundation has partnered with Partners for Place, a program launched by The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network to provide necessary funding for tool development, training and outreach.
Due to the support of community and national partners, phase one of the GIS tool development is underway. The city has assembled a technical advisory team consisting of various city agencies who will assist The Trust for Public Land by lending their expertise in gathering and analyzing the data required to make smart decisions as the City develops projects, updates plans, and creates new programs.
The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability, The Greater New Orleans Foundation and Propeller, will host a public launch of Climate-Smart Cities New Orleans today at 5:30 p.m. as part of Propeller’s Water Challenge Series. A demo of the tool will be presented to the general public.