Grassroots Disaster Recovery Planning: New Orleans and Beyond

Neville, Jason; Irazabal Zurita, Clara E.

Weeks have turned to months and months to years as New Orleanians both those living in the city and those yet to return have waited in vain for leadership and resources from local, state and federal sources. In the face of such neglect, and united with a determination to rebuild their lives and communities, many residents and grassroots organizations have begun planning for their devastated communities on their own. Attendees at this year's Planners Network conference in New Orleans were intimately exposed to these grassroots phenomena through community-based panels and workshops. While most planners that have come to New Orleans have typically spent their time promoting their own ideas for the city's recovery, the conference attendees embarked on a kind of "listening tour" in this increasingly plan-weary town. Whether touring the city's commercial recovery areas by bike, helping gut a new community center outside the St. Bernard housing project or visiting a community-based urban design project hosted by residents, Planners Network members got to see and hear about the community-based recovery efforts led by residents and grassroots leaders.



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Progressive Planning

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Urban Planning
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January 15, 2015