Current Issues

Alternatives to the Proposed LSU Hospital Site

The Urban Conservancy was one of dozens of organizations joining Foundation for Historical Louisiana in support of an in-depth study of alternatives to building on the current site, which calls for the expropriation and demolition of private residential and commercial properties — many of them historic—in Lower Mid-City to make way for a sprawling new medical center campus. Read more >

Stormwater Management

Stormwater management has emerged as one of the major issues in post-Katrina New Orleans, and indeed around the world as temperatures increase and sea levels rise. The issue touches on a number of flashpoints for New Orleanians due to its direct connection to topics like flooding, subsidence, waterway pollution, taxes and infrastructure. Read more >

BP Drilling Disaster & Coastal Restoration

The oil spill will have long-term effects on the communities, environment and industries in southern Louisiana. The wetlands that are in danger are more than just trees. They act as a first line of defense for the communities against hurricanes, storms and tidal surge. They provide habitats for millions of migratory birds each year. They provide habitats and breeding grounds for marine life that accounts for over 16% of the U.S. fisheries harvest. They are responsible for at least 42% of the U.S. natural energy supply. And they are home to over 2 million of your fellow citizens. (from Voice of the Wetlands website) Read more >


Outgoing Times-Picayune publisher, Ashton Phelps, announced Thursday, May 24, 2012 that the Times-Picayune is reducing its print edition distribution to Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. When a Pulitzer-prize winning daily news source diminishes its print presence to “accelerate its digital growth,” its informative powers reach only as far as the city’s internet connectivity. For New Orleans, a city where thirty six percent of residents lack internet access, the diminution of a daily Times-Picayune creates a dearth of information for residents without internet access, deepening the disparity between those who are in the know and those who aren’t. Read more >

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Fair Use Tax Law Enforcement

While Amazon’s profits soared over 70% last quarter, parishes are experiencing devastating shortfalls in their projected sales tax collection. Consumers are drawn to the convenience and savings that tax-free online shopping provides, but don’t realize that their community pays for these savings in three significant ways. Read more >

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Comments for Consideration on Dispersant Use

Hi Everyone, Please see the attached letter concerning the Coast Guard’s attempt to make the use of dispersant in deep waters a standard way of responding to oil spills. Please circulate widely among your networks. If you have not already… Read more >

Past Issues

Mayoral Candidate Responses to UC Questionnaire

In preparation for the upcoming mayoral race, we have distributed a candidate questionnaire to the following candidates for New Orleans Mayor. Names in bold responded to the questionnaire by January 22: Jonah Bascle Manny Bruno Rob Couhig John Georges Troy… Read more >

Upcoming Elections

Survey Asks Mayoral Candidates About Local Business Issues The Urban Conservancy distributed a survey about local business issues to the eleven candidates for New Orleans mayor. Through The Urban Conservancy’s Stay Local! initiative, the organization supports over 1900 locally-owned businesses…. Read more >

Rebuilding New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina has dealt a blow deep in the heart of our city, deeper than any today can remember. Now it is time to rebuild. In the coming months there is a critical role for the people and organizations who love New Orleans to actively participate in rebuilding our city. Under normal circumstances, even a fraction of the changes that will occur during reconstruction would generate massive citizen involvement. Now that residents are so widely dispersed, organizing this involvement poses unique obstacles. The Urban Conservancy is dedicated to overcoming these obstacles to give the citizens of New Orleans controlling power to guide the rebuilding of our city. Read more >


If there was ever an excuse for angry mobs in the street, the condition of most of the New Orleans public school system should be it. After coastal erosion, the deplorable quality of education in New Orleans is the greatest threat to the long-term viability of the city. Virtually every problem facing New Orleans can be traced to the breakdown in the education of the majority of its residents. While the death spiral of the schools is not a new story, we’ll be looking at some new approaches being taken to address underfunded and mismanaged school districts around the country. Some of these are just crazy enough they might work. Read more >

Affordable Housing

An important issue Pre-Katrina, ensuring an adequate supply of decent affordable housing for the residents of New Orleans must be a central issue in the rebuilding of our community. Read more >

Local Democracy

Since the founding of The Urban Conservancy, Democratic control of neighborhoods has been a core value. As we reconceptualize our communities post-Katrina, New Orleans must establish and adhere to evidence-based quality standards for implementation, budget, and accountability to ensure that community input is translated into truly beneficial programs. Read more >

Thinking Sustainably

Creating local, sustainable economies is one of the core values upon which we founded The Urban Conservancy. As New Orleanians struggle to envision our city in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we are convinced that sustainability - environmental and economic - needs to be the organizing principle for our efforts. Read more >

Stuart Hall

The Catholic/Christian school Stuart Hall, which was founded in 1984, moved their operation into the facilities of the Carrollton Presbyterian Church in 1988. In May 2002, area residents received notice of plans for demolition of five existing homes and their replacement by new construction. Planned facilities include a two story gymnasium and a three-story early childhood center. Read more >

Safe Zones

While most residents of the city were attending carnival festivities and preparing for Mardi Gras, the Nagin administration unveiled a new policy aimed at increasing the safety of New Orleans’ children. The administration announced it would begin immediate demolition of blighted buildings within a five-block radius of school buildings. Read more >

Water Privatization

The interest in the privatization of New Orleans water and waste water services came from concerns over the dramatic rate increases that could be incurred by customers of the SWB due to federal mandates to upgrade New Orleans� aging water facilities. Read more >

Audubon Park

Livable communities require high quality public spaces. The Urban Conservancy is concerned about the ongoing attempt to convert precious public space into profit-generating private space. Get the latest information on the plans to redevelop Audubon Park from the concerned citizens at Read more >


In 2001, developer Pres Kabakoff announced that his company would include a Super Wal-Mart as part of the redevelopment of the St. Thomas public housing project. The announcement sent shockwaves through the city and led to a protracted and often heated discussion about the nature of development in New Orleans and the future of our economy. Read more >