Building Growth in Partnership with the Community
For the project Beyond Bourbon Street: Building Growth in Partnership with the Community, The Urban Conservancy is working with Tulane students to document examples of positive commercial and residential infill and adaptive reuse in New Orleans, illustrating how business development can be balanced with protection of New Orleans’ unique historic urban environment with cost effective and financially successful results. This information will be used to create an educational tool suitable for presentation to neighborhood organizations, civic leaders, and developers.
Student volunteers work with Urban Conservancy staff to photograph sites, collect basic information about projects from developers and city agencies, and document the roles of neighborhood residents in shaping the final projects. The results of this investigation will be shaped into a highly visual educational tool. The final product will be executed in two formats. The first will be a flexible presentation capable of being tailored to a number of audiences including neighborhood organizations, citizens groups, business groups, civic leaders and real estate developers. The information will also be translated into a web format for inclusion on the Urban Conservancy web site.
Work on this project began with the opening of the academic semester at Tulane University in January of 2002. The Urban Conservancy expects to have a working version of the presentation completed by Summer 2002. This will serve as the core of an expandable and customizable visual presentation documenting the economic, political, and community benefits of sensitive development projects in historic neighborhoods of New Orleans.
The need for this project became apparent over several years of working on commercial development projects in New Orleans. Time and again citizens working to protect the integrity of their historic neighborhoods while promoting economic development are told that suburban-style developments are a necessary evil. Examples of appropriate infill or adaptive use from other cities across the country are inevitably met with the response, “That is great in San Francisco/Seattle/Savannah but it just won’t work in New Orleans.” The Urban Conservancy understands that a highly visual presentation supported by economic and development data documenting successful projects in New Orleans will prove valuable to citizens, politicians, and developers as our city moves to confront the challenges of blending the new with the existing urban fabric.