Public Art and Resilience Planning

A neighborhood in New Orleans, badly damaged after Hurricane Katrina, is providing a test bed for an innovative new approach to urban planning.

1 minute read

December 9, 2019, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Gentilly Terrace and Gardens in New Orleans, pictured in 2011. | Infrogmation of New Orleans / Flickr

"In 2015, grant writers in New Orleans decided that art should be part of resilience planning," reports Zoe Sullivan.

That decision was connected to work on a competitive Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) grant to support the planning and water-management infrastructure for the Gentilly Resilience District," according to Sullivan. "In 2016, New Orleans was one of 13 communities to win a $141 million grant in the National Disaster Resilience Competition organized by HUD and the Rockefeller Foundation."

"The competition aimed to inspire and support cities working to make themselves more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Now, three years after the award was announced, the Arts Council of New Orleans is conducting trainings for artists who want to get involved in co-creating public art in the neighborhood."

Sullivan describes a lot more about how the grant money is being implemented, the philosophy behind art at a component of resilience planning, and some of the public art elements that have grown out of the effort to this point.

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