Schools as Agents of Revival in New Orleans

The City of New Orleans is about to undertake a massive reconstruction effort that will reshape and rebuild its entire school system.
January 18, 2011, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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The project will also integrate schools into communities as major elements of the city's revival.

"Recently, four new buildings opened as part of the Quick Start program, but most students attend classes in a mix of obsolete existing schools, modular structures, and other temporary fixes. But the landmark $1.8 billion disaster-relief settlement, reached last August with FEMA, promises to jump-start a six-phase master plan that will not only rebuild or renovate the entire system-unprecedented for an American city-but make neighborhood schools central to the economic and cultural rebirth of New Orleans.

The idea of schools as neighborhood anchors is largely the brainchild of the local planner and architect Steven Bingler and his firm, Concordia. The "Nexus" concept, as he calls it, is not about midnight basketball or sharing facilities. Instead, it's an urban-planning approach for delivering community services at the neighborhood level."

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Published on Monday, January 17, 2011 in Metropolis
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