U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro and the Rockefeller Foundation announced the winners of the $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). The city of New Orleans Thursday (Jan. 21) won a $141 million grant to create a “resilience district.”
The city’s project was selected after a 16-month National Disaster Resilience Competition held by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which asked cities and states to pitch projects aimed at creating resilient housing and infrastructure.
The award, which totals $141,260,569, will be used for several integrated initiatives that include coastal restoration, workforce development, and creating parks and green streets that will turn the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans into a “national model for retrofitting post-war suburban neighborhoods into resilient safe and equitable communities of opportunity,” the city said in a statement.
HUD sponsored the contest in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, whose offshoot 100 Resilient Cities selected New Orleans for a program to improve the city’s ability to withstand environmental and economic shocks.
Judges considered 67 applicants before awarding grants to 13 cities and states. The State of Louisiana will receive $92,629,249 in NDRC funding to support its Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments Program (LA SAFE). LA SAFE seeks to protect coastal wetlands in and around southeast Louisiana, retrofit communities to withstand increased flooding risk, and reshape high-ground areas to maximize their use and safety. The NDRC funds will also enable a tribal community on the Isle de Jean Charles, which has experienced a 98 percent loss of land to 1955, to relocate to a resilient and historically-contextual community.
Disaster and resilience practitioners from around the globe are invited to attend RES/CON 2016, the annual convening for this growing field of experts spanning the public, private and NGO sectors. RES/CON, formerly the International Disaster Conference & Expo (IDCE), will take place on March 1 – 3, 2016, at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Registration for the event is now open at resconnola.com