“Global Challenge, Global Solutions” is a series hosted on Climasphere highlighting inspiring, innovative, and creative global solutions to the challenge of climate change in the lead up to the next major climate conference, COP22. These solutions have been provided by members of the Earth To Marrakech coalition, a group of more than 50 media organizations, civil society groups, and businesses from around the world who are raising their voices in a collective call to move from words to action on climate change. Let’s send a message, from Earth To Marrakech: The solutions to climate change are out there, and they’re inspiring.
Embracing Water in a Delta City
New Orleans’ Gentilly Resilience District seeks to manage complex drainage and land issues by embracing the tide and creating spaces to capture rainwater in a mixed-income neighborhood prone to fl ooding. A suite of urban water management projects will address crumbling streets, overburdened drainage systems, and sinking soils by adapting the city’s streets, parks, schoolyards, open lots, as well as residents’ properties with green infrastructure. The projects are designed to reduce risk from flooding and subsidence while beautifying neighborhoods, improving public health, and providing recreational opportunities.
The city plans to train unemployed individuals to build projects in the resilience district and develop increasingly vital skills in water infrastructure management. This approach connects physical resilience with social resilience, focusing on reducing risk to the city’s most vulnerable landscapes and populations.
RELEVANCE OF SOLUTION
In New Orleans, risks of land subsidence and flooding disproportionately impact low-lying, lower-income areas like Gentilly. Making this burden worse, coastal Louisiana is experiencing the highest rate of relative sea level rise in the world, predicted at 1.3 meters by 2100.1 The Gentilly Resilience District aims to mitigate these environmental and social challenges by reshaping the landscape and lowering unemployment.
TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE:
The project aims to eliminate damage from a five-year flooding event, reduce land subsidence, improve water quality, and reduce the urban heat island effect.
The Gentilly Resilience District will provide job training in water management for unemployed residents, including African American men, 52% of whom in New Orleans are unemployed.
A cost benefit analysis conducted by the City indicates that each dollar invested in the project results in more than one dollar of estimated benefits.