green infrastructure

Pictured left to right: Councilman Jared Brossett, NORA Executive Director Brenda Breaux, NORA Board Chair Jim Singleton, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and Councilwoman Helena Moreno.
Travis Lux / WWNO

The city of New Orleans is launching a new program to help Gentilly residents install green infrastructure on their properties to absorb rain water.

In 2016, the city got more than $141.2 million to improve stormwater management through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition.

Travis Lux / WWNO

 

New Orleans is a city that floods. Even a small storm can leave streets impassable. City officials say they’re working on solutions, but they’re also asking citizens to help out.

All this week we’ve aired stories about how prepared the city is for the threats that climate change will bring — heavier rains, bigger storms, extreme temperatures — and there are some serious doubts. That’s why some people are taking matters into their own hands.

Michael Isaac Stein / The Lens

Scientists say climate change will bring heavier rains and more intense storms. City officials have acknowledged that New Orleans needs to rethink how it deals with rain — by reducing reliance on mechanical pumps and managing the water where it falls.

Thanks to a post-Katrina settlement with FEMA, the city has more than $2 billion to fix streets and drainage — a perfect opportunity to try some new ideas. But will it?

Travis Lux / WWNO

Major floods last summer thrust infrastructure and drainage issues into the limelight. And new Mayor LaToya Cantrell has made them a top priority for her administration. She has championed the approach to water management outlined in the city's Urban Water Plan — which emphasizes “green infrastructure” solutions like soaking up rain water instead of pumping it out. But that plan is largely unfunded.