Green infrastructure solutions in New Orleans

Green infrastructure solutions in New Orleans

Nature Based Engineering

Implementation of the urban water plan ten years after Katrina

It is more than ten years now since Hurricane Katrina left a trail of destruction in New Orleans. A large part of the city has now been rebuilt and a vision has been drawn up for water management for the city in the future: the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan (2013). Not a moment too soon: there is regular flooding due to torrential rains and excessive reclamation has led to serious land subsidence in many places. A lot of water infrastructure needs replacing or, even better, upgrading in order to improve climate robustness and habitability.

To shape local redevelopment, the city of New Orleans and its water authority – the Sewage and Water Board – wants to team up with residents and interest groups to identify sustainable, and preferably green or blue, solutions for water problems that will generate added value for society as a whole. And to support that shared design process, they have asked Deltares to completely overhaul the Adaptation Support Tool so that it is in line with the situation in New Orleans. The city also asked Deltares to train a number of facilitators who will be guiding the design sessions in the future.

The Adaptation Support Tool (AST) is an interactive tool in which planned solutions are selected and displayed on a computer screen. A global estimate can then be made of the effects and costs on the basis of the local data. Deltares also organised a number of workshops to teach people how to use the AST. Finally, the tool will be put to the test in a session attended by local people. Deltares will be providing support in 2017 for the AST sessions in New Orleans.

The AST was originally developed in the Climate-KIC Blue Green Dream project and it has already been used successfully on a number of occasions in urban planning projects. New Orleans is the first city in the United States to use its own version of this interactive tool.

‘Retrofitting blue-green infra solutions strengthens both physical climate resilience and social resilience of an urban area. Both will be covered by using the AST in collaborative planning sessions.
Frans van de Ven
Deltares Expert Urban Water and Soilmanagement
The AST tool helps us to decide what type of green infrastructure to install on a specific location and with the outreach to the neighbourhood and home-owners.
Brad Klamer
Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans
It lets us bring people to the table that are not necessarily technical, it’s great for community engagement and communication.
Colleen McHugh
City of New Orleans, Office of Resilience and Sustainability

For this project Deltares has collaborated with the following partners:

  • City of New Orleans
  • The Water Institute of the Gulf
  • New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board
  • Dana Brown & Associates
  • Deltares USA

Want to know more about this project? F.H.M. (Frans) van de Ven
Stedelijk Water- en Bodembeheer
  • +31 (0)88 335 78 26 / +31 (0)6 51 83 50 10