The Van Alen Institute, in partnership with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, hosted Future Ground, a design competition that invited "multidisciplinary teams to generate flexible design and policy strategies to reuse vacant land in New Orleans." Gans studio, along with Jim Dart, LoriAnn Girvan, and Marc Norman, created a team for Policy as Design (Pad). Team PaD proposed community health and urban habitat corridors in the neighborhoods of Plum Orchard and the Lower 9th Ward; the strategies scaled both time (1-50 years) and space (the lot to the region) and leveraged existing governmental partnerships and community initiatives.
The MATRIX visualizes PaD's in-depth research of current inter-agency collaboration. The goal is to expand on existing cooperative endeavor agreements (CEAs), memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and other instruments to make collaboration not the EXCEPTION across agencies, but the RULE.
Plum Orchard's long-term plan would implement a Bus Rapid Transit system and Business Improvement District along the historic commercial strip and central thruway, Chef Menteur Highway, to catalyze revitalization and attract fresh food ventures.
In the short-term, pop-up markets and new fresh food corner stores can serve the growing population.
The proposed urban habitat corridor in the Lower 9th Ward starts at the scale of NORA-owned scattered sites to immediately bring benefits to the neighborhood through urban farms and plantings, then scales up to create regional connections, eco-tourism, agricultural enterprise and healthy ecologies.
Deborah Gans, Jim Dart of DARCH, LoriAnn Girvan, Marc Norman
with Roz Palmer, Cristina Zubillaga, Swati Sachdeva of Gans studio.