Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the Friends of Lafitte Greenway and the City of New Orleans have announced the opening of the Lafitte Greenway. Students and faculty from UMKC’s Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design were some of the first planners to work on the greenway idea in 2006. The work was completed as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). UMKC was one of only 16 universities to receive a HUD grant as part of the Universities Rebuilding America Program (URAP).
UMKC worked with the Urban Conservancy in New Orleans http://www.urbanconservancy.org/ to establish a new advocacy group called the Friends of Lafitte Corridor (FOLC). This group worked to advocate for the construction of the Lafitte Greenway in all of the City’s post-disaster recovery plans. Dr. Wagner, Dr. Frisch, Vincent Gauthier and a team of UMKC students worked on the early plans to establish the greenway and the Friends of Lafitte Corridor in 2006 as part of a grant from HUD’s Office of University Partnerships.http://archives.hud.gov/news/2006/pr06-025.cfm
Early advocacy work included a trail-oriented development strategy developed by Billy Fields of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and a neighborhood plan completed by Wendy Laker, Bart Everson and Michael Holman of the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization . Daniel Samuels provided key leadership for the Friends group and helped to complete a plan for the greenway that was presented to the City Council of New Orleans in 2007.
Today, you can visit New Orleans and ride or walk the greenway to see what happens when a great idea moves from a plan to reality!