"Urban Parks' Emerging Role as Transportation Infrastructure"

By: Catherine Nagel (Contributor) and Kari E. Watkins (Contributor) 

Source: Governing.com 

Full Article 

In recent decades, once-struggling cities have been reimagining themselves by evolving from 20th-century-style manufacturing centers to 21st-century hubs of commerce and culture. While each city realizes its own evolution in its own way, one important ingredient of these transformations is consistent among them all: city parks. Like the cities that house them, urban parks take on different forms, from signature downtown parks to reclaimed industrial railways and corridors. Now these corridors, or linear parks, are coming to be recognized as an important part of modernized transportation systems, connecting neighborhoods and residents to new opportunities.

In New Orleans, for instance, residents use over 100 miles of walkable, bike-able pathways every day. Before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, New Orleans had just 10 miles of trail. In 2009, the city received $9.1 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Disaster Community Development Block Grant program, making the transformation of the Lafitte industrial corridor into the Lafitte Greenway possible with help from the Friends of Lafitte Greenway.

In 2015, its first full year of use, 272,000 people walked or bicycled the Greenway. That's an impressive number, but it contained a surprise: A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology showed that 80 percent of weekday morning and afternoon cyclists use the Greenway not for recreation but for transportation to and from work, school and shopping.

Linear parks like the Lafitte Greenway demonstrate what is possible when we fully consider the role of parks as transportation infrastructure. The Greenway concept is a roadmap to a more sustainable future for New Orleans, supporting public health, recreation, stormwater management, neighborhood investment and job opportunities through connections to low-cost public transportation.

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Biking through New Orleans: City's bike-share launches in December with 70 locations

By: Jessica Williams | November 10, 2017

Source: New Orleans Advocate | Full Article

By this time next month, residents and tourists in New Orleans will be able to pick up a bicycle at one spot in the city and drop it off at another, the realization of a lengthy effort to diversify public transit in the city.

Officials this week revealed the 70 locations where 700 bicycles will be available as part of the city’s first bike-sharing program, scheduled to start in December.

The sites are largely concentrated in the Central Business District, French Quarter and other neighborhoods along the Mississippi River, with some in Treme and near City Park.


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Construction on new Lafitte Greenway bar slated for January

By: Claire Byun | November 13, 2017

Source: Mid-City Messenger | Full Article 

A bicycle-friendly beer and wine garden on the Lafitte Greenway may start construction early next year, though the owners are still working on a name.

Crews have applied for construction permits with work hopefully starting in early January, developer Billy Good said.

The still-unnamed bar would have “adequate” vehicle parking and about 60 bicycle parking spots, plus a permeable outdoor patio – though live music is not planned for the venue. Site plans submitted to the city show space for an indoor bar and small mezzanine. Good said the outdoor patios will have 62 percent permeable space with trees, fire pits and heaters.

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nola.com: Boats, not bicycles once traveled the Lafitte Greenway

By: Richard Campanella, Cityscapes Columist | November 14, 2017

Source: Nola.com | Full Article 

For decades, a weedy strip coursed through New Orleans’ historical heart, unnamed, underutilized and barely noticed except as a nuisance. All this changed two years ago, when the newly christened Lafitte Greenway opened new access to old neighborhoods and mended a gash in the urban fabric.

The linear movement of pedestrians and bicyclists on the Greenway today echoes that of vessels starting more than 220 years ago, at a time when New Orleans made some influential planning decisions.

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Mid City Messenger: Hagan-Lafitte drainage project adds rainwater storage under Easton Park, greenspace for stormwater runoff

By: Claire Byun | Midcitymessenger.com | November 8, 2017

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A new drainage project meant to reduce flooding in the Hagan-Lafitte neighborhood is scheduled for next year. The project will replace outdated drainage pipes and add additional rainwater storage, while providing more greenspace for natural stormwater runoff.

Total construction will take 12 months, and crews should start March or April of next year. Green infrastructure is needed along the city’s lowest-lying areas to “complement” the drainage systems already in place, Charles Allen, resilience outreach manager, said.


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New Orleans Advocate: Prospect Profile: Michel Varisco's art distills life on the Mississippi

By John D'Addario | Special to the Advocate

New Orleans artist Michel Varisco is one of 73 featured artists in the central component of this year’s Prospect.4 exhibition.

But the piece she’s creating will live long after the exhibition closes in January.

Varisco’s “Turning: prayer wheels for the Mississippi River” will be a permanent installation on the Lafitte Greenway, where Bayou St. John intersects with Jefferson Davis Parkway. It will be unveiled Nov. 18, during Prospect.4 opening weekend.

Full Article

Source: New Orleans Advocate 


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New Orleans Magazine: "Prospect 4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp"

By: John R Kemp | myneworleans.com| November 2, 2017

New Orleans is a city that celebrates creative souls and its place in the American psyche. It revels in its own history, real and imagined, and thinks of itself as a place like none other in North America. The existentialist novelist Walker Percy once described the city, his adopted hometown, as an island “cut adrift not only from the South but from the rest of Louisiana, somewhat like Mont Saint-Michel awash at high tide.”

Percy’s New Orleans, with its graceful patina of age, cultural history, architecture and almost smothering humid floral landscape, is a natural open-air art gallery. With that in mind, Prospect New Orleans has launched this year’s international contemporary art triennial “Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp.”

The citywide art show, which runs November 18 to February 25 and is free to the public, explores the city’s creative spirit in the visual and performing arts and its historical connections to Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. Billed as one the nation’s largest triennial art exhibitions, Prospect.4 features artwork by 73 local, national and international artists from 25 countries in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe. New Orleans-area artists included in the Prospect.4 line up are Wayne Gonzales, Darryl Montana, Jennifer Odem, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, John T. Scott, Michel Varisco, Monique Verdin, and jazz legend Louis Armstrong. Yes, in addition to blowing a mean horn, Armstrong was also a talented visual artist.

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Greenway Soirée moves trailside

By: Advocate Staff Report | October 25th, 2017 6:45 AM

The 2017 Greenway Soirée was the fifth for the Friends of Lafitte Greenway but the first to take place beside the 2.6-mile linear park, at the Cellar on St. Louis, 2500 St. Louis St. The Friends of Lafitte Greenway works to build program and promote the greenway as a great public space. For information about the nonprofit organization, visit lafittegreenway.org.

The 2017 Soirée featured musical entertainment by Brad Walker Quintet, David Batiste Sr. and the ReNEW Schools Turnaround Arts Choir, DJ George Ingmire, the Congo Square Preservation Society and DJ Jennifer Brady.

New Orleans City Councilmembers Susan G. Guidry and Ethan Ashley were honorary co-chairs of the 2017 Greenway Soirée.

Source: Advocate.com

Full Article: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/communities/crescent_city/article_24f61698-b44d-11e7-878e-3bafe60bfa3d.html



New Orleans' newest playground

City recreation officials will kick off a multi-day national conference on parks and recreation Sunday (Sept. 24) at the Lafitte Greenway, where they will also mark the expansion of the Greenway's Lemann Playground. The playground set at the base of the Greenway near North Claiborne Avenue netted around $1 million in donated equipment that crews have spent months installing ahead of the national conference.

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New Orleans Advocate: Greenway: On resurgent Lafitte corridor, an industrial relic gains new life

BY R. STEPHANIE BRUNO | Special to The Advocate AUG 26, 2017 - 6:45 AM

When the Morreale family built the Tulane Industrial Laundry back in the 1940s, the area surrounding the business at St. Louis and North Dorgenois streets was largely industrial and commercial.

The giant pumping station on North Broad and a Schwegmann’s supermarket anchored the area, where plumbing supply warehouses and auto repair shops mingled.

After 10 years of vacancy following Hurricane Katrina, the old laundry building is on the brink of a new life as a mixed-use development featuring commercial space on the ground floor and 12 apartments above, thanks to a multimillion-dollar project by GCE Green Development.

Source: The New Orleans Advocate

Full Story: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/home_garden/article_df8024bc-8802-11e7-b6bb-7b235f1f0035.html