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3 posts from March 2011

  • 03/22/2011
  • Posted by staff

Pushing to Re-Size, not Right-Size in New Orleans

By Brad Vogel, National Trust for Historic Preservation

As New Orleans continues to grind away at its significant blight problem, we’ve been working to improve the city’s approach to blight eradication.

One of the key notions that we’ve tried to make clear lately is that the city needs to start working to re-grow its population if it wants to address its blight challenge. The current blight initiative is heavily focused on demolition of offending properties as an end goal. Still, even with federal assistance, New Orleans does not have anywhere near enough funding to demolish all of its blighted properties.

Given that reality and the fact that many blighted properties are historic, it’s important to look at the population gap that has led to a landscape with tens of thousands of blighted addresses. New Orleans has over 100,000 fewer residents today than it did prior to Hurricane Katrina. But more importantly, it has only about half the population today that it had in 1960. A long slide in numbers due to factors like white flight to surrounding suburbs and the bust of an oil boom has left a built environment that is out of balance with the current populace, despite the slow but continuing return of displaced New Orleanians. READ MORE >>

via blog.preservationnation.org

Greater New Orleans Region to Develop Sustainable Integrated Water Management Strategy

Greater New Orleans, Inc. announced that Waggonner & Ball Architects, APC will be awarded the contract to develop the Comprehensive, Sustainable Integrated Water Management Strategy for St. Bernard Parish and the east banks of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes for storm water, waste water, ground water, flood control, water infrastructure, public rights of way, and other public properties.

The funding to execute the program is provided through a $2 million Comprehensive Resiliency Program award from the Louisiana Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to GNO, Inc.

"Many areas in St. Bernard Parish and the east banks of Orleans and Jefferson parishes depend on a large-scale pumping system susceptible to failure even during normal rainfall, resulting in flooding that divides these neighborhoods," said Paul Rainwater, Louisiana Commissioner of Administration.  "Additional threats, such as subsidence and rising sea levels, also contribute to the need for a solution-based approach to an integrated water management strategy that is vital to the continued recovery, growth, and development of the region."

GNO, Inc. invited experienced, multi-disciplinary teams to submit proposals for this initiative through a competitive bidding process that included a selection committee consisting of parish officials and experts in engineering, planning and design, community engagement, environmental sustainability, and flood protection.

"Due to the geography and topography of the Greater New Orleans region, water management is an important issue for businesses and residents in our area," said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of GNO, Inc. "Waggonner & Ball has proven experience in research, interpretation and modeling, policy, infrastructure, design, and implementation. We expect the consultant team to produce a valuable and implementable strategy based on international best practices, and we congratulate them for earning this contract."

The announcement coincides with the 19th annual World Water Day. Held each year on March 22, World Water Day focuses attention on the importance of freshwater and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The theme for 2011 is "Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge." The United Nations General Assembly designated March 22, 1993 as the first World Water Day. READ MORE >>

via watershednola.posterous.com

  • 03/06/2011
  • Posted by staff

Entergy Offers 'SmartView' to Qualified Customers: Smart meter test program can help control energy usage

Customers of Entergy New Orleans, Inc. will soon receive tools to help reduce their energy usage while saving them money on their electric bills thanks to the work of the utility and the U.S. Department of Energy.Partially funded by a $5 million stimulus federal grant, the test program named SmartView is placing smart meters and other equipment in the homes of up to 7,400 customers in New Orleans – at no additional charge.

Beginning this summer, Entergy New Orleans will test smart meters, also known as Advanced Meter Infrastructure or AMI. The cutting-edge technology provides near real-time energy usage information in the convenience of the customer’s home.

“We encourage customers to take advantage of this unique opportunity that’s aimed at giving them more control over their energy usage and lowering home energy costs,” said Charles L. Rice Jr., president and chief executive officer of Entergy New Orleans, Inc. “It’s also an exciting opportunity for Entergy to test new options for energy management and to better understand the impact that smart grid technology has on our customers.”

Entergy New Orleans will partner with qualified customers and provide them with easy-to-use tools, training and information at no additional costs. Participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis, and registration is limited. Qualified participants must be Entergy New Orleans residential electric customers with active accounts since Jan. 1, 2010 and meet specific household income requirements.

For more information, call Entergy New Orleans toll free at 1-855-33-SMART (1-855-337-6278), visit the EntergyNew OrleansCustomerCareCenter at 3400 Canal St. in person or visit entergy-neworleans.com/smartview.