Revitalizing the Lower Ninth Ward begins with the thousands of homes and businesses damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – to ensure they become healthy, comfortable, energy-efficient places to live and work. That community-wide focus extends to making our streets, parks, schools and gathering places safer and more sustainable as well.
Through the Sustains Weatherization Program, CSED’s initial focus on elderly and low income individuals has expanded through radiant barrier installations and related programs to help all Lower 9 residents save energy and money. To date, we have installed radiant barriers in the attics of more than 111 homes in the Lower 9. CSED secured the addition of rooftop solar arrays to 10 Lower 9 homes and businesses. And we continue to offer free CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulb replacements to residents in coordination with Green Light New Orleans.
In addition, CSED:
- Developed the initial plan for pedestrian and bike safety specifically targeted for access over the St. Claude Ave. bridge, which creates a physical access barrier for L9 residents to the rest of the city
- Participated in planning meetings with the city of New Orleans for a community-wide Blight Day – resulting in an ongoing series of Blight Beautification projects to address the Lower 9’s blighted areas and overgrown lots and houses
- Supported the Water Environment Federation and Global Green in their community service project to construct a bioswale for stormwater management at the Holy Cross Project in the Lower 9
- Conducted residential outreach for Hike for KaTREEna to identify homeowners interested in replanting of the Lower 9’s tree canopy; in all, 86 trees were planted and a second planting is being organized for fall of 2011
Our growing staff continues to focus on all aspects of improving the Lower 9's built environment, including Kathy Muse (Programs), Vincent Fedeli (Energy Efficiency) and Kevin Mercadel (Built Environment Outreach). CSED also plays a vital ongoing role with the Implementation Plan for the Sustainable Restoration of the Lower 9 and recently hosted an important Neighborhood Summit – with 25 non-profits, school representatives, city officials and other entities – to highlight our combined efforts in the Lower 9. We participate regularly in conferences, too, traveling to the Eco District Summit in Portland, OR, Good Jobs, Green Jobs in Washington, DC, and Sustainable Cities in Washington, DC, and more.
And finally, we’re proud to support several organizations also working to transform the built environment of the Lower 9, including the Preservation Resource Center’s Operation Comeback Program, lowernine.org, Global Green’s Holy Cross Project, the Make It Right Foundation and Historic Green.