May 2019 Notes from the Field: New Orleans, LA

A group of Louisiana State University environmental engineering students competed in the WERC Environmental Design Competition in Las Cruces, N.M. The team won second prize in the highly competitive Open Task for a project called Blight to Bioswales, which proposes to replace blighted lots in New Orleans’ lower 9th Ward with low-maintenance nature parks, engineering with bioswale features that will store and treat stormwater and green wall features that will accumulate semi volatile air pollutants on the cuticle of the plant surfaces, improving the immediate air quality in the park. Students worked with residents through a partnership with A Community Voice (ACV), a community organization based in the 9th Ward to obtain resident feedback to accomplish their design concepts. For next steps, Louisiana State University will work with ACV to build pilot systems to test the concepts as a method of reducing blight while simultaneously improving the urban environment.

Sarah Wilkins editor

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