Addressing today’s water and soil management challenges requires a new paradigm in which stormwater and groundwater are managed as valuable resources rather than as nuisances. The Urban Water Plan outlines a 50-year program of systems retrofits and urban design opportunities for achieving a safer and more sustainable balance between ground and water. The retrofits emphasize slowing and storing stormwater rather than pumping, circulating surface water and recharging groundwater, creating vital public spaces around water, and incorporating natural elements and processes into the operation of an integrated living water system.
A new approach to stormwater and groundwater management suggests an integrated living water system that provides measurably higher levels of safety, reduces the rates at which the land is sinking, and establishes the reputation of Greater New Orleans as a driver of innovation for climate-adaptive planning, design, and technology.
Greater New Orleans is surrounded by water and accessible primarily by bridge, boat, and air. The form and culture of the region have deep roots in its waterways and water resources. Planning and design according to the guiding principles of the Urban Water Plan at the basin, district, and demonstration project scales yield opportunities from the redesign of single streets to the revitalization of entire districts. Visualizing solutions entails not only realizing near-term opportunities for retrofits that will make an immediate difference, but also envisioning the water-rich and resilient city that New Orleans can become.