New Orleans Climate-Smart Cities Decision-Support/Mapping Tool

In collaboration with the Trust for Public Land, the Office of Resilience and Sustainability in New Orleans, Louisiana has completed a publicly accessible Climate-Smart Cities climate risk mapping and planning tool. This decision support tool is designed to guide green infrastructure planning for climate adaptation in New Orleans - through heat mitigation, social equity, flood control, and more. The tool identifies priority areas for multi-benefit green infrastructure investments based on climate impacts, and the location of vulnerable populations in New Orleans. 

Over the last year, a Technical Advisory Team led by the Trust for Public Land, and made up of many city departments in New Orleans, have worked together to design the tool “around criteria like urban heat island effect, existing trails and bike lanes, flood risk, soil permeability, storm surge, and population density.” A health care data layer was also added to the tool as a result of a partnership with the Louisiana Public Health Institute - which incorporates data such as respiratory illnesses and heat-related illnesses, among others - at the neighborhood level.

New Orleans Climate-Smart mapping tool includes data based on the resiliency priorities of: Cool, Absorb, Equity, Connect, Critical Infrastructure and Health. The following are some of the mapping/modeling layers available for New Orleans of each category. (All mapping layers for Equity analysis are listed):

  • COOL: LandSat Urban Heat Islands
  • ABSORB: High Exceedance Flooding; Wetlands; Percent Impervious Basin (This model prioritizes stormwater management catchments within New Orleans City limits based on percent impervious cover in each catchment); Estimated Runoff Potential - Water Quality Priorities
  • EQUITY: Low Income Households; Minority Population; Less than a High School Education; Linguistic Isolation; Population over 64; Population under 5; Population Density; Households receiving SNAP Benefits; Single Parent Households; Households with Disabilities; Vehicle Availability; Rent Burden
  • CONNECT: Connect People to Employment Centers and Essential Services; Gaps in Park Access; Gaps in Existing Bike Network
  • CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE: Density of Essential Emergency Services; Density of Key Transportation Infrastructure; Density of Key Sewer and Water Infrastructure
  • HEALTH: Respiratory Illness; Hypertension; Cerebrovascular Disease - These models assign health vulnerability based upon areas with a high percentage of active clinic patients that have been seen for each disease or illness. 

Publication Date: 2017

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  • Mapping tool

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