Resilient New Orleans: Strategic Action to Shape Our Future City

In August 2015, the City of New Orleans released its Resilient New Orleans strategy outlining the city's vision and plan for building a more equitable, adaptable, and prosperous New Orleans that will serve the next generations of residents. The strategy was developed by the City of New Orleans as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. Resilient New Orleans identifies a number of ongoing and supporting actions that the city is already taking, as well as 14 new strategies that New Orleans will implement in support of its resilience vision.

Drawing on the methodology proposed in Rockefeller’s City Resilience Framework, Resilient New Orleans announces initiatives that spans beyond a strict focus on preparing for climate change impacts to include other actions to enhance the city's social and economic resilience to climate change and other stressors

In developing the strategy, the city examined a range of risks and challenges including shocks from hurricanes and flooding that will be exacerbated by climate change, and chronic stressors such as poverty, unemployment, and crime.

The strategy organizes the goals and actions the city will take to build its resilience into three main themes:

  1. Adapt to Thrive: Under this theme the city includes actions that seek to align the built environment with the demands of New Orleans's changing natural systems.  Actions include implementing the city's existing Urban Water Plan, advancing coastal protection and restoration, and encouraging property owner to invest in flood risk reduction measures.
  2. Connect to Opportunity: Under this theme the city articulates goals to make equity a central piece of the city's strategy for improving economic growth, community safety, and the long term prosperity of the City. Recommended actions include creating an emergency savings account program and a digital innovation challenge,  to invest in the financial stability of low-income households; expanding access to safe and affordable housing; and lowering barriers to workforce participation
  3. Transform City Systems: This theme articulates a vision for transforming how the city delivers public services to modernize systems, protect against future shocks, and open up opportunities for residents and business. Actions include redesigning New Orleans's regional transportation system, the development of a small business resilience initiative, the creation of a pre-disaster plan for post-disaster recovery, the development of a sustainable growth strategy, and integration of resilience into city agency decision-making.

For each action, the strategy identifies the lead and partner agencies that will carry the policy forward, the funding source that will support it, and the current status of the action. This document builds on a decade of risk assessments and planning within New Orleans with a commitment to implementation. 

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

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