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Published on August 19th, 2009 | by Jeff Kart


'New' New Orleans could be National Model for Green Building

August 19th, 2009 by  


Aug. 29 is the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Kanye West’s “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” comment on live TV.

The rebuilding of New Orleans continues. And it’s being rebuilt in shades of green.

According to a “New Orleans Green Building Assessment” released by the Sierra Club, the devastation of 2005 has provided the city with a unique opportunity to develop a national model for rebuilding with sustainability in mind.

The report’s five goals were to profile key agencies, catalog current and past green building projects, evaluate the capacity and needs of businesses and organizations, assess the current green building situation and develop a directory of green building service providers.

Researchers from Monterey, California, spent three weeks in New Orleans in January to develop a plan for the green building assessment. They worked with an environmental justice organizer in Sierra Club’s New Orleans’ office and conducted interviews and surveys.

The report concludes that in the future, a green rebuilding model should focus on coordination of efforts through partnerships that include public and private entities.

“Moving forward, this document provides a foundation for the city to develop a ‘best practices’ model for rebuilding green, focusing on the city’s existing and emerging partnerships,” the report says.

“This model should highlight the role of partnerships in providing funding, coordinating efforts, managing resources, training a skilled workforce and creating green collar jobs, providing access to affordable green technologies and matching organizational needs with service providers.

“The next step is to convene the actors and stakeholders and to develop a step-by-step model for green re-building that can guide the nation.”

The whole thing is available online (.pdf).

Live Green New Orleans notes that while the report finds tremendous growth potential and interest within the marketplace to participate in sustainable building practices, it also says that consumers lack the information on where they can buy green products in New Orleans. 

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About the Author

is typing about issues in the Great Lakes, from advanced biofuels to zero-emission vehicles. Jeff is an environmental journalist and social media evangelist based in Michigan, where the summers are short, the winters are cold, and the stories are plentiful.

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