GIS Mapping Tool for a Sustainable New Orleans

Year Complete: 2017
Grant Amount: $39,000
Local Government: City of New Orleans, LA
Local Foundation: Greater New Orleans Foundation

Project Purpose

To create a GIS tool that collects environmental, social, and health outcome data to better inform the City and developers on how, where, and when to incorporate “green” infrastructure to increase equitable sustainability and livability.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

 One of the lessons learned through this project was how crucial it was to leverage cross-sectoral partnerships in order to accomplish work streams that the sustainability office wanted to accomplish in line with its sustainability plans.  Another lesson was how important it was to ensure that partners and providers handling various work streams and projects were coordinating and communicating with each other in order to minimize redundancies and maximize synergies.  It was beneficial to convene these partners in order to stimulate collaboration.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

Like any good partnership, agreeing upon a clear definition of roles, responsibilities, and deliverables was crucial to the success of this partnership.

It was important for both parties to trust one another in a greater way than they had been previously. As a result of this deeper trust, the City and the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) are exploring other ways to partner to increase sustainability throughout New Orleans. Recently, GNOF applied to ArtPlace America to install an artistic, “green” entrance from Treme to Armstrong Park, a City-run park. The work in Armstrong Park will use the GIS tool and leverage other investments from national funders in GNOF/City projects.

Another lesson was that regular and direct communications between the place-based foundation and the sustainability director was necessary to allow for effective coordination on projects.

Additional Information and Resources

A profile on the successful work the Climate-Smart Cities organization has done for the city of New Orleans, including the GIS-mapping techniques, can be found here.