Jean Lafitte Tomorrow, Jean Lafitte, LA.

PLANNING

Summary

Jean Lafitte, an historic fishing community south of New Orleans, outside the current levee system, has been severely impacted by flooding from natural disasters, exacerbated by the loss of bayou and higher flood waters due to the surrounding levee systems and the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf. The Town of Jean Lafitte, in collaboration with the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), embarked on crafting a comprehensive resilience plan that integrates previous planning efforts and studies to provide a roadmap for decisions concerning economic, social, and physical resilience.

 

Jason King, leading the Dover, Kohl & Partners Team, conducted a public charrette in the Town in November 2011. During the charrette, six principles for resilience were developed: Assess Opportunities & Threats, Enhance Local Assets, Focus on the Heart of Town, Diversify Mobility Options, Build Stronger & Safer, and Live with Water. These principles guided a series of Town projects such as the expansion of their boardwalk system through the bayou, developing a nature center, adding a new dock, creating a fish market at Rosethorn Park, and enhancing accessibility to their long history to attract tourists. These developments showcased short-term success and bolstered local confidence in the town’s future viability.

 

Thanks to significant community involvement and collaboration with consultants from the Army Corps of Engineers, Jean Lafitte’s ring levee was incorporated into the phase 1 projects of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The Jean Lafitte Tomorrow Plan was unanimously adopted by the Town Council in April 2013. The fish market is operational, and the community is focusing on the heart of town, now better protected by the levee systems. The plan received the Special Jury Award from the CNU in 2014 for its innovative approaches to addressing resilience concerns.

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