Baton Rouge Today (Monday) we will open up the ACORN Community Forum on Rebuilding New Orleans at the LSU Cook Conference Center. Within weeks of the hurricane we started reaching out to our friends and allies in the planning and architectural worlds with the hard questions — how do we rebuild New Orleans. Some of them had experience after 9/11 in New York. Others knew this was important and simply wanted to help.
David Conrath, Dean of the LSU Art and Design School, quickly signed on as the critical Louisiana sponsor of the conference along with Ron Shiffman, our old friend at Pratt in Brooklyn, and Ken Reardon, head of the huge Cornell Urban Planning School. The idea was straightforward. We would start a dialogue between 50 of the best folks thinking and working in these fields around the country, and an equivalent number of New Orleanian evacuees who were interested in figuring out how to come home and rebuild.
Today begins with a bus tour of four neighborhoods: Gentilly, the 9th Ward, New Orleans East, and Upper Carrollton / Hollygrove. We will go through these areas in New Orleans and then break into four groups to think about this tonight and tomorrow along with a number of presentations on what can be done and how to do it.
In order to allow evacuees in a number of cities to be a part of the conference we are webcasting the conference tonight and tomorrow to sites near and far. If you are interested, it is free for you to join in at any time and participate fully as long as you have a computer and a high speed connection. The details are available on the ACORN website (www.acorn.org) by clicking where it says webcast.
This might be worth a look. Please join us!
November 7, 2005