Following Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has undergone a patchy recovery, rife with contestation and doubts. Even with new flood defense systems, experts question the long-term resilience of New Orleans which has historically been at odds with nature. Tackling the issue of urban resilience, the scheme is a speculative master plan that challenges the current approaches toward disaster-prevention and landscape engineering in New Orleans.
Straddling a six-foot levee, the proposal aims to facilitate the regeneration of the Lower Ninth Ward community and the adjacent Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle—both currently ghosts of their former selves after historical neglect and segregation. A multistakeholder premise creates a narrative of cooperative value-creation through the restoration of a lost wetland. By tapping on the wetland’s potential economic, recreational, educational, and ecological benefits, the scheme both attracts, mobilizes, and retains a demographic that matures with restoration efforts.
While newcomers initially attracted to this pioneer community become rooted to the local community, cypress saplings begin to flourish in the newly laid sediments. After a decade, the scheme stretches outwards, blurring the threshold that once delineated human and nature. Family homes spill into the local housing stock and sediment satellites venture forward for the complete restoration of Bayou Bienvenue.