The U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), together with the Enterprise Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the Trust for Public Land and others have announced initiatives and ideas designed to assist in the rebuilding efforts of the Gulf Coast communities ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The immediate opportunity that presents itself is during the Council’s annual 2005 Greenbuild Conference & Expo, which will be held in Atlanta on November 9-11, 2005.
Greenbuild attendees, many of whom represent chapters and other USGBC organization members, have expressed an interest in helping with rebuilding in the aftermath of the hurricane. Charrettes with Gulf Coast experts and government leaders and mini-charrettes on specific topics with regional experts have been organized. “Scholarships” have been arranged for 30 Gulf Coast community leaders to come and be a part of the proceedings.
The Greenbuild panel sessions will focus on embedding sustainable strategies in the rebuilding effort and will culminate in a documentation work session on Friday, November 11, 2005 that will compile all the ideas generated in order to produce a workable document to guide the reconstruction efforts quickly.
The series of design workshops related to the hurricane reconstruction efforts will include:
* Work with the Enterprise Foundation to customize their Green Communities program to better fit the needs of the Gulf Coast. This will be done in partnership with Community Development Corporation representatives from the region, and will help guide the placement of Enterprise Foundation funds;
* A partnership with the Trust for Public Land to continue their efforts on master planning of a mile long park on largely industrial land in New Orleans. This ‘Greenprint” process includes local citizen groups, the city, the Army Corps of Engineers, and others. This effort will involve the design of parks, infrastructure, ecological restoration areas, affordable housing and civic buildings;
* Work with the Congress for New Urbanism to incorporate green building and infrastructure measures into the documents that will come out of the charrettes that they are currently holding in Mississippi;
* Work with a school district on the redesign of a destroyed K-12 school, to apply green building strategies that create a healthier learning environment.