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District D

Gentilly Resilience District

December 17, 2020   |    Category: District D    |   Tagged as: Gentilly Resilience District, Green Infrastructure, Resilience

Gentilly Resilience District


The Gentilly Resilience District (GRD) is a combination of resilience programs and projects in the targeted area of Gentilly, designed to reduce flood risk, slow land subsidence, improve energy reliability and spur neighborhood revitalization. The city’s first Resilience District uses various approaches to water and land management that have been successfully piloted throughout New Orleans and, when implemented together, are intended to create even greater neighborhood benefits—such as improved health, economic opportunity, environmental education, and recreation.

The following 12 projects and programs currently comprise the Gentilly Resilience District:

Mirabeau Water Garden, Pontilly Neighborhood Stormwater Network, Blue & Green Corridors, St. Bernard Neighborhood Campus, Milne Playground Resilience project, St. Anthony Green Streets, Dillard Wetlands, Dillard Campus, Community Adaptation Program, Reliable Energy & Smart Systems, Workforce Development, and Placemaking.


The Pontilly Neighborhood Stormwater Network project will reduce flood risk and beautify green spaces in the Pontchartrain Park and Gentilly Woods neighborhoods through the construction of green infrastructure strategies. The project will combine improvements to the Dwyer Canal with a network of interventions along streets, in alleyways, and within vacant lots designed to slow and store stormwater.

When implemented, these strategies reduce the burden on the drainage system, slow land subsidence, and improve water quality – all while beautifying the neighborhood.

Phase II of the Pontilly Neighborhood Stormwater Network will focus on improvements to the Dwyer Canal, including creating a recreational and social space that will enhance the natural beauty of the historic Pontchartrain Park and Gentilly Woods neighborhoods. 

The design and construction of Phase II is funded by the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) grant. Prioritizing community engagement is paramount to the success of the project as community feedback will shape the design.   

We will use various means and methods of engagement throughout the design process, including polling / surveys.  We currently have a survey published on the website to solicit feedback on the initial design.  Please check out the project page to complete and / or view the survey and the meeting presentation; as well as more information on the project.  


The Blue & Green Corridors project is being designed to combine rainfall management with symbiotic community benefits.  Updates to the urban landscape along strategic “Corridors” will create multimodal transportation connections, waterways that will retain rainfall, as well as public social spaces in the GRD.

Check out the signage along the Elysian Fields neutral ground at the intersections of Odin, Prentiss and Robert E. Lee. 

The Arts Council New Orleans in partnership with the City of New Orleans called out to local artists to create Public Art Placemaking projects at key locations adjacent to the London Avenue Canal in the Gentilly Resilience District. The intention of these permanent art installations is to elevate public awareness and understanding of the canal and its importance to Gentilly as well as the city’s overall water and drainage infrastructure, excite the public imagination, and engage residents.  In doing so these projects will raise awareness about New Orleans’ climate vulnerability, resilience efforts, flood mitigation, and green infrastructure improvements while offering new amenities and recreation opportunities. Check out the project page to see the winning artists and their submissions and to view the Committee ZOOM meeting.


The St. Bernard Neighborhood Campus project is being designed with multiple benefits including increasing the number of native plantings for shade and habitat, which will decrease urban heat effects and reduce flooding by storing stormwater on site before slowly releasing it into the drainage system. 

While addressing the environmental challenges of the community is paramount, the project also aims to demonstrate that resilient neighborhood-scale stormwater management can provide benefits far beyond the initial investment by revitalizing community access to varied recreational amenities. 

This project will be constructed in three phases. Phase I is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020. The focus of this phase is the multi-functional athletic fields, which will not only provide the community with a recreational amenity but will also serve the enhanced purpose of flood reduction by storing up to five million gallons of stormwater in underground detention basins.  

The team hosted a virtual community update meeting on August 20, 2020. Click this link to view the presentation and stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved and give your feedback on upcoming project phases.  


The Dillard Wetlands project site is a 27-acre dense woodland tucked along the western edge of the London Avenue Canal. It borders the former Gregory Junior High School / Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) site and is across the canal from the historic Dillard University campus. 

The project is being designed in collaboration with the community to develop a comprehensive program with the following core goals and benefits:

  • Stormwater Management - mitigate flooding and improve water quality 
  • Support Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration 
  • Create a community space with varied educational / recreational / social opportunities


The project has seen an active engagement campaign during the initial design phase; a trend we’re planning to continue as we approach the 30 percent design phase in early 2021. The team hosted a series of community events in the fourth quarter of 2020:

  • Neighborhood Canvassing – November 14
  • Two Pop-Up Community Events – November 21 and 24 
  • Outreach at Norman Mayer Library Polling Station – December 5



The Community Adaptation Program (CAP) is bringing residential-scale stormwater management improvements to low to moderate income, owner-occupied single family households; completing over eighty (80) projects to date.  Program participants are fully engaged in the process, from initial design to construction completion. 


Permeable pavers, rain gardens and infiltration trenches are just a few of the residential-scale green interventions installed to take pooling stormwater off sidewalks and streets and temporarily retaining it in designated areas.

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