Landrieu unveils Resilient New Orleans strategy

Published: Aug. 25, 2015 at 8:25 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2015 at 9:41 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "This was a man-made disaster. The levees broke and the city flooded," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

As we near the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, it's impossible to ignore the city's progress.

"The city of New Orleans has literally been to Hell and back. We've had Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav, the national recession and the BP oil spill, and we're still standing," Landrieu said.

Despite the comeback, a lot of people would agree that we are not complete.

"I think that the city has made incredible progress, but I don't think that the victory is won. Resilience is really about progress. It's not an end step," 100 Resilient Cities President Michael Berkowitz said.

For the past 20 months, 100 Cities worked to create what's called a "resilience strategy" through the Rockefeller Foundation. New Orleans served as a catalyst.

"The whole point of it is that everything that we do is infused with how we can stay strong so that we can respond to what happens and not wait until after it happens to recover," Landrieu said.

The Resilient New Orleans strategy was unveiled and included programs like launching an emergency account for low- to moderate-income earners. There's also a plan to install solar panels on City Hall to maintain power even during an outage. A new resilience center already built in Mid City will serve as a hub for resilience strategies across the nation.

"What is the future going to be? The data that we have from the past no longer can be used to drive our investment decisions," said FEMA's Craig Fugate.

"As New Orleans innovates, it will then share the things that are implemented here, so that other cities don't have to go through that process of elimination," Berkowitz said.

The New Orleans strategy comes with a $1 million commitment from the public and private sector. Landrieu said the city is hoping to become a global model by 2018 for the city's tricentennial.

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