City to City students will work on projects through the Spring Semester. Students will travel from Cambridge to New Orleans over spring break to meet and consult with their alumni clients, and continue to work on projects. Here is a list of potential projects:

The City of New Orleans has requested that students help tackle the blight problem in New Orleans. Here is a list of other projects needed in New Orleans. (PDF)

  1. Turning the Corner: Building on an analysis of street corners located throughout New Orleans, students will work for the City of New Orleans to investigate how corners can be a catalyst for redevelopment. Can we identify and catalogue the mix of businesses and retail establishments on the corner? What elements draw and repel people to the area? What factor(s) need to be taken into account when considering the redevelopment of a corner?

  2. School Zones: Given that FEMA has allocated $2 billion for school rebuilding in New Orleans, how can neighborhoods within a five block radius of the new schools, leverage investment for redevelopment action. Students will work for the City of New Orleans to inventory, track and propose ideas for redevelopment in these school zones. Can schools be hubs for development? Are the schools part of the neighborhoods if the students attending the school live outside of the neighborhoods? Are elementary schools better hubs than middle schools? What mix of retail or service is appropriate as within a school zone?

  3. Neighborhood Partnership Network: How can neighborhoods learn about and participate in policy issues that affect their neighborhoods? Students will work for a neighborhood advocacy group to develop an information strategy to educate, inform and respond to resident concerns on blight, governance, health care and/or multi-network neighborhood economic development.

  4. Transport: How can planners in City of New Orleans think about and plan for new bikeways, transit lines, parking, among other transit oriented development? Students will work with DUSP Alums at TFNOLA to survey, investigate and propose ideas related to transit-oriented development.

  5. Design Standards, Enforcement and Regulations: While rebuilding is what New Orleans wants, some design types do not meet the design regulation standards. New buildings are being built too high, ignore set back requirements, and new neon high-resolution signs are non-conforming. These and other new building efforts can violate design standards and can cause angst within a neighborhood. But what are the standards? How can we peel back the layers of regulations to get a learner sense of what standards should be met?. How can planners foster growth and development while weeding out what doesn't work or fit with the area?

We will use history, social and political science, technical tools including GIS, digital media, and on-the-ground field experience to explore the complexity of the city to reveal and propose solutions for its many problems. Each student will work within a small group, interacting with faculty, teaching assistants and alumni/ae where s/he will:

  • Evaluate current planning problems, solutions and successes,

  • Identify and interview and survey stakeholders in a planning environment,

  • Work with on-the-ground planners to select an appropriate tool to inform the project team. Tools may include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), GPS planning techniques, cell phones to survey, among other techniques.

  • Be exposed through the use of multi-media materials, conversations, readings and planners to the disaster, the people, the processes and the projects that DUSP alumni/ae, graduate students and undergrads continue to develop.