The city has been surrounded by water and has thrived for 300 years. Today the region faces new challenges, both outside the levee walls from rising seas, diminished protective coastal wetlands and more intense storm threats, and inside from land subsidence and regular flooding. But significant investment in catalytic water management solutions presents an opportunity to address key factors that limit the resilience of the city, including: access to career-path jobs; threats to diversity caused by the rising cost of living; equitable protection from defensive assets; and the ability of key city agencies and utilities to access real-time information that improves their ability to provide solutions and services during normal operation and in times of need.
New Orleans is accomplishing three critical things:
The Urban Delta initiative forges unprecedented cooperation between federal, state and local agencies in New Orleans, including changes in governance structure to support coordination and application of funds.
The Urban Delta initiative has a number of climate change goals:
These goals translate into more specific targets, such as:
Co-benefits of the program include:
The Urban Delta initiative is the backbone of a greater resilience initiative that supports social goals that include: crime reduction, social inclusion, and economic development opportunities while also providing coordination of projects between different agencies. Implementation of these resilience-building activities will build equity, reduce risk, adapt the city to its natural environment, and will also inform and drive behavioral shifts and social commitment to adaptation.
Within C40 networks, New Orleans is sharing its experience and learnings through peer-to-peer engagement, city exchanges, conference papers and sessions with other C40 cities. The city is also actively working with the State of Louisiana and neighboring parishes to coordinate and leverage our infrastructure planning and investments. New Orleans is developing a regional project selection framework and tool for funding and implementation of non-structural water management features, intended to increase the level of flood protection for communities throughout the region.