Call for Ideas Lens

Smart Growth


"Smart growth" covers a range of development and conservation strategies that help protect our health and natural environment and make our communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Stroller under suspension bridge, New Orleans.
Photograph by Jeremy Paige, undated. Unsplash collection. Used with permission.

Map showing development of New Orleans in 1841 and 1880. Author unknown, public domain. Wikimedia Commons.



Statement on Smart Growth

By Richard Florida

Richard Florida is a University Professor and Director of Cities at the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, and a Distinguished Fellow at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

Read Richard Florida's Statement on Smart Growth

Statement on Smart Growth

By Lauren Michaud Knotts

Lauren Michaud Knotts serves as the Director of Communications for the Center for Planning Excellence.

Read Lauren Michaud Knott's Statement on Smart Growth


“If we don't plan, we risk uncoordinated, disjointed development that hinders more than it helps.  With a historic amount of energy industrial investment coming to Louisiana, we cannot afford to grow without a plan.” (Center for Planning Excellence, Louisiana)
“A meaningful and effective resilience framework for Louisiana will apply these broad concepts [survival, adaptation, and growth] to the specific context of our state and communities. It would incorporate our particular risk profile as well as our cultural assets, social preferences, political environment, demographics, and other factors. That tailored framework would then be implemented through community-driven plans, projects, programs, and activities.” (Center for Planning Excellence)

More Information

Climate Smart City - NOLA, Interactive mapping tool combines geographic data about climate-related threats, such as flooding, with community issues like public health, income, and neighborhood access to green space.  Trust for Public Land

Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX)Baton Rouge, LA

Economic Legacy of New Orleans, Video:  The history of New Orleans' economy, how it evolved, what caused the decline, and where we go from here.  Dr. Richard Campanella

Historical Honesty in South LouisianaDr. Rick Swanson (UL-Lafayette)

Race, Architecture, and Tales from the Hood, Video:  Design justice, equitable and inclusive growth.  Bryan Lee

Why is south Louisiana still racially segregated?  How did we get here?  Why are we still here?, Video: How political, social and economic conditions keep the south racially segregated, Louisiana Public Broadcasting

Equity, health, transit, jobs, mobility and economic conditions as it relates to public transit,  Interactive mapping tool to identify how specific conditions impact individuals and society, city-specific to New Orleans.  Center for Neighborhood Technology

Analysis of the Redevelopment of Claiborne Corridor, How the I-10 overpass wiped out an entire generation of entrepreneurs, cultural leaders, and middle class African American families—and best practices attempting to reverse these decisions decades after the fact.  UNO Transportation Institute

Health Equity and Smart Growth in Orleans and JeffersonSmart Growth America—New Orleans