Metropolis Offers Local Take on Rebuilding New Orleans

Since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, there has been a multitude of speculation and ideas for rebuilding the city. We've mentioned just a few; most notably GreenBuild's ideas and the emergence of Rebuild Green. One of the latest to come along are the 20 Big Ideas from Metropolis, based on the suggestions of two Big Easy locals who want to see their city more intelligently designed, built and livable than ever before. They've come up with some darn good ideas.

The 20 Big Ideas are rooted in overall usability and making the most of what New Orleans can safely offer. Here are a few of our favorites: 5. Build a City of Streetcars and Trolley-buses -- to bring back the 'old New Orleans' feel, with the addition of smaller streetcars and buses making for a more efficient public transportation system.
6. Build a Bicycle-Friendly City -- this idea can't go wrong.
8. Design for People to Live Where They Work -- based on the popular New Urbanism premise, this makes for tighter communities and less traffic.
Many of the other ideas really don't require much explanation. 12. Fill New Orleans with Community Gardens, 13. Build a System of Community Aquaculture, and 18. Design with the Environment seem to be no-brainers, but there really isn't a clunker in the list. New Orleans could do itself proud by considering these options.

We really like this approach; it allows for maximum sustainability for the maximum amount of people. Leaving it the USGBC and GreenBuild would be fine, but getting bogged down in LEED certifications and the like would make it awfully difficult to rebuild an entire city with such rigorous standards. By considering these ideas, New Orleans might not necessarily be the "greenest," most-certified city in the country, but it would be a vast improvement and would serve to improve the quality of life for everyone in the city.