New Orleans is in the midst of a green infrastructure revolution. In smaller neighborhoods like Hoffman Triangle, residents are leading the way, house by house, block by block. Year-round, New Orleanians deal with a chronic kind of inundation researchers vaguely call “urban flooding.” The goal of “nature-based” (green infrastructure) solutions is to reduce the pressure on pipes and pumps by using landscaping to slow the flow of water. Projects can store water so it soaks into the soil or slowly flows into a storm drain at a rate the system can handle. Plants can also absorb water into their roots, leaching out pollutants in the process. They also come with various added benefits like improved water quality, mosquito control, and increased open space to cool the sweltering Louisiana air. The Urban Conservancy is one organization in particular doing lots of work on nature-based infrastructure in New Orleans.
How New Orleans neighborhoods are using nature to reduce flooding