BNOBBring New Orleans Back
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Chamlee-Wright illustrates that the top-down approach taken by government agencies such as BNOB and ULI, no matter how well meaning, will be less successful than local community action.
The city was able to start moving forward, though, when it produced its Unified New Orleans Plan, bankrolled in large part by the Rockefeller Foundation, an extension and implementation of the plans that came out of the BNOB recovery plan.
To permit timely modifications to the rebuilding effort, BNOB and the City Planning Commission held a short, intensive workshop (after completion of the BNOB strategy framework and community feedback on the strategy) to review land use in the master plan.
When Mayor Nagin created the BNOB, he also established a Washington-based think tank, the Urban Land Institute (ULI), as the commission's source for urban-planning expertise.
This relatively low-profile event did not attract many residents, but in January 2006, when the ULI presented these recommendations as part of the BNOB Commission redevelopment plan, the ballroom was packed.
In May 2006, Nagin announced that the basic blueprint adopted by the BNOB Commission would set the agenda for his second term.
The BNOB Commission's recommendations set out rough guidelines for the planning process and took aim at individual initiatives that contradicted the commission's redevelopment vision.
Combined with the noise generated by federal management of flood protection and risk assessment, the BNOB Commission's model of neighborhood planning--a sort of grassroots planning under threat of elimination--was destined to fail as a redevelopment tool.