(research.) Not only am I from Louisiana and therefore somehow obligated to check in on the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans, but this project is getting built fast, so I wanted to see its “before” condition if that was still possible. The corridor also has one of the most interesting histories of any of the infrastructure projects that I have been researching. First it was an important portage route between the Mississippi River and Bayou St. John, which leads north to Lake Pontchartrain. In the late 1700s, it was converted into the Carondelet Canal and became a productive and celebrated service route into the French Quarter for well over a hundred years. In 1938, the canal was filled in for the construction of a railroad and soon after that it was abandoned altogether. Today, the corridor’s 3.1 mile route connects Louis Armstrong Park to Canal Boulevard in Lakeview, and is finding another new role as a greenway. This time, in the context of post-Katrina neighborhood revitalization, one question remains how the greenway can more intentionally support economic growth, housing, and job opportunities for existing residents along the way. >> Ryan Gravel
Map it at the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center.