The Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) is an organization focused on community resiliency via food security, education of the population returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and coastal sustainability. CSED aims to develop environmental education, centralize community leadership, organize community outreach, and connect visitors with their natural and built surroundings.
In an effort to establish long-term sustainability, resilience, and vitality for the residents of the Lower Ninth Ward, CSED teamed up with the Tulane City Center and the LSU School of Landscape Architecture to propose the L9 Environmental Learning + Research Center.
The L9 Environmental Learning + Research Center’s main goal is to capture the attention and imagination of the local and extended population in order to foster civic engagement and to become a regional destination as well as an economic incubator for the neighborhood in the process of recovery.
The L9 Center is defined by a multi-component site strategy including education, indoor and outdoor community events and exposure to natural systems and contextual ecologies. It is designed to enable implementation of various programmatic pieces over time:
Phase 1 includes design and construction of a pavilion and interactive landscape that can serve as a teaching tool for water management & native planting while accommodating other CSED initiatives with an outdoor classroom, kayak storage for the adjacent Bayou, and other features. This was completed as a TCC|Build studio over the Spring 2015 semester by a team of students under the leadership of Tom Holloman.
Phase 2 features the placement of a USGBC sponsored and pre-fabricated modular classroom on the site that will be designed and built in collaboration with Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.
Overall the L9 Environmental Learning Center is designed to promote education, research and outreach to immediate and extended communities, furthering resilience and resource preservation as it strives to become an economic driver in the neighborhood as part of the continuing recovery effort.