The Broadmoor neighborhood sits right in the physical heart of New Orleans.
After the 2005 levee collapses, it was one of the neighborhoods slated for bulldozing and conversion to a greenspace. Community activists protested and offered a well developed counterplan for rebuilding and revitalization which is moving foward.
At the foundation of the plan was a mapping system like the one Dartmouth developed with residents of Gentilly (see my February 16th post). These maps have been invaluable not only for planning, but also as for fundraising.
Several northeast-based colleges have been instrumental in bringing new high tech mapping methods to New Orleans: Here’s the low down on who is doing what where:
- Dartmouth is assisting Gentilly
- Bard and Harvard are assisting Broadmoor
- MIT is assisting Treme
- Princeton is assisting the Lower Ninth Ward
- Pratt Institute is assisting New Orleans East
Stephen Tremaine of Broadmoor is a Senior at Bard this year where he’s studying Medieval Literature.
In January 2006, he organized a group of one hundred and twenty six Bard students (that’s 10% of the school’s total enrollment) to travel to New Orleans for relief and rebuilding efforts. Thirty-five Bard student volunteers worked in the city over the summer and this past January another seventy-two spent their winter break working there.
(The Esther Sparks peformance which you you can find on this blog (January 17) was organized for the Bard workers.)
The Broadmoor-Bard mapping project was the first one in the city and actually the first one in the world as it used a brand new technology developed by a California-based software company specifically for this purpose. Total estimated value of the software development contributed: $160,000.00.
Stephen was instrumental in bringing the mapping project into being. He’s also working on a database of local grassroots relief and rebuilding efforts to make it easier for volunteers to hook up with groups in need. And, lest he ever find himself with any free time at all, he’s writing a guidebook for colleges and universities that want to get more deeply involved with New Orleans rebuilding and revival.
You can read Stephen’s report on the Broadmoor mapping project here:
Here’s the web site for the Boardmoor Improvement Association.