Green Gentrification in Gentilly, New Orleans, Louisiana

Authors: Eloise Reid*, University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology, Urban Geography
Keywords: Green Gentrification, Environmental Gentrification, Urban Resilience, Green Infrastructure, Adaptation, Vulnerability, Resilience, Climate Change, Critical Participatory Action Research, Decolonized Geography, New Orleans, American South
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper analyzes green gentrification in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans is threatened by a combination of high levels of air and water pollution from years of environmental racism, rising sea levels from human-induced climate change, and sinking land from both human and geological forces. Green gentrification is the process of displacement through rising home costs upon the neighborhood receiving environmental goods and benefits that were not present formerly. Through closely examining the Gentilly Resilience District, a federally funded and city-implemented flood reduction project in its beginning stages, this research this has shown that the planning process has not been inclusive of the Gentilly residents who will be directly affected or impacted by the twelve different projects being built in this part of New Orleans. According to the New Orleans City Government, the purpose of the Gentilly Resilience District is to “reduce flood risk, slow land subsidence, and encourage neighborhood revitalization”. The city of New Orleans was awarded more than $141 million through NDRC to implement elements of the Gentilly Resilience District proposal, building on existing investments in urban water management funded through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). For four months in the summer of 2018, over 150 interviews and focus groups were conducted using critical participatory action research methods, as well as on the ground research techniques and snowball sampling. GIS maps were made of the neighborhood that show various demographics of the area, as well as how Gentilly is changing.

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