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Welcome to the MIT@NOLA Wiki. In the open-source spirit of MIT, this Wiki gathers the record of DUSP involvement in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Our hope is that in documenting and sharing our work, we can inform and galvanize future practice. We welcome students, professors, practitioners, policymakers, and community-members alike in contributing to and learning from the efforts represented on this Wiki.

MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) has been and will continue to be one of the most active urban planning departments in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast. To date, MIT students have been involved with studios, theses, practica, and projects in many neighborhoods, organizations, and city departments, and MIT professors and practitioners have engaged in a variety of undertakings on the Gulf Coast, including leading classes, advising on theses, and conducting their own personal and professional research and advocacy. MIT and DUSP believe that, in the words of Professor Karl Seidman,

the fate of New Orleans is a critical national project to restore the health of a city and region with great historic, cultural and economic value. It also leads the way to establishing a new federal policy and national public-private partnership to reinvest in our urban neighborhoods as the cornerstones of healthy, equitable and environmentally sustainable cities.
dissertation help

Upcoming Event: Cambridge and the Post-Katrina Gulf Coast: Assessing Planning's Effectiveness

Session I: Exploring Approaches to Post-Katrina Engagement Across Various Sectors

March 3, 2010, 12:30pm

Neal Morris, Real Estate Developer and Harvard Loeb Fellow
Karl Seidman, Senior Lecturer in Economic Development, MIT DUSP
Derrick Evans, ED of Turkey Creek Community Initiative, Turkey Creek, MS

Film Screening: A Village Called Versailles

Thursday, March 4th at 7:30 PM in the AVT Room, (4th floor of Building 7). Dinner will be served.

Documentary about the New Orleans East Vietnamese-American community and their struggle to orgnize and redevelop in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Discussion to follow, led by current DUSP student Mai Dang, community organizer at Mary Queen of Vietnam CDC in New Orleans East from 2006-2009.

Session II: Assessing the Future of Redevelopment in New Orleans, MIT's engagement, and the pitfalls of "planning from the outside"

March 10, 2010, 12:30pm

Gerald Billes, Principle of Billes Architecture, New Orleans, LA, and MIT MArch Alum
Ryan Early, New Orleans East Native
Shawn Escofferty, Deputy Director of New Orleans Neighborhood Development Corporation and MIT MCP Alum
James dien Bui, Former Coordinator for the National Alliance for Vietnamese American Service Organizations
Seth Knudsen, Senior Planner at New Orleans City Planning Commission

Session III: New Orleans DUSP Alumni Panel

March 10, 2010, 6pm

Ore Alao, Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, MCP 2008
Stephen Crim, Gulf Coast Design Studio, MCP 2008
Seth Knudesn, New Orleans City Planning Commission, MCP 2008
Jeffrey Schwartz, Broad Community Connections, MCP 2008
Shawn Escofferty, Deputy Director of New Orleans Neighborhood Development Corporation and MIT MCP Alum, MCP 2008

Recent Updates
January 2010

Aditi Mehta's exhibit, Who's on Broad, was featured in the Times Picayune. You can learn more about the exhibit and see video selections from Broad Street story project on CoLab Radio


November 2009

A team of DUSP planners and Washington University in St. Louis architects in partnership with Broad Community Connections placed second in the 2009 Chase Community Development Competition. The project envisions the revitalization of an abandoned grocery store on Broad Street. The team developed a plan that would reopen the grocery, provide commercial kitchen space for a contractor with New Orleans schools, and create space on the roof for an urban farm and teaching facility. More information about the project can be found on the competition website. In 2008, a MIT/WashU team won the competition in partnership with the Good Work Network

Spring 2009

During spring semester 2009, students in 11.439 Revitalizing Urban Main Streets completed a plan for the St. Claude Main Street in New Orleans, LA.


NOLA Fellows

NOLA Fellows represents DUSP's continued commitment to New Orleans. Each fellow commits to working for a local New Orleans organization for a full year. The fellow works from Cambridge, MA, during the semester and spends 10 weeks working for the Organization in New Orleans during the summer. Fellow projects cover a range of interest, from community organizing to neighborhood story projects to real estate development.

Student Projects

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Tracking
Broad Street Photo Project
Coastal Erosion
Thermal Coupling

Franz Building Redevelopment

GreeNOLA Office of Recovery Management (ORM) Summer Internship Program
NONDC Policy Fellowship Program
Property Mapping in Gert Town
[[Keller Library | Keller Library
Bohn Ford Building

Environmental Justice in Treme
reGrow: Lafitte Corridor Independent Study
Making It Happen
Surveying Needs of Grassroots Organizations

MIT Student Thesis

This page contains the title and author of Theses completed by MIT students. Out of MIT's collection of over 20,000 theses, 466 reference New Orleans in the full body of the thesis. The earliest Thesis to examine a case study of New Orleans is Herman Borzow's The Feasibility of Monorails submitted for an MS in Civil Engineering in 1959. Since Katrina, 16 Theses have been submitted discussing aspects of rebuilding the City.


Faubourg Marigny
Faubourg St. Roch
Faubourg St. John

Lower Ninth Ward
New Orleans East

Vieux Carre

Central City


11.439 Revitalizing Urban Main Streets

11.304: Site and Urban Systems Planning, Spring 2008
11.437: Financing Economic Development, Fall 2008

11.004: CityScope, Spring 2007
11.439 Revitalizing Urban Main Streets, Spring 2007

11.437: Financing Economic Development, Spring 2006
11.945: Katrina Practicum, Spring 2006
11.437: Financing Economic Development, Fall 2006
11.422: Downtown Management Organizations, Fall 2006


Karl Seidman
Larry Vale
Phil Thompson
Reinhard Goethert
Susan Silberberg-Robinson

Clients and Partners

Broad Community Connections
Mary Queen of VietnamCDC
GoodWorks Network
Broadmoor Redevelopment Association
Faubourg St. Roch Project
Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development
St. Claude Avenue Main Street Association
Office of Recovery Management (ORM)
Broadmoor Development Corporation
Neighborhood Housing Services
People's Hurricane Relief Fund


Community Development
Deepening Democracy
Economic Development
Main Streets


White Paperthesis help
Mac How


MIT and DUSP have worked in many of New Orleans' neighborhoods.

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