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Issue 17
, 2009
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New Orleans' Green Drive

Source: ENN,Time, Date: , 2009

After Hurricane Katrina flattened New Orleans exactly four years ago, on Aug. 29, 2005, the city emerged as an inadvertent symbol of global warming, the first American victim of climate change. More than 200,000 homes were destroyed during the Category 5 hurricane.But since then New Orleans is on a green drive. Today Sustainable-development groups like the international nonprofit Global Green as well as earth-friendly celebrities like Brad Pitt are determined not just to build the city back but to build it back green.

That begins with the Holy Cross project, an entire sustainable village being built in the city's flood-damaged Lower Ninth Ward with the help of Home Depot's corporate foundation. Eventually the village will include five sustainable homes along with an 18-unit green apartment building and a community center.That's the motivation behind Global Green's sustainable-schools program, which will both
convert existing schools to make them more energy-efficient and build entirely new classrooms. The new schools will have solar panels, wetland habitats and rainwater cisterns.

The city is receiving millions in federal stimulus funds, some of which will be going toward initiatives that will re-establish a citywide recycling program and improve mass transit. About $1.1 million is being slated to help green five of the city's libraries, and more will pay for the installation of solar-powered, ultra-efficient LED streetlights.