New Orleans is determined to make the city resilient to future climate change in a socially equitable way via a range of environmental, social, and structural projects.

“Resilient New Orleans” is a portfolio of policies combining environmental, social, and infrastructure systems to reduce climate risk and socio-economic inequality. Climate change is expected to disproportionately affect poor communities, so to increase resiliency, New Orleans is investing in the most vulnerable neighborhoods. One initiative is an emergency account program, which matches financial savings for low- and moderate-income earners to create emergency funds dedicated to natural disaster response. Another initiative incentivizes property owners to invest in risk reduction via a tested financial tool that removes high upfront cost barriers for homeowners.

The city is also investing in green infrastructure to improve resilience. Built on a river delta and low-lying marshy land, water is at the heart of New Orleans. After decades of trying to work against the water, the city now embraces it via a network of parks and green spaces. The green infrastructure absorbs water slowly, filtering and cleaning it in the process, allowing the city’s drainage system to cope with storm downpours more effectively. New Orleans will also establish a pioneering Resilience Center to serve as a hub for resilience innovation and leadership.

50% CO2 reduction goal by 2030 with Resilient New Orleans

The challenge

More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina flooded 80% of the city and the homes and businesses of one million people, New Orleans is moving forward with its comprehensive strategy to reduce inequality and climate change vulnerability.


Economic Improved flood protection is expected to result in lower insurance premiums for low-income communities.

Environmental By reintegrating green and blue infrastructure back into the city’s urban landscape, biodiversity will increase and natural filtration capacity will improve water quality.

Social With more than 52% of black men unemployed or underemployed, Resilient New Orleans is focused on advancing social cohesion and mobility. A workforce development program is in progress to accompany environmental projects.

Health Equitable public health is a key goal and improved air and water quality and improved housing conditions will all contribute to better health for the city’s residents.

About New Orleans

New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The population of the city was 343,829 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. It is well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras, dating to French colonial times. The city is often referred to as the “most unique” in the United States.

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