Reinventing a Program, Revitalizing a City at Tulane’s School of Architecture

August 19, 2015

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Ten years ago next week, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, wreaking havoc on the region including a number of higher education institutions.

As one of the many schools affected by Katrina, Tulane University (LA) spent years rebuilding its own campus. But Tulane has also spent that time helping rebuild New Orleans as a whole.

Since Katrina, students at the Tulane School of Architecture have contributed to over 80 projects in disadvantaged communities that focus on “improving locals’ lives through design.” Katrina inspired the university, always engaged in community work, to focus its core mission on improving low-income neighborhoods in the city.

Students in the undergraduate and graduate programs are involved in the projects from the ground-up, including designing and building houses for a family in need, reworking playgrounds to make them more suitable for activities, and developing and creating a vibrant youth farm.

Through hands-on experience, students are gaining the skills needed to start careers in urban planning and management. Now a decade after Katrina, Tulane is continuing to give back to the community that helped it recover.

Grow Dat Youth Farm Credit: Will Crocker/Courtesy of Tulane City Center
Tulane Students work on Grow Dat Youth Farm, a project the school has helped develop
Courtesy of Tulane City Center
Will Crocker/Courtesy of Tulane University
Tulane students helped develop and create Grow Dat Youth Farm, a youth farm that employs New Orleans disadvantaged high school students
Will Crocker/Courtesy of Tulane University
Will Crocker/Courtesy of Tulane University
Another project of the Tulane’s architecture school, this house was designed and built in a low-income neighborhood
Will Crocker/Courtesy of Tulane University

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