||Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Bring New Orleans Back (BNOB)
Boysie Bollinger, Kim Boyle, Cesar Burgos, Joe Canizaro, Dr. Scott Cowen, Archbishop Alfred Hughes, Reverend Fred Luter, Wynton Marsalis, Alden McDonald, Dan Packer, Anthony Patton, Jimmy Reiss, Gary Solomon, Oliver Thomas, David White
The first alternative plan to compete with ESF-14 was Mayor Ray Nagin’s Bring New Orleans Back
(BNOB) committee, announced on September 30, 2005. The team, comprised of attorneys, academics, business people and church leaders, was tasked with overseeing
the development of a rebuilding plan for New Orleans.
The gargantuan BNOB planning process was divided into several subcommittees. Widely regarded as the most important, the land-use subcommittee, chaired by developer
Joe Canizaro, retained the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to develop a set of recommendations. The ULI released its final report on November 18, 2005. Among other
recommendations, it made the politically poisonous suggestion of shrinking the footprint of New Orleans. Population projections showed that New Orleans could not hope
to recover its pre-Katrina population for a number of years, and it would be prohibitively expensive to provide city services to distributed and far-flung communities.
Thus, the ULI recommended that the lowest neighborhoods be converted to green space and presented a series of maps on which parks were shown as covering over certain
In an election year, the Mayor wasted no time in publicly denouncing the ULI’s proposed smaller city. On November 28, he announced his intention to “rebuild all of New
Orleans,” including the heavily flooded neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the BNOB committees continued their work. In December, Canizaro backed away slightly from the ULI
recommendations, proposing an immediate moratorium on building permits in the most heavily damaged neighborhoods as well as a three year window for returning residents
to prove the “viability” of their neighborhoods, after which properties would be acquired by a newly reinvigorated redevelopment agency. This “viability” window was
later shortened to one year and again to four months before the land-use committee released its final report on January 11, 2006. The report recommended a budget of
$12 billion for buyouts of private property and $3.3 billion for an extensive light rail system. Finally, it proposed that more detailed, neighborhood-based work be
done by local architect Ray Manning and the Dean of Tulane University’s School of Architeture, Reed Kroloff. This new phase, which never got off the ground, was
planned to begin in March, 2006.