Urban Design

Jefferson Parish Canal Design

Awarded First Place

Bridging the Gap from Design to Reality

Jefferson Parish wholeheartedly embodies the lively spirit of the community it nourishes. The substance of this design competition illustrates a deep commitment to enriching the lifestyle of Parish residents, and in doing so affirms that the greatest resources of this Region are its own people. Thus, our integrated solution strives to unite the strengths of the project site with the vivacity of the local community and inspire a renewed sense of pride in the West Esplanade Canal ~ Vive L’Esplanade!

At the beginning of the design process, we asked a series of big-picture questions:
What if a Parish beautification movement was fueled by the community it serves? Can a redefined common space breathe new life into a forgotten, yet valuable amenity? Will local business owners partner with groups of individuals to enrich their common ground? Can the transformation of Jefferson Parish’s canal system inspire a nation of communities to invest in themselves like never before? The resounding answer to all of these questions is YES.

Each community holds a wealth of spirited individuals with a unique connection to each other and to the land they share. Incorporating each segment of the population to transform shared space will foster ownership surrounding the transformation of the canal.

All too often communities across our nation pursue lofty design solutions which never reach full implementation. Budgets run dry, communication falters and leadership wanes. By contrast, a solution that relies on full social collaboration cannot help but gain speed and retain the momentum of time and talent given by those who would benefit from the results.

At the core of our solution are six guiding principles that serve as the foundation for our holistic vision. We sought to beautifyrepurposeimplementdefinegrow, and engage with this design.

Our comprehensive solution provides programmed space for community events, a playground and several educational components including a pilot bioswale program that filters stormwater runoff, minimizing the contaminants drained into the canal. Improved access and circulation are addressed through a hierarchy of access points, increased cross canal circulation and unified signage. Our solution is a combination of entry-level steps to facilitate immediate progress and long-term partnerships between businesses, residents, community organizations, and churches to accomplish more complex improvements.

The social, motivated and caring community members of Jefferson Parish are uniquely qualified to nurture a valuable new amenity. Our recommended solutions embody the sincere belief that the people of Jefferson Parish can bridge the gap between design and reality to enrich opportunities of the place we call home.


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