We are excited to announce that the Global Resilience Institute (GRI) has received $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to develop a resilience-based strategy for economic development in New Orleans, Louisiana. Specifically, the strategies will serve three Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zones located in East New Orleans, in order to leverage private investment and encourage economic diversification.
GRI previously completed a Baseline Resilience Assessment to Support Opportunity Zone Investment in East New Orleans in August of 2019. The purpose of this assessment was to evaluate the needs and strengths of the community as they pertain to resilience-building in three core elements: physical infrastructure, social dynamics, and economic conditions. East New Orleans economy has struggled to prosper due to the continued effects of natural disasters and reliance on the oil and gas industries. With a predominantly African-American and Vietnamese population, the region faces additional socioeconomic obstacles that have made securing development plans difficult, yet our assessment shows that opportunities already exist to foster a resilient business community.
Given the significant additional challenges for vulnerable populations that the COVID-19 public health crisis has created, along with the urgent need to overcome and tackle head-on the issue of systemic racism, GRI is honored to be able to work with the City of New Orleans on finding economic opportunities in the recovery process that build a more equitable and resilient community in East New Orleans. We are grateful for the EDA’s investment in this timely and important project that was made possible by regional planning efforts led by the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC).
Read the full press release published by the EDA here.