Louisiana Recovery and Rebuilding Conference

American Institute of Architects
Disaster Recovery, Planning & Growth
New Orleans, LA
November 2005

Key Rebuilding Priorities Developed

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita rendered thousands of people both homeless and “community-less,” and exposed deep racial and economic disparities in our nation. In partnership with the American Institute of Architects, AmericaSpeaks helped facilitate the Louisiana Recovery and Rebuilding Conference (LRRC), the first large-scale, multi-stakeholder meeting held after the disaster to develop key principles for rebuilding in and around New Orleans. AmericaSpeaks provided volunteer facilitators and 21st Century Town Meeting technology that enabled citizens to participate fully and equally, as well as produce immediate synthesis and prioritization of participants’ views.

To support a diverse and fair process, AmericaSpeaks recruited 150 citizens and community representatives to join the planning professionals and officials attending this three-day event. Together, the participants developed core policy goals and a body of planning principles to guide long-range recovery efforts: create infrastructure; promote economic growth; provide public services; pursue policies that promote a healthy environment and healthy people; and plan and design livable communities. During the final day of the meeting participants focused on the development of rebuilding principles specific to their own parishes.


On December 1, 2005, the principles that emerged from the LRRC were unanimously endorsed by Governor Kathleen Blanco and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA). These principles are now the foundation for rebuilding efforts.