LRA Asks for Public Response to South La. Planning Poll

January 24, 2007

The Louisiana Recovery Authority is asking south Louisiana residents to weigh in on their ideas for how the region should address growth, economic development, transportation and coastal restoration issues after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The recovery authority on Jan. 22 started a public polling campaign, asking people to respond to a sheet of questions about their priorities. The answers are designed to serve as guiding principles for growth and recovery for the next 50 years in south Louisiana, according to Peter Calthorpe, an urban planner and lead consultant for the “Louisiana Speaks” program.

Through Feb. 10, residents will be able to take an online poll at or fill out a poll inserted in 300,000 newspapers or at 150 public libraries around south Louisiana.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting also will run a one-hour show on the planning initiative that will be shown on its stations Jan. 24 and will be broadcast in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston over the weekend. After watching the show, people can call a toll-free number, 1-888-PLAN-2050 to complete the poll over the phone.

The poll results will be tallied and a list of short-term strategies and long-term growth goals generated from those results by April, Calthorpe told the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

He said the regional growth planning effort is designed to mesh with a statewide coastal protection planning effort and local recovery planning efforts throughout south Louisiana.

LRA officials said Louisiana Speaks will help state officials develop their requests for more recovery aid from Congress, and they hope it will guide policymakers in the state – the governor, lawmakers and local officials – as they decide how to steer growth in the coming years.

The Louisiana Speaks initiative is a $4 million program funded through private donations to the LRA Support Foundation and through a donation from the Fannie Mae Foundation.

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