Broad Connections

After an unsuccessful bid to become an official Urban Main Street under the Louisiana State Main Street Program, a group of civic-minded area residents formed an ad-hoc steering committee to recruit MIT to help use post-Hurricane Katrina planning momentum to transform this vehicular thoroughfare between four vibrant neighborhoods into a new connector and destination. 

The students explored:

·       How Broad Street become a place to linger instead of a place to pass through—attracting more pedestrians than cars

·       How Broad Street thrives in the face of decreasing city population, poor building quality, unusually long length, and lack of attractive green space given its role as a transition space without a sense of ownership

·       How the steering committee helps it become a “self-initiated” Main Street

·       How a planning process helps a group of caring and savvy residents organize an official planning effort to effect lasting change