New Orleans: St. Claude in Common (2009)

The St. Claude Avenue Main Street District is the commercial corridor along St. Claude Avenue between Elysian Fields Avenue and Press Street. The District is bordered directly by the St. Roch, Marigny, St. Claude and Bywater neighborhoods. As a main thoroughfare for access to points east of the Industrial Canal, St. Claude Avenue also serves Holy Cross and the Lower Ninth Ward. Once a vibrant commercial corridor known for its furniture stores, seafood market and social clubs, the District has struggled to come back since Hurricane Katrina and many shops and houses now sit vacant.

In the spring of 2009, a team of 14 graduate students and two professors from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning worked with the St. Claude Avenue Main Street organization to draft a revitalization plan based on economic development, community engagement and urban design. Community engagement has been a crucial part of the visioning and planning process and the final plan is heavily informed by information gathered in interviews, community meetings and focus groups. Additional research was done through fieldwork, documentation and data analysis.

The final plan, St. Claude in Common, integrates these opportunities for economic development, community engagement and urban design with the goal of revitalizing the District, attracting new businesses and better serving residents and visitors. The plan should also help a wide range of community members develop a common vision for the District’s future and then take steps towards implementation of that vision.


Prepared by students of Revitalizing Urban Main Streets
MIT Department of Urban Studies + Planning | Spring 2009