NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the Royal Netherlands Embassy announced the release of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan iPad app.   The app was designed to communicate to the general public about how the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan will decrease flooding and increase quality of life in Southeast Louisiana.  It was completely developed locally, including design of the app by Blue Crab Labs, video produced by Fat Happy Media, historical map renderings from Richard Campanella and photography by Chris Grainger Photography.

“The release of the iPad app for the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan puts water management in the hands of everyday citizens,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc.  “Implementation of the Urban Water Plan will make Greater New Orleans a better place to live and work, while building our new brand as national “water experts” – something clearly to be in demand in a world of increasing weather volatility.”

“The Urban Water Plan is the product of a deep, successful and ongoing collaboration between a committed team of Dutch and Louisiana experts, said Dutch Ambassador Rudolf Bekink.  “The app is a gorgeous tool that makes accessible to its users the complex interactions of hydrology, geology, drainage, landscape architecture and urban planning.  We’re confident that the app will encourage other cities in the US and around the globe to look to the Netherlands and to New Orleans as leaders in the emerging field of climate and landscape adaptation.”

Developed over a 30-month process in conjunction with a team of Dutch and local experts led by Waggonner and Ball Architects, the Urban Water Plan directly addresses problems with the region’s current water management system in an innovative way that will directly confront the effects of negative effects of storm-water, nuisance street flooding, and damage to roads and other infrastructure regularly impacted by subsidence. In addition, these principles are expected to drastically lower the billions of dollars in costs now associated with preventing, insuring against, and repairing the resulting damages, all while increasing the value of current property and creating high-value waterfront property.

“The app component of the plan gave us a chance to distill a series of complex urban design and engineering issues into an innovative interactive form,” said Pableaux Johnson of Blue Crab Labs. “The project was a great chance to work with an international team — from the planners at Waggonner and Ball, the folks at GNO inc, and the contingent from the Netherlands — to explain their approach to solving one of the region’s most pressing problems.”

As global leaders in water management, Dutch policymakers, companies, and individuals alike participated in the development of the plan, ultimately leading to a partnership of this app. Now available in the iTunes store, this digital tool will educate the citizenry and leadership of our region on the importance of this issue and how similar, but customized, strategies can be implemented in communities around the globe.

“We appreciate the good client relationship that we have enjoyed with GNO, Inc. and our continuing relationship with the Dutch Embassy,” said David Waggonner, Principal at Waggonner and Ball Architects. Their combined investment in the App gives people a digestible slice of the Urban Water Plan.”

The Urban Water Plan details specific projects which will address the continued sinking of land in the region, a problem exacerbated by the pumping of storm water in St. Bernard Parish and the East Banks of Jefferson and Orleans Parishes. Implementation of the Urban Water Plan will sustain the ecology and the economic vitality of the region and make Greater New Orleans a more attractive place to live and work for businesses and residents. Additionally, the associated projects will allow local companies and their tens of thousands of workers to export this expertise and experience to other cities that cope with the effects of rainwater and flooding.

The iPad app is available for download in the Apple Store. More information can be found at www.gnoinc.org/waterplan, www.livingwithwater.com and www.waterandthedutch.com.

Development of the app was generously funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

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About Greater New Orleans, Inc.

GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization, serving to coordinate, consolidate, and catalyze economic development activity.  The GNO, Inc. Mission is to create jobs and wealth in the Greater New Orleans community.  The GNO, Inc. Vision is for the Greater New Orleans region to fulfill its potential as one of the best places in the country to grow a company, and raise a family.

More information can be found at www.gnoinc.org.