Cheramie, Boswell and Van Maasakkers Finalists in Van Alen Institute Competition

A team comprised of Landscape Architecture faculty Kristi Cheramie and Jake Boswell, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning Mattijs van Maasakkers and Jennie Miller, a Houston-based attorney with Andrew Kurth LLP, have been selected as finalists in the Van Alen Institute’s Future Ground competition.  

Future Ground invites multidisciplinary teams to generate flexible design and policy strategies to reuse vacant land in New Orleans, transforming abandoned landscapes into resources for the current and future city. The Knowlton School/Andrew Kurth collaboration, Team LEX, proposes The New Orleans Land Exchange (NOLEX), a projective framework designed to move vacant parcels from tax deficiency to productive lands in order to protect public health and safety.

The three finalist teams will be working closely with the City of New Orleans over the next six months to further develop their proposals, with final presentations and decisions happening in New Orleans in April 2015. The competition’s organizers are looking for implementable solutions, so finalist team activity over the next several months will focus on the development of collaborative relationships with various officials and stakeholders throughout the city.

A jury of national leaders in design and policy selected the Future Ground finalist teams from a pool of more than 180 individuals from 17 countries around the world who responded to an open Request for Qualifications. The teams included architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, lawyers, brownfield experts and community development and finance specialists from New Orleans and six other cities in the U.S. and Canada.