Waggonner & Ball Architects and Deltares, a Dutch applied research institute specializing in water, subsurface and infrastructure, were engaged by New Orleans City Park to explore opportunities to improve its extensive network of lakes with an emphasis on water quality and physical enhancements. Analysis of soils, groundwater and water systems within the park, coupled with and driven by potential flood hazard reduction in the adjacent neighborhoods, led to the development of two design proposals to be implemented using FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Project funding.
The first proposal diverts stormwater runoff from a major drainage canal into constructed wetlands and the park’s northern lake network, thereby reducing flooding in the adjacent Lakeview neighborhood. The second proposal improves the hydrology of the landscape by interconnecting low lying areas with bioswales to store, infiltrate and finally direct rainwater to one of the larger lakes, future home of the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Reshaping and stabilizing the lake shoreline will increase storage capacity, improve water quality and reduce loads on the municipal drainage system with far-reaching benefits for the city.