Co-Design Process Overview

The LA SAFE planning process is a ground-breaking approach to community adaptation planning  that seeks to address the challenges of coastal degradation, land loss and increasing flood risk. We recognize these changes along our coast impact our environment and sustainability, our economies and jobs, and our communities and culture. To plan for a more resilient future, we created a planning process that integrates planning expertise, science, and most importantly, community members across the coast who are experiencing these challenges firsthand. Our process relies on grassroots input from start to finish.


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Project Timeline

Below is a design illustrating the LA SAFE project timeline and the meeting process. Through larger parish-wide meetings and smaller community discussions, our LA SAFE team is working with residents across all six parishes to set design goals for the desired outcomes that they wish to see in their community. As the planning process moves along through the 2017 calendar year, the LA SAFE team works with residents to achieve new milestones that advance the work needed to produce a final plan. In each of the discussions had with community members, the LA SAFE team presents the work that has been done up to the current point - work that was inspired and driven by input at the community level from the previous meeting - and asks them, “Is this correct? Is this what you are seeing in your community? Does this make sense?” In the final iteration of the LA SAFE process the team will present to the community a final adaptation strategy that was crafted with residents along every step of the way.

See What You’ve Missed

Round 1: Parishwide Meetings — March 27- April 6, 2017

We brought the best land loss and flood risk modeling data in the world from our partners at the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). Alongside an exceptional team of public sector, philanthropic, non-profit and private sector partners the team worked with residents to understand what the goals, needs, and opportunities are in their parishes and individual communities.

Residents described challenges, strengths and opportunities for the future.

505 participants | 2,000 distinct ideas

The first round of meetings included six community meetings, one in each of the  six pilot parishes. The LA SAFE team shared information on historic land loss over the last 50 years as well as expected land loss in the next 50 years even with full implementation of the Coastal Master Plan. The team also discussed projected increased flood risk that results from the loss of our wetland buffer and the migration trends taking place across the LA SAFE region. As Louisianans have made the decision to relocate, we have seen resources for everyday services such as education, infrastructure and healthcare shift accordingly.

During roundtable discussions, groups of six to eight residents talked about the ways they have seen land loss impact their environment, economies and communities. They also discussed what they think are the most important aspects of their communities that need to be protected as well as their hopes for the future of their parish.

The project team organized all of the comments into strengths, challenges and opportunities.

ParishWide Meeting Summaries

Download the printable version of the Parishwide Meeting Round 1 Takehome Packet.


Round 2: Community Meetings — May 30-June 8, 2017

We held 21 meetings at 19 locations within the six pilot parishes. Residents recommended short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies according to projected low, moderate and high flood risk across LA SAFE parishes.

551 participants | 3,300 distinct ideas

The second round of LA SAFE meetings focused on conversations in smaller communities. These meetings occurred in 19 specific towns and places suggested by residents in the first round of meetings. Three of the meetings were for non-English speaking communities. These smaller meetings allowed the team to present a more in-depth view of the social, environmental and economic trends in each community, and to conduct a more focused conversation about adaptation strategies to address increased flood risk.

The LA SAFE team identified the most discussed topics from the first round of meetings, and created nine question card topics sorted into three categories: Economy & Jobs, Environment & Sustainability and Community & Culture. At the meeting, residents discussed one topic from each category, and placed ideas on the map provided. For each card, residents described short-term (within 10 years), medium-term (within 25 years) and long-term (within 50 years) solutions for adapting to future land change and increased flood risk. Looking 50 years back and 50 years forward, residents discussed the challenges and opportunities for themselves, their children and grandchildren, and for future generations to come.

In this series of 21 community meetings, residents pinpointed challenges, proposed solutions and collectively described a future across different types of environments and varying levels of risk. The project team combined their ideas and mapped proposed strategies. These community recommendations will form the basis for the projects, programs and policies that LA SAFE pursues. The project team used these ideas, current and future environmental risk and best practices in planning as the basis for the round 3 meetings.

Community Meeting Summaries

Download the printable version of the Community Meeting Round 2 Takehome Packet.


Round 3: Parishwide Meetings — July 24-August 3, 2017

We returned to each parish with a broad vision of what  our coastal communities could look like, including more specific visions for communities according to low, moderate and high flood risk. Residents evaluated these visions and prioritized more detailed strategies in table discussions.

350 participants | Residents prioritized 120 of the top ideas from the previous community meetings.

The third round of LA SAFE meetings occurred across seven different meeting locales. One of the seven meetings was held for a non-English speaking community. This third round of parish-wide meetings allowed the team to present a general idea of what each parish, and the communities that make those parishes great, could look like through future improvements and implementations.

At these meetings, the project team presented potential programs, policies, and projects that began rising to the top based on previous conversations with community members. During this time the project team presented an overall vision based on the contributions from three different sources: (1) the ideas residents presented at previous community meetings, (2) current and future environmental conditions, and (3) the best practices in planning and design.

At the meetings, residents engaged with the project team in two distinct ways. First, as the team presented the potential vision to the community, the residents had the opportunity to weigh in on both general concepts that could go into the future vision as well as the future vision itself. With real-time polling software given to all meeting participants, residents showed their preference for concept ideas and also told the project team whether they agreed with the future vision of their community. Second, members of the community engaged with the project team on a tabletop activity. The goal of the table activity was to provide the residents a chance to approve potential programs, projects, and policies as well as offer insight on why they did or did not agree with the future vision as it was presented by the team. Residents used stickers to indicate which strategies are the best fit for their parish and added more ideas and comments using sticky notes.  

ParishWide Meeting Summaries

Download the printable version of the Parishwide Meeting Round 3 Takehome Packet. Download
Round 4: Community Meetings - October 1 - November 7, 2017

We are coming back to your parish to have small community discussions about the plans, projects, and policies that have been narrowed down and further developed since Round 3.


For more detailed meeting information find your parish below:

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What's Next

Stay tuned for more information regarding the fourth and fifth round of meetings.


Round 4: Community Meetings

The fourth round of LA SAFE meetings will present one last opportunity for community members to weigh in on which projects, plans, and policies make the most sense for your parish. In meeting four, we will be coming back to you in a variety of ways, depending on which parish you call home. First, the LA SAFE team wants to join you at your local festivals to enjoy and experience the many aspects that make your parishes such great places to live, work, and play. In addition to festivals, we will be hosting open houses and workshops with both residents and government officials. In all of these meeting formats, we are hoping to narrow down the final pool of projects, plans, and policies that may be funded at the conclusion of this process.


In meeting five, the LA SAFE team will host an exhibit, a celebration if you will, with the goal of honoring, thanking, and acknowledging everyone at the community level who worked with us over the 2017 calendar year. At this gathering, the final list of potential projects, plans, and policies will be presented back to the community where residents will have an important opportunity to vote on what could be funded as a pilot adaptation project for their parish.

Downloadable Resources

2017 Coastal Master Plan

Download the printable version of Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan for a sustainable coast.



LA SAFE Policy Framework

We've made our policy framework available for download.


Plaquemines Resilience Planning Framework

Download the printable version of Plaquemines Parish resilience planning framework here.



Summary of LA SAFE Work to Date

Download the printable version of the Community Meeting Round 3 Takehome Packet.


Quick Links

Jefferson Parish
Lafourche Parish
Plaquemines Parish
St. John the Baptist Parish
St. Tammany Parish
Terrebonne Parish