Frequently Asked Questions
The co-design process ensures that residents are partners in planning. It’s a cyclical process in which we conduct research, reach out to and engage residents in the conversation, and then analyze what we’ve found before starting the process over again. The process is founded on the following shared principles: share power, prioritize relationships, include all points of view, use all kinds of knowledge and test solutions early and often. As a resident, your experience and personal narrative are critical parts of establishing a set of practices and strategies.
Where do structural protection (like levees) or restoration projects (like sediment diversions) fit into this process?
This particular process expands on—but is not the same as—the ongoing work in the state to provide protection to communities and restore or maintain wetlands. The focus here is on adaptation strategies.
This process recognizes that despite all the money and energy we dedicate to fighting land loss or mitigating flood risk, we’re losing land faster than we can restore it. We have to plan for less land and more risk, and figure out how we can adapt to different levels of risk in different areas of the state.
As populations continue to increase in low-risk areas, places with low risk need to be better prepared to grow in population. Good development decisions for the future have to start being made today to ensure a high quality of life for residents.
The LA SAFE initiative is funded through a HUD long-term disaster recovery grant, and ties back to those parishes most impacted by Hurricane Isaac in 2012. Therefore, this money must go to those qualifying parishes as a regulatory matter; however, it is a goal of the LA SAFE program to secure additional resources and expand the program statewide in the future.
At the end of the planning process each parish will have an adaptation plan that is based on the needs of communities within that parish. Additionally, the state intends to invest in at least one pilot project created during the planning process.
No. By no means is the State of Louisiana planning on going into communities and telling people to move. This is an effort that is rooted in community drive initiatives. Decisions about the future will be made by those communities based on current and future risks.
The LA SAFE process is defined by a co-design planning process in which the community and the LA SAFE team work together to develop a plan for the residents who live there. This planning process is an opportunity for residents to have the power to decide how their community will adapt to current and future risks related to the environment, the economy and their surrounding culture.