Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is an important tool to build resilience to climate change but needs community support to be effective. In late February, as part of CNT’s continued work to examine the effect of GSI on property values, I joined Leslé Honoré, Managing Director of Strategy and Communications, to discuss this topic with the community of Gentilly in New Orleans.
In partnership with Father Tony Ricard and St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, we had the incredible opportunity to connect with engaged and organized members of the Gentilly Woods community. CNT’s research has shown a statistically significant increase in home values that are within 250 feet of GSI features, including rain gardens, swales, planters and pervious pavement: a homeowner with a $250,000 home could see an increase of $700 to $2,000 in home sale value. While this can be positive, in places with gentrification pressure, it can cause additional stress on communities. Our discussion covered changes in home values in the community over the last ten years in proximity to locations where GSI has been installed.
Our discussion included nearly 50 community members, including representatives from community groups like the Pontilly Neighborhood Association. They are interested in this work because it can both address concerns about avoiding displacement and opportunities to leverage GSI as a tool for wealth creation for traditionally marginalized communities. This is a prime example of CNT’s work to use our analytical abilities to support the priorities of community-based organizations.