Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana hires master planning firm

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 9:10 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Rebuilding.

When it comes to the last year and a half, that word has become familiar to many.

“We have had outstanding support for hurricane relief and recovery from across the country and even other parts of the world,” said CEO of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, Sara Judson.

Some of that support coming from David Filo, a Southwest Louisiana native and co-creator of Yahoo, as well as his wife Angela.

“With that significant contribution of two and a half million dollars, the Community Foundation has gone through a very thorough process of creating a proposal of what master planning to build a more resilient Southwest Louisiana would be.”

When it came to making that proposal, Judson tells me it included a listening tour with over 100 stakeholders from across Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.

“We created a proposal based on what was most important to them for the future of Southwest Louisiana.”

Those considerations include economic development, housing, infrastructure, and general quality of life enchantments.

“Those things were included in the request for proposal, we received five that were from different organizations across the country, and from here in Louisiana, and ultimately have selected Urban Design Associates.”

As she explains, a partnership between the public and officials is key to creating a more resilient Southwest Louisiana in the following decades.

“The opportunity to have the public and our governmental entities working together to create a unified vision for 30 to 50 years in the future for Southwest Louisiana is really important and exciting, and the fact that Calcasieu parish has already gone through a long term planning process is really ideal because those things have been identified and can really work well together as we look at what we do in the near term.”

Judson says this plan is focused on Calcasieu and Cameron parishes due to the amount of impact from the storms.

When it comes to community engagement opportunities, she said next week a website will be announced where people will be able to share their ideas.

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