Just Imagine SWLA continues 50-year resilience plan

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 9:18 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - We are one year into the 50-year resilience plan Just Imagine SWLA, which is bringing vital updates and improvements across Southwest Louisiana.

Many involved with the beginnings of this project might not be around to see its completion, but the Just Imagine SWLA project is a legacy in the making for our communities.

“It’s just exciting to see the progress and the little things leading up to it. It makes me excited to see the final result and be a part of it, and tell others, have my family take part in it,” Faith Dalton, a senior in McNeese’s graphic design program said.

Just Imagine SWLA has five major themes that connect the ten major projects. A diverse and strong economy, resilient housing, collaborative community planning, celebrating natural and cultural resources, and reliable and resilient infrastructure.

The Community Foundation has worked with Urban Design Associates to bring these ten projects to life:

  • Coastal Risk Reduction
  • Waterfront Development
  • Mixed-Income Housing
  • Nellie Lutcher District
  • McNeese Resilience District
  • Chennault/SOWELA Resilience District
  • Strong Downtowns
  • Community Resilience Hubs
  • Resilient Housing Toolkit
  • Growing Home SWLA – a redevelopment and recovery authority.

“It’s very important to see a plan coming together for my children and my children’s children. It’s exciting to see it happen. It really has opened everyone up to have an opportunity in some innovative ways into a plan that’s for everyone and not just for some,” said Braylon Harris, Director of SWLA Responds.

Every project is moving at a different pace, but there is progress happening every day.

“It’s so important to get the people’s input, so ever since last November, a whole year of community meetings in Lake Charles, in West Cal, in Cameron, for people to give input in sessions and online and they have done that. High school students, all the way to elected officials, to people all over, who said here’s what we love about Southwest Louisiana and here are opportunities to make it better and build a more resilient Southwest Louisiana,” said Sara Judson, CEO of Community Foundation SWLA.

Just Imagine SWLA hopes to not only keep people from Southwest Louisiana in the area, but to bring new people into the communities as well.