June 26 2013

A Burgeoning Biosciences District in New Orleans

Medical Complex Under Construction on Canal Street

In an area of New Orleans that was once populated by 249 homes, cranes loom over a vast complex of medical buildings under construction. Construction is now well underway and the new Louisiana State University and Veterans Affairs hospitals are on track to open in 2014.

The new medical complex is one major part of a plan to create a world class biosciences and healthcare district in New Orleans. Part investment friendly policy and part urban planning endeavor, BioDistrict New Orleans is an economic development district that is responsible for the growth of the biosciences sector of the New Orleans economy.

BioDistrict New Orleans encourages the physical development of buildings to house healthcare services and biosciences research and facilitates partnerships between government, educational institutions, private companies and foundations. In addition to the new hospitals, other research universities and the New Orleans BioInnovation Center are assets that can help burgeoning biotech industries in the city.

BioDistrict Plan

The BioDistrict hopes to be more than just a district where people come to work. The vision is that these bioscience entities will create stable, high paying jobs that will form the basis of a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood. Flanked by one current streetcar line and more proposed transit lines, the district aspires to attract a healthy, educated population and become one of the most sustainable neighborhoods in the nation.

Although work on the Veterans Affairs and Louisiana State University Hospitals began with controversial site acquisition and grassroots opposition, New Orleans has high hopes for the overall aims of the BioDistrict. With smart policies and a thoughtful plan for altering the urban landscape, the BioDistrict could develop into an economic engine and a desirable neighborhood in New Orleans.

How are medical and biotech developments affecting your city?

Credits: Photos by Jessica Yoon. Map courtesy of BioDistrict New Orleans. Data linked to sources.

Jessica Yoon

Jessica Yoon is a native Oregonian, currently residing in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University, where she became interested in how great places can promote both equity and prosperity. She is primarily interested in how smart planning and design initiatives, combined with inspired real estate development projects, can create wonderful urban places for people to live, work, and thrive. Jessica reports on new initiatives and urban developments in New Orleans, where a fast pace of progress raises hope for a vibrant future for the city and region. Beyond her work as a marketing professional and blogger, Jessica enjoys riding her bicycle, eating her way through the city’s food scene, and listening to economics podcasts.

Website - Twitter - Facebook - More Posts

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 at 9:23 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Urban Development/Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


2 Responses to “A Burgeoning Biosciences District in New Orleans”

  1. Nick Kindel Says:

    So are we saying that demolishing a recently rebuilt residential neighborhood for a suburban style, single use medical complex is good urban planning and sustainable development?

  2. Jessica Yoon Says:

    No. I taught at a school in that neighborhood until we were forced to relocate and I watched those houses come down painfully over the course of the semester. It was in no way ideal. Right now, it seems like the city is placing a lot of its hopes on the success of this new medical/biosciences district. Although the past is painful, looking forward, I do hope that this thing generates some net benefit for us all. It looks like the plan has some residential and mixed use blocks surrounding the hospitals and I do hope it succeeds in becoming something of a neighborhood.

Leave a Reply

3 + = nine


Follow US