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Tulane Regional Urban Design Center

TRUDC proposal for Gretna City Park improvements receives state funding

On April 20, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced funding for 10 flood resilience projects in six coastal parishes. Among the winning proposals are improvements to recreation and drainage in Gretna City Park designed by Tulane School of Architecture students and faculty with the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center for the city of Gretna.

Read more on TRUDC’s work here, and see the complete list of projects here.

Tulane Regional Urban Design Center advises City of Gretna on park and green infrastructure improvements

Photo by Helen Williams

Photo by Helen Williams.

The Tulane Regional Urban Design Center developed recommendations for the City of Gretna to help combat repetitive area flooding, including improvements to Gretna City Park and a green streets project. Read more on the designs in this article from Times Picayune.

TRUDC proposes new designs for Gretna City Park

Tulane Regional Urban Design Center recently presented design concepts for Gretna City Park at a public meeting hosted by the city and Mayor Belinda Constant.

Enhancements including pathways, signage, and waterfront gathering areas were explored by students in Adjunct Professor Grover Mouton's Design Urbanism course.  Students Kevin Atkinson and Laruschka Joubert worked with Mouton and City officials to select and refine a final design.  The concepts are now being used to secure cost estimates and raise funds for phased implementation.

SCLC pavillion commemorating the founding of the civil rights organization on the horizon

The Tulane Regional Urban Design Center, with Grover Mouton and the Felicity Redevelopment Corporation join forces to celebrate the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Confrence in New Orleans in 1957 at the New Zion Baptist Church by Martin L King jr. and others. The students have worked on a pavilion design to interpret this important event over the  past  several years.  Full Article

TRUDC hosts the 2016 Regional Session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design

The Tulane Regional Urban Design Center (TRUDC) recently hosted the 2016 Regional Session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD South), representing its 11th turn as host of the lauded national program. MICD is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors.

Experts in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, real estate development, transportation planning, and urban design joined mayors from across the Midwest and South regions in two-and-a-half-day discussions and offered pragmatic advice on how the mayors could approach the design and development challenges facing each of their cities.

The event was attended by Eastpointe, MI Mayor Suzanne Pixley; Germantown, TN Mayor Mike Palazzolo; Gretna, LA Mayor Belinda Constant; Gulfport, MS Mayor Billy Hewes; Meridian, MS Mayor Percy Bland; and Natchez, MS Mayor Daryll Grennell. The 2016 MICD South Regional Session included participation and leadership by several TSA faculty and staff, including leadership by TRUDC Director Grover Mouton, Project Manager Sergio Padilla, Small Center Project Manager Nick Jenisch, MSRED Director Casius Pealer, and MSRED student Andrew Moore.

Joining the mayors and MICD Director Trinity Simons at this session was a distinguished group of Resource Team members: Portland Development Commission Senior Project Manager Leila Aman; Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill Senior Urban Designer Robert Bracken; New Orleans Downtown Development District Director of Economic Development Leigh Ferguson; City of New Orleans Director of Place-Based Planning Bill Gilchrist; Preservation Design Partnership Principal Dominique Hawkins; Rhode Island School of Design Landscape Architecture Department Graduate Program Director Suzanne Mathew; and TSA’s Mouton & Pealer.

The 2016 MICD South Regional Session was sponsored in part by United Technologies Corporation. For more information, visit and


City of Gretna releases TRUDC's visioning plan for downtown

By Diana Samuels, | The Times-Picayune

Cities often spend big money on civic planning documents that simply sit on a shelf. They don't follow up with the money to make the grand visions a reality.

Gretna is trying to avoid that pitfall with its new "Gretna Downtown 2020." It lays out what its authors describe as small but very effective ways to inject new life into the historic downtown area.

Released Thursday (April 28), the plan is a collaboration between City Hall and Tulane University's Regional Urban Design Center. Rather than undertaking huge projects like new buildings or parks, it recommends focusing on items such as landscaping, nicer crosswalks and shaded seating, and perhaps a splash pad at Memorial Square.

"They're not huge recommendations that would be enormously costly, and we did that on purpose," said Grover Mouton, director of the urban design center. "The city itself is already, I think, in such good shape that if you enhance its core features you really make a huge impact."

The urban design center often works with smaller cities that do not spend big bucks for a major firm to do these types of planning documents. They provide a more affordable rate, and in exchange, Tulane students get real-world experience. Tulane has previously worked in cities such as Mandeville, Slidell and Kenner's Rivertown district. This project is costing Gretna $30,000, and included two public meetings where residents gave their input... Full Article

TSA faculty Sue Mobley and Nick Jenisch publish an article in Conjunctions:Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation

Tulane City Center (TCC) Community Engagement Manager Sue Mobley and Tulane Regional Urban Design Center & TCC Project Manager Nick Jenisch have recently published an article in Conjunctions:Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation.  Entitled "Recovery to Resilience: Finding a Transdisciplinary Approach to Community-Based Design," the piece reflects on collaborative design efforts in the ten years since Katrina, successful and otherwise, profiles New Orleans' pivot from a recovery mentality, and looks forward in identifying the need for interdisciplinary work and improved engagement in community-based design.

Fifth-Year student Gustavo Rodas' design work is currently on view publicly in the City of Gretna, LA

Fifth-Year student Gustavo Rodas' design work is currently on view publicly in the City of Gretna, LA.  His logo and banner design to promote the City's recent planning efforts are featured throughout the downtown.  

Rodas and other students have worked with the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center (TRUDC), residents, and City officials to create a new vision for their historic downtown.  A final report including planning and architectural design recommendations will be released in February. 

Group photo: Gretna City Council, Mayor, and administrators alongside TRUDC team 

Tulane Regional Urban Design Centercollaborates with the City of Gretna

The Tulane Regional Urban Design Center has been working in collaboration with the City of Gretna to create a vision for their historic downtown.  Students Gavin West and Gustavo Rodas have worked closely with TRUDC on the project, and students of Grover Mouton's Design Urbanism course are also examining Gretna's design and planning challenges.  They will present their work to Gretna's Mayor and administration in mid-December. Article 

New Wave Story 

Archinect Features - Deans List: Kenneth Schwartz of Tulane School of Architecture


The Deans List is an interview series with the leaders of architecture schools, worldwide. The series profiles the school’s programming, as defined by the head honcho – giving an invaluable perspective into the institution’s unique curriculum, faculty and academic environment. For this issue, we spoke with Kenneth Schwartz, the Dean at Tulane University's School of Architecture.

Before Hurricane Katrina, the 100+-year old Tulane School of Architecture was primarily concerned with architectural design with an emphasis on historical preservation at various times during this history. The school did not focus as much on progressive community-oriented design projects as they do today. Since the 2005 disaster, the school has changed its focus to encourage its approximately 300 students to become actively involved in the design issues of the surrounding community, resulting in a hands-on approach that immerses students in the often thorny problems of the wider world. In New Orleans’ case, architectural students must grapple with building in historically impoverished neighborhoods that have also not fully recovered from the effects of Katrina. Kenneth Schwartz, who has been at the school’s helm since 2008, has made Tulane synonymous with a pedagogy that integrates the theoretical and the pragmatic... Full interview HERE