Nuns offer up convent as wetlands to fight flooding in New Orleans - architecture and design

Nuns offer up convent as wetlands to fight flooding in New Orleans



A community of nuns have donated their convent in New Orleans to create the Mirabeau Water Garden wetlands and improve the city's system for flood prevention.
The transformation of the 25-acre Catholic convent is being developed by Waggonner & Ball and Carbo Landscape Architects to reduce pressure on the low-lying coastal city's existing drainage system, as climate change makes flooding an increasing threat.
Once complete, the Mirabeau Water Garden will become "one of largest urban wetlands" in the USA, according to Waggonner & Ball, with the capacity to naturally absorb and store approximately 6.5 million gallons of floodwater.
The Mirabeau Water Garden wetlands will encompass the 25-acre site of a convent in New Orleans The convent, which belongs to the Congregation of St Joseph, remains in a state of disrepair following destruction during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Rather than opting to rebuild the convent or sell the site to developers, its community of nuns decided to donate the land to create wetlands as a changing climate and rising seas is making the threat of flooding more prevalent in the city, which is largely positioned below sea level.
"The land was donated to the City of New Orleans by the Congregation of St Joseph on the condition that it be used to enhance and protect the neighbourhood," said Waggonner & Ball.
"This vision was embraced by the Sisters of St Joseph as one that, in their own words, 'would manifest the holine...
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