Lafitte Greenway

LafitteGreenway_signature_DaleHorchner_2016_01.jpg
New Orleans, LA
United States
Lafitte Greenway

Landscape Information

Carondelet Walk

Located in the Tremé and Parkview neighborhoods, the greenway follows the path of the former Carondelet Canal. Under Spanish colonial Governor Francisco Luis Hector, Baron de Carondelet, construction of the 1.5 mile-long canal commenced in 1794 as a shipping corridor to connect Lake Pontchartrain with New Orleans. From its origin, dirt walkways extended from Bayou St. John along the canal’s route to the Vieux Carré, which were later developed into a pedestrian promenade referred to as the Carondelet Walk. Use of the Carondelet Walk persisted in the mid-1800s when the right-of-way transitioned into a railroad corridor, but ended when the canal was filled between 1927 and 1938. In 2010, the City of New Orleans initiated the design process for the Lafitte Greenway, a plan to convert the abandoned 54-acre corridor from a barrier which caused urban separation into a sustainable and connective landscape. Led by landscape architect Kurt Culbertson of Design Workshop, the project resulted in a 2.6-mile linear park which includes a bicycle and pedestrian trail that connects the Vieux Carré to Bayou St. John and New Orleans City Park, and borders seven historic neighborhoods.

Various portions of the landscape reinterpret historic layers of the site while also providing services to the community. A bald cypress grove and rain garden located along the Lafitte Avenue side of the park follows the historic footprint of the Carondelet Canal, and also acts to mitigate stormwater drainage issues of the surrounding neighborhoods. Meadow plantings were chosen to reintroduce the area’s native ecology. A crushed red brick path which traces the line of the 200-year-old pedestrian promenade makes up the new Carondelet Walk and facilitates secondary movement along the park’s central amenities. The city broke ground on the project in 2014, with the greenway opening the following year.