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Opportunities: Changing Course Competition Seeks Innovative Design Solutions for the Lower Mississippi River Delta

ASLA’s Opportunities and Events page provides users with the latest information on everything from conferences and meetings to calls for papers, requests for qualifications, consulting opportunities, and competitions. Below, a chance to reverse course on a mistreated delta.

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A “Request for Qualifications” for Changing Course, a paid design competition aimed at creating innovative solutions for the Lower Mississippi River Delta, was issued today by its leadership team, composed of key local and national stakeholders.

The delta, one of America’s great natural resources, supports the country’s economy, wildlife, and cultural heritage. But after decades of abuse and narrowly defined management, the delta is disappearing rapidly, virtually melting into the Gulf of Mexico. This land loss is endangering New Orleans and the area’s many smaller communities, and threatening a national economy dependent upon the river and its delta for shipping, natural resources, and energy infrastructure.

The Changing Course competition, with the support and participation of the State of Louisiana and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seeks to develop approaches that demonstrate how, over time, the Mississippi River’s water and sediment can be used to maximize rebuilding of delta wetlands in areas adjacent to the river below New Orleans and continue to meet the needs of navigation, flood protection, and coastal industries and communities.

This development of new approaches for the river, which may include suggestions for new alignments for the lower river, is directly responsive to needs identified in Louisiana’s 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. An independent effort led by local and national leaders, Changing Course will contribute additional innovation, competition, and private sector engagement to the exploration of these needs, and do so in time for consideration during the next iteration of the coastal master plan in 2017.

Changing Course invites teams of prominent engineers, coastal scientists, planners, landscape architects, and designers to respond to the competition Request for Qualifications, due October 25, 2013. You must register as soon as possible. Successful entrants will be invited to a Request for Proposals Forum, held in New Orleans in January 2014. The design competition will consist of two phases, Framework Design and Concept Design, and will run through 2014.

Resulting visions from the competition will be vetted by technical experts, stakeholder and community interests, and the public.

Please register your interest as soon as possible by responding. RFQs are due October 25, 2013.

For more information and to download the RFQ, visit http://www.changingcourse.us/. Questions? Contact changingcourse@happoldconsulting.com.

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