Part of the Urban Planning Committee’s recommendations for rebuilding New Orleans today (see earlier post) included sections for “infill development” projects:
The report also recommends that a number of large tracts be demolished and repackaged as “infill development areas” for commercial or industrial projects with housing for workers nearby. The dozen sites identified in the report include a number of public-housing developments, including one in Central City in the vicinity of the C.J. Peete and Guste complexes; a huge parcel in the area of the Florida and Desire complexes; and another around the St. Bernard complex.
Other areas are identified as “infill” sites as well, including the portion of the Lower 9th Ward on the lake side of North Claiborne Avenue. While no mention is made in the report of any specific plans, commissioners say they have been approached by private developers — whom they have declined to identify — interested in pitching large-scale projects.
I drew a total blank on this terminology, so I went hunting. Here (in part) is what PolicyLink.org says about them:
Local governments use infill incentives to promote the development of vacant land—or rehabilitation of existing structures—in already urbanized areas where infrastructure and services are in place. Prime locations for infill development include downtowns, transit corridors and locations near employment, shopping, and recreational and cultural amenities.
Local governments offer infill incentives for a number of reasons.
- Infill development reuses properties that may have been underutilized or blighted, helping to catalyze revitalization.
- Infill has the potential to boost jobs, purchasing power, and public amenities in urban core neighborhoods and generate tax dollars for local government.
- Infill housing is dense in comparison with housing in suburban areas and represents an effective way to meet a jurisdiction’s affordable housing or population growth needs.
- Located in proximity to existing transit routes or within walking distance of services and entertainment, infill development can reduce auto use and accompanying congestion and pollution.