Community Foundation hires master planning firm

Published 8:43 pm Monday, October 25, 2021

The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana has hired a long-time master planning firm to head a planning process for Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, officials announced Monday.

The foundation hired the Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates, which has been involved with master planning since 1964, according to the company’s website. Along with various cities in the United States, other project sites include Canada, India, Russia, Scotland and Saudi Arabia.

Sara Judson, Community Foundation SWLA CEO, said in a news release the company was hired with help from a $2.5 million gift from Angela and David Filo. She said Urban Design Associates will work with local leaders to help rebuild stronger housing and infrastructure in the wake of Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

According to the release, Urban Design Associates will use firms based in Louisiana that specialize in areas such as community engagement, engineering and economic development.

“We look forward to working side-by-side with residents and stakeholders to envision a vibrant, safe, growing region for the future,” said Megan O’Hara, Urban Design Associates principal.

More than 100 residents throughout Calcasieu and Cameron parishes were interviewed or filled out online surveys that were used to create the proposal for the planning firm, Judson said.

“This process will give an opportunity for continued public engagement, both in person and virtually, beginning later this fall,” she said.

More information on the master planning process will be released online at foundationswla.org. A separate website on the plan will be launched soon.