NOAH, which stands for New Orleans Arcology Habitat, boasts 20,000 residential units as well as 3 hotels and 1,500 timeshare units. But that’s not all. Also housed within the triangular walls of this one-stop-building will be commercial space (stores), parking for 8,000 cars, cultural spaces, public works, schools, an administrative office, and a health care facility. This means that you could live your whole life within NOAH if you wanted to. Although that doesn’t sound very fun, it may be prudent, since NOAH has been specifically designed to withstand the hurricanes that have ravaged the city on the Mississippi in the past. Its floating base and open-wall structure are meant to allow “all severe weather /winds to in effect blow through the structure in any direction with the minimum of massing interference”.

The proposal places this 30 million-square-foot monstrosity on the Mississippi riverfront, just across from the central business district of New Orleans. Atop the multi-cavity all which will attempt to be hurricane proof, there will be 20,000 residential units, three hotels, 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space, plenty of cultural facilities and offices, a 20,000 healthcare clinic, and of course, just for fun, a trio of casinos. The green structure will be bristling with solar panels, water turbines, wind turbines, fresh water recovery, and a passive solar glazing system.

Objectives and beneficiaries

Urban residents in cities subjected to extreme events/floods/sea level rise/natural hazards.

Strong points of the practice

NOAH will supposedly “eliminate the need for cars within the urban structure” via vertical and horizontal internal electric transport links, creating a pedestrian-friendly community. Other eco-friendly elements include secured wind turbines, fresh water recovery and storage systems, a passive glazing system, sky garden heating/cooling vents, grey water treatment, solar array banding panels, and river based water turbines. And if NOAH truly is hurricane-proof, that will make the city more sustainable than any wind turbines or solar panels ever could.

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

NOAH has been specifically designed to withstand the hurricanes. It is a key element to adapt to climate change impacts.

Replicability potential of the practice