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Service-learning is a critical component of the student-centered education model at the University of New Orleans (UNO). For students to apply their knowledge activities within, classes are developed to provide technical service and experiential knowledge for community organizations. In the fall of 2017 students in the MURP 4050/5050 “Urban Land Use Planning & Plan Making” course combined their recently acquired knowledge of how policy affects the use of applying new planning tools in practice. Specifically, the course focused on the application of Federal and State policies for identifying and evaluating the significance of properties under Historic Preservation (HP) guidelines. This training was complemented with the WhoData property survey (PS) methodology & image inventory which evaluated the use, condition, location in combination with public data identification sources.

In the fall of 2016 an initial field study in the French Quarter consolidated the HP and PS models but not in a consolidated fashion. The Algiers Historic Preservation Assessment & Land Use Planning Survey demonstration project is the first study which integrates the tools and techniques from two fields of study into a single model that can be replicated nationally. The students in MURP 4050/5050 aided in using, evaluating and improving the tools by applying their knowledge to an active project. Initially the demonstration project was aimed at providing the initial documentation and an implementation plan to expand the existing Algiers Historic District. However, the scope of work had to be changed. The ability to create the resources necessary would not be developed properly without additional training by the course team without further training on historic preservation theory and application.

As a result, additional teaching resources were obtained which provided guidance on how to conduct historic property research (The New Orleans Historic Collection), conducting HP & LUP surveys in Algiers (Jennie Garcia, MURP ’17) and State/Federal Historic Preservation guidelines (LA State Historic Preservation Office). The students moved to the role of Planning Analyst in order to complete the research and reporting required to complete the preliminary analysis necessary for community organizations, such as the Algiers Main Street Corporation, to consider the benefits of historic district expansion and the cost of developing the documents to do so


This was a project by the MURP 4050/5050 (Land Use and Plan Making) students at the University of New Orleans in Fall 2017 in conjunction with WhoData and the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, Division of Historical Preservation (LA SHPO).

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.