Landscape Architecture Students Design for Denham Springs Community Post-Flood

After the Louisiana flood of August 2016, Denham Spring city officials asked residents what they’d like to see as the city recovered and rebuilt. The community has declared priority making Denham Springs a friendlier place for pedestrians and bikers.

LSU landscape architecture students in assistant professor Brendan Harmon’s studio are developing conceptual plans for more walkable streets, paths and parks, to help inform the city’s new master plan.

“Landscape architecture students have been tasked with reimagining Denham Springs. They are producing two master plans, as well as designs for features like Spring Park and the flooded First Baptist Church, which is set to be demolished,” said LSU assistant professor Brendan Harmon. While designing these plans, students took into account factors such as flood control.

The students gathered March 18 at Healing Place Church to collect public feedback on early versions of their designs. Residents made suggestions for businesses and paths they wanted to see, such as a bike route to connect the city to the Denham Springs-Walker Library.

“The [residents] definitely want a stronger linkage throughout the community whether that’s some sort of path or trail and help slow down traffic as it comes through North Range,” MLA student Sophie Lott said.

MLA candidate Josh Black presented a project that looks at, among other things, a pathway that would connect downtown to the Amite River. The path would weave from the Antique District to the planned amphitheater at the flooded City Hall to Spring Park then to a beach or boat launch on the river.

“It would be great to have more bike and pedestrian friendly area there where people can cross the street and bike through Denham Springs,” he said.

The ultimate goal: to re-design Louisiana communities to make improve the lives of residents after disasters.