LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio Wins APA-Louisiana Excellence Award for Education or Advocacy

The LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio (CSS), a trans-disciplinary program of the College of Art + Design, College of Engineering, and School of the Coast & Environment, has won the 2014 State Planning Award – Excellence Award for Education or Advocacy from the American Planning Association’s Louisiana Chapter.

The award honored CSS’s work in developing the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program (LRAP) in collaboration with the Louisiana Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit.

“Recovery from the five hurricanes the state has faced over the last eight years means not only rebuilding, but planning for the future in a way that will make Louisiana safer, stronger, and smarter,” said Pat Forbes, executive director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development. “I truly believe our investments in the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program will contribute to the state’s resilience for years to come.”

The mission of LRAP is to collect, develop, house, and disseminate current planning efforts, resources, and local best practices to promote, assist, and build networks around resiliency planning in Louisiana.

LRAP connects architects, scientists, citizens, and coastal managers to help communities become more resilient in the event of future disasters.

CSS director and LSU associate professor of architecture Jeff Carney worked with research fellows Katrina Durbak, Patrick Michaels, and Emily Powell, as well as graduate and undergraduate students in architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, construction management, environmental engineering, and renewable natural resources, to create the program over the past two years.

The CSS executive committee consisting of professors Robert Twilley, Jori Erdman, Elizabeth Mossop, John R. White, and Clint Willson also provided feedback and review for LRAP.

The LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio is unique in that it brings together disciplines that normally work separately so that it can respond to critical coastal issues in the most comprehensive way. Many previous coastal protection and restoration efforts have been solely engineering or science based, leaving out the human element. CSS offers a new paradigm, allowing designers such as architects, landscape architects, and city planners to have a voice in the process.

The APA Louisiana Chapter promotes the practice of planning in Louisiana as a way to build strong communities. Its over 400 members include practicing planners, students, and planning officials.

For more information about LRAP visit

For more information about CSS visit

For more information about APA-LA, visit

Media Contact:
Laura Larkin
Coordinator, LSU CSS