West End Redevelopment Initiative Earns the 2011 GREAT PLACES IN LOUISIANA AWARD!

AARP’s Livable Communities Council, the Center for Planning Excellence and the Lt. Governor’s Office announced thatThe West End Redevelopment Initiative in New Iberia has been recognized as an Emerging Great Place-a new category in this year’s 2011 Great Places in Louisiana awards, as the result of careful planning, strong partnerships, and an ambitious blueprint program to identify communities that have put plans in place to achieve increased mobility, diverse and affordable housing, supportive services and healthy living.

The annual awards program recognizes communities and community leaders who have pioneered new methods in planning, design, construction services and programs that make it possible to live in a community throughout a lifetime.

Each Great Place award winner presented their community or community-based program at an awards reception at the Smart Growth Summit in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a program of the Center for Planning Excellence.

In an emotional presentation, Robbie Bethel, a community leader in the West End, spoke of the evolution of the West End, the perseverance, commitment and resilience of the community. “It’s the willingness of the community to work together in partnership with Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc. (SMHA), the City of New Iberia and the many volunteers and to get their hands dirty to rebuild for the future generations that has made the West End Redevelopment Initiative come alive,” said Bethel. The award and presentation were a “spiritual awakening”, she said.

Bethel added that the audience suddenly became quiet and realized that they all have a West End in their own communities and were touched by the emotion and history given.

Congratulations to the West End Community!

About the Great Places in Louisiana Awards Program

The Great Places in Louisiana Awards program recognizes those individuals, programs, local governments and organizations that are working to make their community more livable for all people. Programs, projects or entire communities can nominate themselves or be nominated by others.

The winners of the Great Places in Louisiana Awards Program showcased each year during a special reception during CPEX’s Louisiana Smart Growth Summit.


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