Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative of New Orleans and Small Center teamed up to create a strategy for blighted and empty lots. The schemes the team developed can be used by owners, a neighborhood, or the City of New Orleans to ensure that the properties become spaces to gather and grow rather than overgrown and problematic parcels.

Project Dates

September 2012–December 2012


Blighted structures and overgrown weeds mar thousands of properties in New Orleans, leaving almost no neighborhood unaffected. A variety of trends and events – from changing housing preferences and faltering local economies to natural disasters and a collapsing real estate market – led to neighborhoods exhibiting blight and emptiness. Improved economic conditions and population growth rates are unlikely to quickly resolve this situation. Blighted structures, and their post-demolition by-product of empty lots, are likely to be a significant part of New Orleans urban fabric for some time to come.


Small Center Engagement

The team analyzed the social, economic, environmental, and organizational value of various strategies for vacant lots. The research and resulting design work was packaged into a booklet of recommendations for Jericho Road and other property owners throughout the city. The Small Center team then chose a vacant lot owned by Jericho Road to test a scheme. The scheme encourages tree canopy growth and uses a simple, modular fencing system that can be disassembled and reassembled as vacant lots return to use.

Partner Organization

Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative of New Orleans is a neighborhood-based nonprofit homebuilder that provides families with healthy and energy-efficient affordable housing opportunities. They partner with neighborhood residents, organizations and businesses to create and maintain a stable and thriving community.


This scheme was presented at the 2012 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, and continues to inform Jericho Road’s approach to vacant properties. These designs serve as a launch point for a city-wide discussion and investigation to improve the empty spaces in-between buildings, and many other aspects of blocks, neighborhoods, and the entire city. To download the booklet, Vacant Land Management Strategies, please click here.


Jericho Road

  • Alison Ecker

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Seth Welty (Design Lead)
  • Dan Etheridge (Project Manager)


  • Evan Amato
  • Dave Fruzynski
  • Arthur Ostrowski
  • Sarah Satterlee


  • Scott Bernhard
  • Dozenia Marshall
  • Emilie Taylor Welty