The $1.2 billion LSU/VA medical complex plan will have an enormous impact on the city's urban fabric. The decision to expropriate and demolish Lower Mid-City will carry irreversible consequences that will affect the look and feel of the city for generations to come. The far-reaching consequences of even the smallest of development decisions sparked the creation of the New Orleans Master Plan so that the city had a strategic game plan to help guide these decisions in a way that makes sense for the future of the city. In 2008, the City Planning Commission signed a $2,000,000 contract with Goody Clancy to complete a Master Plan to direct the future land use development of the city. Yet these planners were explicitly barred from evaluating the hospital plans and the larger biomedical district. Though the most respected urban planners suggests that efficient, dense, walkable cities are most likely to take advantage of the environmental movement and the renewed popularity of urban life, the LSU/VA medical complex proposes to abandon its efficient space downtown for a sprawling suburban-style campus that would demolish a residential neighborhood that is already uniquely positioned geographically to capitalize on market forces for robust revitalization.

Below you will find a collection of articles pertaining to the planning issue:

Lawsuit: Thurman vs. Nagin

Petition filed for Thurman vs. Nagin, on July 14th, 2009. Lawsuit was filed in Civil District Court that argues that Mayor C. Ray Nagin repeatedly violated the New Orleans City Charter in authorizing the seizure of private property and the closure of public streets for the proposed Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

James Gill: "LSU hospital's prognosis gets worse"

LSU says its spiffy new medical complex, after gobbling up a vast tract of Mid-City, can be ready to open in 2013. If LSU says it, that should be good enough for anybody. It won't open in 2013 for sure. Whether it ever will is the question. The answer looks increasingly like no.

Perhaps this is a shame; with the up-to-the-minute plant envisaged by LSU, New Orleans could pack in more invalids than Lourdes. The streets would be thronged by doctors, medical researchers and students. The economy would just hum along, and the old town would enjoy new prestige across the land.

So say proponents of the new complex, and nobody can deny that we could use the boost that would come from a medical campus also incorporating the new Veterans Affairs hospital, which is due to open in 2012. That date is a real one, for the VA has its money lined up. Not so LSU.

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Picayune: "Planning Commission to hold forum on hospitals"

Times-Picayune: "Planning Commission to hold forum on hospitals: Panel urged to join debate though it lacks jurisdiction"

The City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting May 28 on plans for new Veterans Affairs and Louisiana State University hospitals in New Orleans. The session will begin at 4 p.m. in the City Council chamber at City Hall and is expected to run several hours.

The meeting is being termed a "special forum" rather than a public hearing because the commission has nothing on its agenda requiring action related to plans for the two hospitals. Commission leaders said the panel has no jurisdiction over the projects.

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Picayune: "LSU won't let facts get in hospital's way"

Times-Picayune: "LSU won't let facts get in hospital's way"
by James Gill

The allegation that state and LSU officials are telling a pack of lies in order to screw the feds out of several hundred million dollars does not come from a source with any claim to disinterest.

It comes from a coalition that wants LSU to abandon its plans for a sparkling new medical complex and reopen Big Charity.

But the coalition has produced plenty of evidence that must require FEMA to consider the possibility of jiggery-pokery.

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