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Loyola team wins honorable mention in the global “Students Reinventing Cities” competition

By Loyola University on Thu, 09/14/2023 - 13:41

The Loyola team, “People First,” composed of six Loyola students and one from Tulane, won honorable mention in the global “Students Reinventing Cities” competition. Mayor LaToya Cantrell will honor Sydney Lowman, Evan Roden, Mya Butler, Rinny Barcenas, Leila Avery, Natalia Arredondo, and Ileanna Calcano in a ceremony on September 25 and has asked them to make a 30-minute presentation of their proposal to revitalize East New Orleans.

Spearheaded by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development with faculty leadership from Dr. Craig Hood, director of the environment program, this amazing team of students studying environmental studies, biomedical engineering, classical Latin, business management, economics, humanities and architecture beat out teams from Harvard, Tulane and Sapienza University of Rome for the honorable mention honor  

The Students Reinventing Cities is a competition that “invites students and universities to collaborate with global cities and imagine a more sustainable and inclusive future.” The People First team developed a comprehensive and inclusive plan that addressed disaster planning; green infrastructure; stormwater management; energy production like anaerobic digesters; public and private transportation; bike and pedestrian roadways; climate-focused street design; hurricane-proof housing; community places including urban gardens and other solutions to address crime and food insecurity; and even green jobs. Of particular note - this was all done during the end of finals this year - from April to June!  

“I am so incredibly proud, but not surprised that the Loyola team was a winner.  If we are to find actionable, innovative solutions that address climate, poverty and food insecurity issues, it will take a diverse group of people with a range of knowledge and a passion for social justice. That describes this team - and, in fact, all of Loyola University to me,” says Bara Watts, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development.