LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio Selected to Present Mayors’ Institute on City Design

05/28/2013 12:15 PM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, or CSS, a trans-disciplinary program of the LSU College of Art & Design, LSU College of Engineering and LSU School of the Coast & Environment, has been selected to present a regional session of the prestigious Mayors’ Institute on City Design.


LSU was one of two institutions selected through a nationwide competitive process. This will be the first time the institute has taken place in Baton Rouge. It is scheduled for December.


The Mayors’ Institute on City Design is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors, with support from United Technologies Corporation. Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities.


The institute consists of a two-day, closed-door workshop attended by eight mayors from around the nation. Each mayor will present a case study on a design issue affecting his or her city. Nationally renowned experts in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, transportation planning and real estate development then pose possible solutions.


“CSS has developed a reputation for innovatively addressing complex design challenges,” said Jeff Carney, CSS director and LSU associate professor of architecture. “CSS is shaping new initiatives in community design, sustainability and resiliency, and sharing this approach will greatly benefit other cities and states. The Mayors’ Institute will also complement LSU’s focus on the coast. Working with experts brought in by CSS will help mayors improve and sustain their communities in dynamic environments affected by climate change, land loss, sea level rise and other serious issues.”


East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, who attended the Mayors’ Institute in 2006, will serve as host to the visiting mayors.


“It is my pleasure to welcome the prestigious Mayors’ Institute for City Design here, to America’s Next Great City – Baton Rouge,” Holden said. “My staff and I look forward to welcoming the visiting mayors and discussing the design issues affecting their cities. As an alumnus of the institute, I understand how influential it can be in guiding mayors to plan and shape a community’s future in a positive, sustainable way. Design and planning efforts in Baton Rouge have resulted in unprecedented growth and progress.”


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.


CSS staff and board members also helping to organize the Mayors’ Institute include:

  • Lynne Carter, CSS associate director and associate director of the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program
  • Robert Twilley, director of Louisiana Sea Grant
  • Jori Erdman, professor and director of the LSU School of Architecture
  • Elizabeth Mossop, professor of landscape architecture in the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
  • John R. White, associate professor of oceanography and coastal sciences in the School of the Coast and Environment
  • Clint Willson, professor in the College of Engineering
  • Laura Larkin, CSS coordinator
  • Katrina Durbak, Patrick Michaels and Emily Powell, research fellows


For more information about the Mayors’ Institute, visit


To learn more about the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, visit

Aaron  Looney 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013