The Van Alen Institute, in partnership with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, hosted Future Ground, a design competition that invited "multidisciplinary teams to generate flexible design and policy strategies to reuse vacant land in New Orleans.
Gans & Company, along with New Orleans architect Jim Dart, and policy and financial experts LoriAnn Girvan and Marc Norman, created a team called Policy as Design (PaD). Team PaD devised governmental and community partnerships that could establish, fund, maintain and expand health and urban habitat corridors in the neighborhoods of Plum Orchard and the Lower 9th Ward over a period of fifty years. Their initial MATRIX visualized current and potential inter-agency collaboration through cooperative endeavor agreements, memoranda of understanding and other instruments.
For Plum Orchard, licensing short term pop-up markets would be the first step in the establishment of a Business Improvement District along Chef Menteur Highway supported by a Bus Rapid Transit system.
In the Lower 9th Ward, NORA owned scattered sites could initially host the expansion of the current farming culture and ultimately scale up to create larger landscape networks to support eco-tourism, agricultural enterprise and healthy ecologies.