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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NEW YORK-- Brad Pitt called Thursday for people to submit proposals for an environmentally friendly design competition he is sponsoring to rebuild parts of New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

"Our goal is to kick off the rebuilding effort. It's certainly long overdue and I can only go from the reports that we get ... that it's behind, absolutely. People are frustrated," Pitt said by telephone from Namibia.

"We could possibly build something that was better and took into account the historical traditions of the city and the voices of the people and turn this into some kind of good," the actor added.

Pitt, who is currently in the southern African country with actress Angelina Jolie and their children, is teaming up with Global Green USA, a national environmental organization, on the design project.

Pitt will lead a jury made up of architects and local leaders to choose designs by six finalists who will then work with local neighborhoods on more detailed proposals for environmentally sound buildings.

The open competition will focus on the Holy Cross neighborhood in the impoverished Lower 9th Ward. Designs will be submitted in June and the finalists chosen in July.

Pitt described his reaction to watching the scenes of the devastation caused by Katrina. "Truthfully, I dare say we witnessed, to our shame, the fact that there's a portion of our society that's being dismissed and that needs to be rectified and I thought that was a real casualty overall from the event."

Pitt said it was both the humanitarian and design elements of the project that interested him.

"Good architecture is not about building a pretty box and putting it on a piece of land. It's about the needs of the people inhabiting it. It's about the sun, wind, the temperature of the place, their well-being, their quality of life, they go hand in hand. Good architecture cannot exist truthfully without good will," he said.

Pitt said he has a huge interest in architecture.

"I am a bit of a junkie. It's inexplicable really. I believe we creatures are very susceptible to our surroundings. They can actually improve our mode of life and I personally am very affected ... when I walk through an intelligent building. It inspires me," said Pitt. "To me it's like walking through a piece of art and, coupling that now with the green movement of the smarter architecture -- of the healthier buildings with great design -- is a very exciting prospect to me."

Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA, said that Pitt had "really educated himself not just on architecture, but green design as well. We'll probably have a vice-chair as well on the jury to help Brad. There will be a lot of experienced people on there as well as Brad."

The impetus for the competition stems from both a desire to help rebuild the devastated city, and to ensure that at least some of the reconstruction occurs in an environmentally-aware manner that reflect a vision of New Orleans in the future.

"As the rebuilding process in New Orleans begins in earnest we want to ensure that the designs and construction embrace principles of sustainable design and green building," Petersen said.

"What we're doing can help provide a spark for the rebuilding of New Orleans and to do it differently. If we build the right buildings now, we're not going to have to tear them down. They will be more disaster resistant," he added.

Anyone can pre-register from today for the competition although final details on the jury and the brief will not be released until mid-May. The finalist presentation and jury review will take place before the first anniversary of Katrina on Aug. 29.

Global Green, the US arm of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's Green Cross International, is providing technical assistance in green standards for 10,000 buildings in New Orleans. The standards include energy efficiency, improved indoor air quality, clean energy sources and healthy building materials.

Pitt declined to answer questions about the upcoming birth of his biological child with Jolie. "Absolutely not," he laughed.

There is widespread speculation that Jolie intends to give birth in Namibia and that the couple plan to marry there.

Pitt would only say that he had a warm welcome there.
 

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Celebrities, saving the world as always.
 

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HoustonTexas said:
Celebrities, saving the world as always.
at least he's politicin' with a purpose instead of trying to sound smart while bitching. good for him. :cheers:

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Rebuilding in the Lower 9th Ward? Isn't that where all of the criminals lived?

Say it ain't so, Brad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
krazeeboi said:
Rebuilding in the Lower 9th Ward? Isn't that where all of the criminals lived?

Say it ain't so, Brad.

Actually, the lower 9th ward has one of the highest home ownership rates in New Orleans. Yes, there are some horrible people there, but the majority consisted of working class blacks that owned their own homes.

The national media has no clue as to who lives where in New Orleans and what to call places in New Orleans. This, of course, results in misinformation, and that ticks me off.
 

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xzmattzx said:
since when is brad pitt an expert in city planning?
I know...the gesture is nice and noble, and it's good to put a known name behind any good cause, but, I'm not into this any more than I am the many nice college students that forfeited their college spring break, instead, to come to flooded areas and gutt homes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
xzmattzx said:
since when is brad pitt an expert in city planning?
He received his Masters in City Planning from the University of Namibia. That's another reason he and Angie are going there to have their baby. He forgot to pick up his diploma when he was there last time and didn't want to risk losing the diploma in the mail.
 

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JPKneworleans said:
He received his Masters in City Planning from the University of Namibia. That's another reason he and Angie are going there to have their baby. He forgot to pick up his diploma when he was there last time and didn't want to risk losing the diploma in the mail.
 

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Thank you Brad Pitt. You are a nice person. Good job. I might buy and watch more of your movies. okay
 
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