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Brad Pitt Builds Green (and Pink) In New Orleans

Submitted by Louisa May

New orleansBrad Pitt loves the energy of New Orleans, owns a home in the French Quarter, and is helping rebuild the city. In August 2005, the Lower Ninth Ward was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Global Green USA, an environmental organization, partnered with Brad Pitt and the Home Depot Foundation in August 2006 to sponsor an international design competition.

Architects were asked to design a house five feet off the ground with a porch and three bedrooms with a selling price of about $150,000.Their goal, along with helping the displaced residents of the neighborhood come home again, was to demonstrate the energy savings available with green building.

The first sustainable housing community in the Ninth Ward is underway, and the project includes five homes and one eighteen unit apartment building built according to “green” standards. As an extension to his first project, Brad Pitt announced in December 2007 the creation of a new foundation called “Make It Right.”

The goal of “Make It Right”:

  • to build 150 energy efficient homes using solar and wind energy to reduce utility costs by over 65%. The first home should be ready by next summer, and Pitt has pledged five million dollars of his own money to make it happen.

His concept is pink!

Right now the razed neighborhood is bright pink with promise. Funky components of building forms including walls, roofs, and foundations are scattered throughout the site and draped in bright pink fabric. The point is to draw global attention to this local project, to say, “We’re back, and not forgotten.”

“This is an adopt-a – house campaign,” Pitt explained on the Today show in December. He’s asking high net worth individuals, church groups, and corporations to adopt a house. $150,000 will move a family back in.

While walking her through his pink installation in the Lower Ninth Ward, Brad Pitt told Today talk show host Ann Curry, “I see this as a great opportunity. The hurricane left a big scar. People are in limbo. I find this more fulfilling then any film I’ve been in.” His concept may be pink, but he has a heart of gold.

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