On July 13 Pitt toured New Orleans' devastated Holy Cross neighborhood, which is still uninhabitable 11 months after Katrina hit. Says Pitt: "I was not prepared for it. It's a bit shocking, a bit disturbing."
MAPPING A FUTURE—ONE BLOCK AT A TIME
As part of his visit, Pitt—an architecture buff—met with activists Barbara Lalen Keller (center) and Carol Bebelle to discuss how cutting-edge buildings could better meet their community's needs. "Talking to the people, there is a great verve, a great spirit," says Pitt. "That's what will get things done."
A MAN WITH A PLAN
Joining forces with the environmental group Global Green USA, Pitt (at a July 14 press conference) is sponsoring an architectural contest to help rebuild Holy Cross. At the end of August, the winner—selected from five finalists out of 3,000 submissions—will design new housing for the neighborhood. The goal? To "do our little part in the rebuilding effort," he says.
TAKING IT TO THE STREET
As part of an effort to build environmentally sensitive public housing, Pitt toured the area with Tulane professor Reed Kroloff and city councilwoman Cynthia Williard-Lewis. "It was like he was one of us," says local Pam Dashiell. "We got along like a house afire."