• Dr. John Renne featured in blog
    UNOTI Director Dr. John Renne has been featured in, a public health news and discussion forum from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that explores the intersection between transportation, health and quality of life. NewPublicHealth caught up with Dr. Renne at the American Public Transportation Association's annual meeting (held earlier this month in New Orleans), to discuss the economic impacts and other community benefits of continued investment in rail passenger transportation in the region.
  • New book addresses lessons learned from Katrina and Rita
    Six years after Hurricane Katrina and we've learned some lessons the hard way here in New Orleans. Now, all over the world people are using those lessons to better prepare themselves for natural disasters. And they can learn more from the new book, "Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the US Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita." Contributor and UNO Professor of Planning and Urban Studies, Doctor John Renne, talked to Eyewitness Morning News Monday about the book.

Jim Amdal

James R Amdal

Senior Fellow, UNO Transportation Institute
Milneburg Hall, Room 372

Phone: 504-280-6873

Masters of Architecture, 1976, Cranbrook Academy of Art. Bachelors of Architecture, 1972, University of Illinois Champagne - Urbana.  

Mr. Amdal is involved in a variety of transportation research and outreach activities undertaken by UNOTI.  His professional efforts focus on maritime and intermodal transportation systems as well as public transit initiatives. Mr. Amdal has extensive experience and expertise in transportation infrastructure planning and development, urban planning, historic preservation and community design. He has a wealth of experience and expertise with New Orleans’ Central Area Riverfront development and downtown neighborhoods.


He served as Associate Project Manager and private-sector NGO President for the planning, design, construction and operation of Phase 1 and 2 of the New Orleans Riverfront Streetcar, the first new streetcar line developed in New Orleans since 1926. He also authored the Strategic Policy Plan for the New Orleans Riverfront, a project sponsored by the New Orleans City Planning Commission that encompassed the entire 26 mile riverfront corridor within Orleans Parish. From 1993 thru 2006, Mr. Amdal served as a consultant on the development and implementation of the Statewide Intermodal Transportation Plan and the Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan.


Mr. Amdal is currently assessing the feasibility of new Container-on-Barge operations on the Mississippi River and the use of port and maritime assets in the Lower Mississippi River in times of disaster. He has recently served on the UNO project team for various strategic plans and / or market assessments conducted for the Port of Morgan City, the Port of Lake Providence, and the Port of South Louisiana. Post-Katrina Mr. Amdal has participated in many planning initiatives for ongoing disaster recovery and reconstruction efforts in the City of New Orleans. He served as a professional advisor to the District 5 Recovery Steering Committee for the greater Lakeview communities and served on the Recovery Steering Committee for District 1 (CBD and French Quarter) during the development of the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP). As well, Mr. Amdal contributed to UNO’s efforts regarding the formulation and implementation of the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) with a special emphasis on community services and facilities city-wide.


He maintains long-standing professional relationships with key decision makers in New Orleans (City Council, City Planning Commission) as well as the LA Department of Transportation and Development and the Regional Planning Commission. Mr. Amdal currently serves on the WTC’s Transportation Committee and is Chairman of the New Orleans Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission. Mr. Amdal continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Steam Train Association.

Post-Disaster Reconstruction: (Chapter co-authored by Isabel Maret)"Rebuilding After Disasters: From Emergency to Sustainability," Edited by Gonzalo Lizaralde, Cassidy Johnson, Colin Davidson (2010).
"Streetcars, Rail and TOD in New Orleans: A Historic Perspective,"APA 2010 Conference, New Orleans, LA.

"New Orleans' Stakeholder Participation in Post-Katrina Reconstruction Planning and Programs," USAID 2010 Disaster Reconstruction Workshop, Washington, DC.

"Post-Disaster Planning in New Orleans and Louisiana: An On-Going Saga," EU FloodResilientCity 2011 Forum, Paris, France.

2010 – 2011 “IWCT”

2009 – 2011 “Rails to Recovery: The Role of Rail Passenger Transportation in Post-Katrina New Orleans and Louisiana” This research report provides a comprehensive analysis of inter and intra city rail passenger transportation initiatives in a Post-Katrina environment. It examines the development of 2 specific projects: the proposed passenger rail link between New Orleans and Baton Rouge; the new Loyola Streetcar extension currently under construction in the New Orleans CBD. Nationally recognized successes in new passenger rail systems are used to illustrate differing approaches to the development, implementation and impact of passenger rail systems on their specific service corridors.

2009 – 2010 “Transportation Resiliency”

2006 - 2007 Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) UNO team member with principal responsibilities for research and project / policy recommendations for community services and facilities city-wide: sanitation; NOPD and NOFD; EMS; 911 services

2006 – 2007 District 5 Neighborhood Recovery Plan--Principal advisor to the District 5 Recovery Steering Committee and collaborator with Bermello Ajamil & Partners in the development of 6 distinct neighborhood recovery plans within Planning District 5 (Lakeview) of the City of New Orleans post-Katrina.

2005 – 2006 St. Tammany Parish International Maritime Training Center -- Initial feasibility study and analysis of comparable maritime training facilities world-wide including: Sogreah - Port Revel, France; Australian Ship Handling Centre - Port Ash, Australia; The Ship Handling Research and Training Center - Ilawa, Poland; Massachusetts Maritime Academy - Buzzards Bay, MA.

1993 – 2005 LA Statewide Intermodal Transportation Plan--Development and Implementation Strategies for the 25 year transportation infrastructure investment program (Phases 1-4) for the State of LA. Areas of primary responsibility: industry / advocate outreach; surface passenger systems planning and programming; applied research; LDOTD staff support. Plan Adoption 1996. Implementation 1996 – 2002. Plan Update 2002 – 2006.

1991 – 1993 Strategic Policy Plan for the New Orleans Riverfront--Prime consultant responsible for all aspects in the development and implementation of a community-driven planning / implementation process for both East and West Bank riverfronts (26 linear miles). City Council Adoption 1994. Project Manager / Principal Author.

1984 – 1991 New Orleans Riverfront Streetcar Phases 1 - 2--Pre-development planning, programming, market research, financing (securing private and public sector contributions), design / construction administration, operational oversight for this nationally recognized public / private partnership. President of the local not-for-profit Riverfront Transit Coalition Group, Inc. 1988 – 1991.

1981 – 1983 Preservation / Development Plan for the New Orleans --Historic Warehouse District Co-sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Resource Center, this nationally recognized project has served as the policy / design framework for both public sector decision makers and private sector investors. Project Manager / Co-Author.


Grants stuff goes here.