“It is critical that New Orleans get it right,” says the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) of the city’s strategic planning process in its analysis of the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP), which sets forth investment guidelines for the city’s recovery and rebuilding efforts.

But the local government watchdog group is disappointed with the plan, calling it inconsistent and lacking in clarity. While it does point out the plan’s strengths, the group recommends that the New Orleans City Planning Commission take the reins and coordinate the planning process.

In “ Not Ready for Prime Time: An Analysis of the UNOP Citywide Plan,” BGR takes a critical look at the strengths and weaknesses of the plan that was recently presented to the City Planning Commission.

While the group praises the plan’s collection of data and analysis of Recovery Assessment, it finds the plan weak in its ability to prioritize and recommend a systematic approach for the city’s recovery. BGR says that the City Planning Commission should take over the planning process, not only because the city charter calls for the agency to manage disaster recovery, but also because it would allow for close coordination with the Mayor’s recovery management team, City Council, and budget commission.

The Plan was created by a public-private partnership to manage the recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans following the destruction of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It was designed to incorporate individual neighborhood and community proposals into one citywide plan to be submitted to the Louisiana Recovery Authority for funding approval.