What You Need To Know
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The population of the city was 343,829 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The New Orleans metropolitan area (New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area) had a population of 1,167,764 in 2010 and was the 46th largest in the United States. The New Orleans–Metairie–Bogalusa Combined Statistical Area, a larger TRADING area, had a 2010 population of 1,452,502. The city is named after the Duke of Orleans, who reigned as Regent for Louis XV from 1715 to 1723, as it was established by French colonists and strongly influenced by their European culture. It is well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras, dating to French colonial times. The city is often referred to as the “most unique” in the United States. New Orleans is located in southeastern Louisiana, straddling the Mississippi River. The city and Orleans Parish(French: paroisse d’Orléans) are coterminous. The city and parish are bounded by the parishes of St. Tammany to the north, St. Bernard to the east, Plaquemines to the south, and Jefferson to the south and west. Lake Pontchartrain, part of which is included in the city limits, lies to the north and Lake Borgne lies to the east. Before Hurricane Katrina, Orleans Parish was the most populous parish in Louisiana. It now ranks third in population, trailing neighboring Jefferson Parish, and East Baton Rouge Parish.
Area: 858 km2
The Dollar is the official currency of New Orleans
Crime and safety
New Orleans has one of the largest and busiest ports in the world, and metropolitan New Orleans is a center of maritime industry. The New Orleans region also accounts for a significant portion of the nation’s oil refining and petrochemical production, and serves as a white-collar corporate base for onshore and offshore petroleum and natural gas production. New Orleans is a center for higher learning, with over 50,000 students enrolled in the region’s eleven two- and four-year degree granting institutions. A top-50 research university, Tulane University, is located in New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhood. Metropolitan New Orleans is a major regional hub for the health care industry and boasts a small, globally competitive manufacturing sector. The center city possesses a rapidly growing, entrepreneurial creative industries sector, and is renowned for its cultural tourism. Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) acts as the first point-of-contact for regional economic development, coordinating between Louisiana’s Department of Economic Development and the various parochial business development agencies.
Healthcare in New Orleans includes a combination of hospitals, clinics, and other organization for the residents of New Orleans, Louisiana.
The city’s flat landscape, simple street grid, and mild winters, facilitate bicycle ridership, helping to make New Orleans eighth among U.S. cities in its rate of bicycle and pedestrian transportation, and sixth in terms of the percentage of bicycling commuters.
Public transportation in the city is operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (“RTA”). There are many bus routes connecting the city and suburban areas.
RoadsNew Orleans is served by Interstate 10, Interstate 610 and Interstate 510. I-10 travels east-west through the city as the Pontchartrain Expressway. In the far eastern part of the city, New Orleans East, it is known as the Eastern Expressway. I-610 provides a direct shortcut for traffic passing through New Orleans via I-10, allowing that traffic to bypass I-10’s southward curve. In the future, New Orleans will have another interstate highway, Interstate 49, which will be extended from its current terminus in Lafayette to the city.
The metropolitan area is served by the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, located in the suburb of Kenner. New Orleans also has several regional airports located throughout the metropolitan area.
The city is served by rail via Amtrak. The New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal is the central rail depot, and is served by three trains: the Crescent, operating between New Orleans and New York City; the City of New Orleans, operating between New Orleans and Chicago; and the Sunset Limited, operating through New Orleans between Orlando and Los Angeles.
Tourist and convention business
Tourism is another staple of the city’s economy. Perhaps more visible than any other sector, New Orleans’ tourist and convention industry is a $5.5 billion juggernaut that accounts for 40 percent of New Orleans’ tax revenues. In 2004, the hospitality industry employed 85,000 people, making it New Orleans’ top economic sector as measured by employment totals. The city also hosts the World Cultural Economic Forum (WCEF). The forum, held annually at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, is directed toward promoting cultural and economic development opportunities through the strategic convening of cultural ambassadors and leaders from around the world. The first WCEF took place in October 2008.
For much of its history, New Orleans’ skyline consisted of only low- and mid- rise structures. The soft soils of New Orleans are susceptible to subsidence, and there was doubt about the feasibility of constructing large high rises in such an environment. Developments in engineering throughout the twentieth century eventually made it possible to build sturdy foundations to support high rise structures in the city, and in the 1960s, the World Trade Center New Orleans and Plaza Tower were built, demonstrating the viability of tall skyscrapers in New Orleans. One Shell Square took its place as the city’s tallest building in 1972. The oil boom of the 1970s and early 1980s redefined New Orleans’ skyline with the development of the Poydras Street corridor. Today, most of New Orleans’ tallest buildings are clustered along Canal Street and Poydras Street in the Central Business District.
The climate of New Orleans is humid subtropical (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with short, generally mild winters and hot, humid summers; most suburbs and parts of Wards 9 and 15 fall in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9a, while the city’s other 15 wards are rated 9b in whole. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 53.4 °F (11.9 °C) in January to 83.3 °F (28.5 °C) in July and August. Officially, as measured at New Orleans International Airport, temperature records range from 11 to 102 °F (−12 to 39 °C) on December 23, 1989 and August 22, 1980, respectively; Audubon Park has recorded temperatures ranging from 6 °F (−14 °C) on February 13, 1899 up to 104 °F (40 °C) on June 24, 2009. Dewpoints in the summer months (June–August) are relatively high, ranging from 71.1 to 73.4 °F (21.7 to 23.0 °C).