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Brad Pitt to launch eco-friendly project in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Brad Pitt will take efforts to rebuild New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Plans for Pitt's "Make It Right Project," call for 150 homes to be built in the area where levees broke, and floodwater pushed homes from their foundations.

Pitt said each home will cost approximately $150,000 (102,277 EUR) to build and will be built on stilts as a precaution against the threat of future flooding. Pitt said he would like to see thousands built. And he would like his "green" building initiatives to extend beyond the Lower 9th Ward.

"We begin here, but my hope is that we can get next door to Jefferson Parish ... that we can keep growing this thing," he said.

Pitt expects new foundations to be in place by next summer. He has pledged to match $5 million (3.41 million EUR) worth of contributions for the project, and billionaire Steve Bing has pledged the same.

Addressing supporters of the project while his girlfriend, actress Angelina Jolie, and one of their children looked on, Pitt said pink was the chosen color for the tents because "it screams the loudest. It says people are coming back."

The Lower 9th Ward is one of the poorest sections of the city and saw some of the worst flooding in the aftermath of Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005.

Last year the actor teamed up with Global Green USA to sponsor an environmentally friendly design competition to rebuild a section of the Lower 9th Ward's Holy Cross neighborhood. Construction on that project got under way this summer.

Plans for the "Make It Right Project" are similar, but much grander. Pitt teamed up with 13 architects, some from as far away as Europe and South Africa, on the project.

The design calls for five single-family homes, an apartment complex and community center - all to be built with features such as energy-saving appliances, cisterns, toilets designed for water conservation, soy-based insulation, paperless drywall and solar panels.

Each home will be built on stilts as a precaution against the threat of flooding. He said design requirements for the homes were "affordability, sustainability, safety - and that they be beautiful."

"I mean, this is really an adopt-a-house campaign," he said. "I'm asking for foundations, for high net-worth individuals, for church groups, for corporations to come in and adopt a house - basically, $150,000 (102,277 EUR) will get a family back in their home."

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