22 AUGUST 2007

There's no doubt that New Orleans' newest celebrity residents Brad Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie have taken the city very much to their hearts, talking with enthusiasm about its laid-back, friendly style.

The Hollywood big gun and his family settled in the Big Easy last January, moving into a 19th-century mansion in the historic French Quarter after he filmed The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button there in 2006.

And this week Brad was presenting the eco-friendly housing project he has sponsored to help with the rebuilding process in response to Hurricane Katrina. Wearing a hard hat, jeans and a T-shirt, the actor - who's passionate about architecture - toured the Lower Ninth Ward, pointing out the green features of homes being constructed on the site that will eventually house 23 families.

When the owners move in next year they'll be able to take advantage of energy-saving appliances that cut electricity bills by 75 per cent and water use by half. "A lot of thought has gone into this house," said an obviously proud Brad.

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The Hollywood star has poured his energy - and money - into the project to rebuild New Orleans houses destroyed by Hurricane KatrinaPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
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On Tuesday he toured the site to see for himself the progress being made on the eco-friendly constructionsPhoto: © Getty Images