A heartthrob with heart

Leading man Brad Pitt is backing plans for an eco-friendly neighborhood in a New Orleans area devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Pitt, a vocal proponent of sustainable living, funded an architectural competition and helped choose the winning plan for the neighborhood in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. The homes will include metal roofing and other energy-saving materials that should result in a 40 percent decrease in energy use over a standard residence. Construction crews broke ground last week on the first home, which is scheduled for completion in August.

The 44-year-old actor is also working on his own green house near Santa Barbara.