"It took centuries to transform New Orleans from a mosquito-infested swamp into one of the world's unique cities. And in a daylong rampage, Hurricane Katrina demolished it. Rebuilding New Orleans--and preserving the city's jazzy, gritty essence--will require energy on the scale of Katrina.
...Urban planners see an opportunity in New Orleans to build safe, smart accommodations that could better withstand the next hurricane or flood. Some have suggested building houses on stilts. Others propose new levees that could crisscross the city and contain floodwaters.
...Cities that forge ahead with no plan do so at their peril. That's what San Francisco did after its 1906 earthquake. Ignoring a grand redesign proposed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, city leaders pushed much of the earthquake debris into San Francisco Bay. There it became a wobbly foundation for the city's Marine district, which suffered some of the heaviest damage during the 1989 quake."