Use Katrina To Make The Big Easy Better

The success of urban recovery depends most on how a city was doing before the disaster struck. New Orleans had been declining for years, according to Newsweek's Jonathan Alter.

"To survive, New Orleans must rewire its insouciance into seriousness. The city is at once enchanting and exasperating, romantic and fatalistic..."

"...The 'before' is critical. Experts in urban recovery say that the most important factor in how a city fares is not the extent of the damage but the pre-existing trend lines. Chicago was mostly destroyed by fire in 1871 and San Francisco by earthquake and fire in 1906. But both cities had been on the way up beforehand. So while the rubble still smoldered, entrepreneurs were already getting loans to rebuild. Almost overnight, San Francisco constructed 8,000 barrackslike 'refugee houses,' with six to eight families in each. Within seven years it had recovered enough to host a world's fair.

... Reiss, whose family came to New Orleans 150 years ago, has been brainstorming with a handful of business leaders to 'use this catastrophe as a once-in-an-eon opportunity to change the dynamic' that has crippled New Orleans. 'We have the opportunity to build communities from scratch that don't just warehouse people.' "

Full Story: How to Save the Big Easy


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.