APA's Executive Director On Rebuilding New Orleans

APA Executive Director Paul Farmer testifies at a joint congressional hearing about plans for rebuilding New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
October 20, 2005, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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From Paul Farmer's testimony:

"What is rebuilt, where rebuilding occurs and what standards should be used are challenging questions. Where not to build is equally important. In the last decade New Orleans set aside 20,000 acres. Rep. Shuster raised this "no build" issue earlier. Other opportunities abound. As just one example, schools can be brought back to life as true centers of community serving all residents 7 days a week. Public open spaces, too, can be enhanced. I think that far too often we only start with the hard infrastructure.

...The area's unique sense of history and culture must be protected. Mr. [Wynton] Marsalis was eloquent on this point. More here than in most any city in the nation, historic structures are a critical part of both culture and economy. New Orleans should not sacrifice this key asset on the altar of expediency. We should use New Orleans as a laboratory of innovation in these areas by expanding traditional rehabilitation tax credits to spur reuse of vital structures in the city. Additionally, we should include a residential historic tax credit for New Orleans homeowners to assist in rebuilding in a way that preserves the vitality of existing neighborhoods."

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Published on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 in American Planning Association
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