New Orleans Still Without A Plan

A year after Katrina, the federal money for rebuilding is just starting to arrive, while the city's mayor has failed to lead the reconstruction.
August 28, 2006, 10am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"The White House response to Katrina may have been a 'failure of initiative,' as the committee probing the catastrophe concluded, but City Hall has also lacked leadership. Mayor Ray Nagin, to date, has been unable to meet the perfectly reasonable requirement that New Orleans come up with a recovery plan before the feds start throwing money at it. A planning process that was to have been completed in May has only just begun."

"Much has been made of the Disneyland effect, whereby New Orleans comes back as a lifeless museum memorializing the culture that it killed off by failing to rein in the forces of gentrification. The older riverfront neighborhoods -- the French Quarter, the Garden District, Marigny and Uptown -- become a playground for the rich in a city without housing for the working poor who once served them.

But there's another scenario that's both more noxious and more likely: not Disneyland, but Shantytown. Given continued mismanagement up and down the political flow chart, the economic revival of the city at the mouth of the continent's mightiest waterway could start hardy, only to peter out"

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Published on Friday, August 25, 2006 in The Boston Globe
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