Interference with Delta Geography Enabled Katrina's Devastation

The environmental and infrastructural conditions that brought about the flooding of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 remain today, and have the potential to cause similar devastation, according to this piece.

"[A]s geographer Richard Campanella makes plain in his new book, Delta Urbanism: New Orleans, the immediate catastrophe - the one that could not be ignored, that attracted international attention and inspired relief efforts and planning proposals and federal promises - has given way to the slow-building potential for future catastrophe - one that seems all too easy to ignore. For the underlying conditions that caused the devastation remain much the same. Not only are the flood-protection systems that have been constructed to protect the low-lying city pathetically inadequate - "under-engineered, cavalierly inspected and poorly maintained," in Campanella's words; still more, a century of intensive environmental manipulation has neutralized or destroyed the natural systems - the coastal wetlands, barrier islands, etc. - that would buffer the effects of seasonal storms and cyclical flooding."

Campanella documents the days leading up to the flooding and how human interference with the area's delta environment enabled the destruction.

Full Story: Delta Urbanism and New Orleans: Before

Comments

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

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00

Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
$40-50