Rebuilding the Big Easy on Stilts

Roger K. Lewis argues that there's no way to safely rebuild New Orleans the way it was. Let nature take its course, and build over the water instead of building in harm's way.
January 9, 2006, 10am PST | Michael Dudley
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"Building on coastal land below sea level, no matter where, is fundamentally a bad idea...[A]nother, more radical approach could allow some repopulation of perpetually threatened New Orleans real estate. Create communities built over water, not on land.

"In New Orleans, robustly structured networks of pilings supporting walkways and platforms, well above sea-level, could be arrayed over new lagoons. Relatively transparent to both wind and water, these networks would support equally well-engineered, low-profile homes, along with necessary water and sewer mains. Elevated above storm surge levels, homes and walkways would be designed and built to withstand hurricane-force gales."

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Published on Saturday, January 7, 2006 in The Washington Post
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