Understanding The Impact Of Hurricane Katrina On Our Cities

April 3, 2006, 7am PDT | David Gest
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Over six months have passed since the tragic events brought on by Hurricane Katrina, and planning and development issues remain at the forefront of the national debate. This special section presents the most-read news articles about Katrina from our news archives. Also included are nine thought-provoking Planetizen Op-Eds and Features, in addition to links to our Hurricane Katrina forum and Top Issues for 2005 list, which includes the disaster. Together, these writings address the major issues that have emerged in the last half-year and analyze the impact of Katrina on planning.

Planetizen Op-Eds

Car-less in the Eye of Katrina

The reason so many lives are in jeopardy from Hurricane Katrina is a result of our extreme dependence on cars and the lack of planning for public transportation, both for regular use and for emergencies, writes John Renne, a professor at the University of New Orleans, evacuated just days before the hurricane hit.

     Sep 06, 2005


Planning for the Unplanned

How can cities plan for the unplanned, or those crises that cannot be precisely anticipated? Considered in the context of the recent tragedy in New Orleans, Aseem Inam compares disaster management in large urban metropolises and sheds light on how and why some planning institutions work better than others in difficult conditions. Can bureaucracy and institutional culture actually improve responses to urban crises?

     Sep 12, 2005


Recovering New Orleans

Thomas Campanella, co-editor of The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover From Disaster, contemplates the case of New Orleans. Very few cities actually die, but could New Orleans be one of them? What will it take to ensure its survival? And even if it survives, will the city ever be able to regain its original character?

     Sep 21, 2005


Thoughts On Rebuilding (And Not Rebuilding) New Orleans

Should New Orleans be rebuilt? Whose fault was the flooding? Jason Henderson, Assistant Professor of Geography at San Francisco State University, and a New Orleans native, warns the citizens of his home city that rebuilding all is a bad idea, and that the flooding was an act of public policy failure, not nature.

     Sep 26, 2005


Katrina's Implications for Disaster Management: Lessons Learned From New Orleans

Two months after Katrina, what have we learned? Graham Stroh analyzes Katrina's disaster management lessons on law enforcement, communication and social infrastructure.

     Oct 31, 2005


A Plan For Democratic And Equitable Planning In New Orleans

Planners from around the country have already descended on the Gulf Coast region, beginning a series of charrettes to shape the future of land use and community development in the devastated region. Yet are the local residents -- especially those who need the most help -- ready to make plans? Leonardo Vazquez argues that more careful, long-term planning is needed to ensure that current residents and refugees alike are given the stake and voice they need in the rebuilding efforts.

     Nov 07, 2005


Gulf Bogey

When The New York Times linked CNU planners to an alleged scheme to replace a neighborhood with a golf course, it blundered and missed a larger story on renewing Coastal Missisippi, say CNU co-authors John Norquist and Stephen Filmanowicz.

     Dec 22, 2005


New Urbanist Planning Essential To Gulf Rebuilding

Ricky Mathews, Publisher of the Biloxi Sun Herald and Vice-Chairman of the Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal after Hurricane Katrina, argues that Andres Duany and other New Urbanists have been critical to the early success of rebuilding efforts in Mississippi, providing citizens not only with the hope of recovery, but with master planning that has inspired confidence in a bigger and better Gulf Coast community, all while respecting local traditions.

     Feb 07, 2006


Working Across Disciplines Toward Gulf Coast Solutions

Design Week 2006, Mississippi State University -- Frank Barbour, landscape architecture student at Mississippi State University, reports on MSU's Design Week 2006, which grouped 150 students from a variety of disciplines -- including architects, engineers, business students, and ecologists -- in an intense charrette to devise creative solutions to post-Katrina problems on Mississippi's Gulf Coast.

     Apr 03, 2006


News Archive

Hurricane Katrina's Real Name

Ross Gelbspan believes the U.S. media is not telling the Americans the complete story of Hurricane Katrina.

     Sep 02, 2005 - Boston Globe


Hurricane Katrina: A Man-made Disaster?

Some scientists believe that storms such as Hurricane Katrina that are sometimes called an act of God or a natural disaster, are partly man-made.

     Sep 02, 2005 - Wall St. Journal


New Orleans Topography

NASA offers simulated views of the effects of storm surge flooding on Lake Pontchartrain and the New Orleans area.

     Sep 05, 2005 - NASA


Lack of Automobility Key to New Orleans Tragedy

The real cause of the tragedy in New Orleans was the lack of automobiles for evacuees, argues Randall O'Toole.

     Sep 05, 2005 - Thoreau Institute


Former New Orleans Planning Director Speaks

Kristina Ford discusses what went wrong and how New Orleans should rebuild.

     Sep 06, 2005 - Fresh Air with Terry Gross


Students Design Alternate Housing For Katrina Victims

Auburn University Design/Build students design an inexpensive alternative for providing temporary housing after a disaster.

     Sep 07, 2005 - Auburn University News


The Case Against Rebuilding New Orleans

Jack Schafer argues that Katrina may amount to "creative destruction," and that "[o]nly a sadist would insist on resurrecting this concentration of poverty, crime, and deplorable schools."

     Sep 08, 2005 - Slate


Three Planning Concepts For Rebuilding New Orleans

Patrick Doherty disagrees with New York Times columnist David Brooks' suggestions for rebuilding New Orleans. He argues that a redevelopment plan for New Orleans should adopt three urban planning concepts and lead the way for other U.S. metro areas.

     Sep 09, 2005 - Common Sense


Katrina Forum


Top Issues of 2005


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