Katrina 'Ten Years After': and the Band Plays On

The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is upon us. Many of us city planners invested whatever skills we thought we had, plus a heavy dose of passionate naivete, to recovery planning in the wake of the 2005 storm.

1 minute read

August 7, 2015, 1:00 PM PDT

By Hazel Borys


"This week kicks off the anniversary month of Hurricane Katrina, which walloped the Gulf Coast states on August 29, 2005, killing more than 1,800 people and causing more than $150 billion in property damage. While anniversary summaries have dribbled into the mainstream already, August will be the big month for looking back and guessing at what was learned."

Ben Brown speaks from his own extensive experience, as well as quoting several articles and reports on the Gulf Coast.

"This discussion is an important one, not only because it comes as part of the tenth anniversary look back, but also because it speaks to the future of planning and governing in our cities and regions beyond the storm zone. Disasters are stress tests."

"What experts on disaster recovery and resilience tried to tell us before and after recent catastrophes like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the BP Oil Spill is that communities’ abilities to bounce back after such events depend largely on how well things were working before disruptions struck. That’s a more complex observation than it sounds, because the definition of “what’s working” has all kinds of caveats."

Monday, August 3, 2015 in PlaceShakers

Ornate, tan stone capitol building with a gold dome roof and low-rise city buildings in the background.

States Are Banning Guaranteed Income Programs

Four states now have laws in place that prevent cities and counties from creating or continuing guaranteed income programs, and several more have tried or are trying.

May 23, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Close-up of electric stove range with front burners red-hot.

California Cities Suspend Natural Gas Bans Following Court Ruling

A Ninth Circuit court ruling forced Berkeley to reverse its ban on natural gas in new buildings, prompting other cities to suspend their own efforts to promote all-electric buildings.

May 28, 2024 - East Bay Times

Colorful vacant, boarded-up two-story rowhouses in East Baltimore, Maryland.

States Move to Limit ‘Squatters’ Rights’

A wave of new legislation targets people who reside illegally in properties they don’t own.

2 minutes ago - Smart Cities Dive

BART heavy rail train on elevated track pulling into Concord, CA station with cloudy sky and trees in background.

Bay Area Transit Projects Awarded $18 Million

The funding supports eight ‘near-term’ projects slated for completion within the next one to three years.

May 29 - Contra Costa Herald

Silver UTA On Demand transit van in Utah.

Utah On-Demand Transit Hits 1 Million Rides

The service connects outlying communities with fixed-route transit lines.

May 29 - Utah Transit Authority

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.