Sunday, January 22, 2006

When You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It

Tulane University School of Architecture Dean Reed Kroloff and architect Ray Manning both see an opportunity to make New Orleans a better city than before.

"All of a sudden, time sped up in New Orleans," Kroloff said. "Rarely does any citizen get to experience that. It's not always a good thing. And in our case, it's both bad and good. Because time sped up, we were forced to see the city for what it actually is -- damaged. It was damaged before in other ways. Now that damage has taken on a physical reality we can all understand."

Added Manning: "That's the real opportunity. That is the silver lining in this whole disaster -- that we have this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-engage and recalibrate this city in a way that, politically, you might never have been able to get to."

I've said all along that sucessful democratic societies are ones that operate from the bottom up, not from the top down and for New Orleans to be rebuilt, residents need to work together and develop a plan for the revitalization for their own neighborhoods else someone will do it for them. And if that happens, their neighborhood will probably be doomed to failure.

More here:

The ideas that become reality should come from the neighborhoods themselves, not imposed upon residents by planners,...

The city plan calls for every district, flooded or not, to come up with a plan that will cover everything from transit to parks and recreation to schools and neighborhood centers. Kroloff and Manning said the process probably will result in minor changes to the least damaged areas, among them District 1, which covers the city's commercial core, and the two Algiers districts.

I wonder if the two have been reading my blog.

Typical of dogooders around the globe, CNU may have some good ideas they but need to temper their enthusiasum for activism and allow the people most affected by disaster to get on with their lives as best they can and do what needs to be done to bring back some sense of normality

Ultimately it will be the people of the Gulf Coast who will decide what and how to rebuild for it is their community that will be re-created, not CNU's.

They also back-up my criticism of the BNOB Commission's presentation of their own proposal when they sa,

Manning and Kroloff said they recognize there is a deep suspicion about the planning process, a suspicion they say is not unique to New Orleans. Part of the reason, they said, is that people don't necessarily understand what planners do. "They see it as a process where they're going to be told what to do and how to live, as opposed to a process that comes in and says, all right, what is it that you like about things in this neighborhood, how can we work to see that those are sustained, and then are there ways we can improve them?" Kroloff said.
It's a long article, but read the whole thing

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