Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mississippi Building

According to the Providence Journal, the Mississippi will be rebuilding the old Gulf Coast anew. The article points out the conflict between the Modernists and the New Urbanists. This time the New Urbanists appear to have won out.

In contrast, the Mississippi charrette offers not just a great way to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Katrina; it offers all Americans a chance to re-acquaint themselves with what they have lost: the beautiful cities and towns that modernism everywhere has managed to destroy, starting half a century ago.

New Orleans is a case in point in that it never turned it's back on its historic roots, indeed, it imbraced it. Rebuilding New Orleans will not involve the kind of rebuilding going on in Mississippi, since we are not starting from scratch. We do need to be mindfull of those things that are repaired that they be done in a way that maintains the patina of the old city. It can't look too new or too slick. Distressed it good.

That's not to say we can't improve. The BNOB Commission rebuilding plan had some good ideas in expanding the streetcar lines and adding more green space (just not too much).

Also, the proposal to build a light rail connecting SE Louisiana with the rest of the Gulf Coast will be great for the region. With that visitors can experience the entire region instead of a particular town.

The City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana have to get their act together and decide where they want to take our region. We're waiting.

Hat Tip: Veritas et Venustas.

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