Monday, July 10, 2006

The Whole Is Less Than The Sum Of It's Parts

Seymour D. Fair at The Third Battle of New Orleans has a post about past urban renewal projects in St. Lewis an the potential impact if similar revitalization is attempted in New Orleans.

New Orleans, for the part, avoided most of the federally-funded urban renewal programs and this decision left New Orleans with most of it's historic neighborhoods and structures intact. It is possible and unfortunate however, that a similar "checkboard" pattern of development (mostly vacant lots populated with sporadic structures here and there) could be the post-KTMB outcome in the heavily flood-impacted areas of New Orleans such as Lakeview, Gentilly, and New Orleans East. Hopefully, this will be minimalized long term.
I agree.

The main difference between the urban renewal projects paid for by the federal government and the cookie-cutter McMansions so prevelant in places like Dallas and Atlanta is that the developers of McMansions know what they're doing. That is the advantage of the CDBG monies being given to the state instead of a federal government run revitalization program.

The two things I fear are;
  1. The state legislature and the Governor's LRA will use the grant money to pay-off politica allies (as safe bet to be sure).
  2. The rebuilding process, though locall driven, will become centralized and thus result in efficent yet unwanted neighborhoods.
Mayor Ray Nagin's proposal that the overall rebuilding plan be composed of a compilation of the various neighborhoods plans. Although he has hinted that some overall planning may take place. I hope what he means by that is that some modifications may take place to make the disparate plans mesh in a more satisfactory manner as opposed to the neighborhood plans being over-ridden by some anonymous planner in City Hall.


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mchebert said...

Thanks for the post. Rebuilding the city and maintaining its old character is going to be had. Sometimes I fear NOLA politicians are just not up to it.

By the way, I wonder if I could interest you in participating in a blogging project I am trying to organize to help increase awareness about Katrina outside of our fair city.

I am trying to organize an online project to commemorate the 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. My plan, which I call the Katrina Blog Project, involves getting bloggers together who were personally affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Beginning August 26, each blogger in the project will post a daily personal recounting of the events as they experienced them one year before. (I chose August 26 because it was the last "normal" workday for most people before Katrina hit.)

It is my hope that, if I can get a significant number of people to join me in this, that we can create a large-scale online re-enactment of the events of Katrina week in the words of people who lived through it. I do not think a major historic has ever been retold in this fashion, so we would be creating something entirely new.

I hope you will consider participating. The more people who join, the more important this project will be.
For more information, you can check out my guidelines here:
Thanks for considering my proposal.

dangerblond said...

Dear Bloggers:

This message is being sent to NOLA bloggers, Louisiana bloggers, Katrina bloggers and those blogging from the Diaspora. The one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans will soon be here. On August 25-27, 2006, there will be a convention for all people who care about New Orleans, here in New Orleans. The Rising Tide Conference is being planned and hosted by bloggers and we are requesting your participation.

The Rising Tide Conference will be a gathering for all who wish to learn more and do more to assist New Orleans' recovery from the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We will come together to dispel myths, promote facts, share personal testimonies, highlight progress and regress, discuss recovery ideas, and promote sound policies at all levels. We aim to be a "real life" demonstration of internet activism as the nation prepares to mark the one year anniversary of a massive natural disaster followed by governmental failures on a similar scale.

This e-mail is being sent to you to as part of an attempt to create a comprehensive e-mailing list of interested bloggers who would like to participate or attend. In the coming weeks, announcements will be made about venues and events via this list. Please forward this e-mail to anyone who may be interested in the Rising Tide Conference.

A Rising Tide Wiki has been assembled where you can find information, make suggestions, offer help and provide information.

Please go to the Blogger List part of the Wiki and check the entry for your blog and make sure the information is correct. If you see that a blog is missing, please add it to the list.

More information will be coming soon. Check the Wiki for updates.

Thanks from

Kim Marshall
Mark Moseley
Ashley Morris
Maitri Venkat-Ramani
Lisa Palumbo
Peter Athas
Jeffrey B.
Morwen Madrigal
Alan Gutierrez
Ray Shea
George Williams IV
and Blake Haney

dangerblond said...

Kinch, We do not have an e-mail address to send you updates on the Rising Tide Convention. Please go to the Rising Tide Wiki to confirm the information about your blog.

Thanks, Kim MARSHALL

Loki said...

Unfortunately the planning process seems to be, as usual, questionable. Lip service is given to community involvement, but the actaul democracy of the situation is HIGHLY questionable. To quote Alan at, "Suffrage should not be determined by having an email address."

I am uneasy about all aspects of the rebuild, and the more I examine the situation the more unease I experience.