The Times-Picayune's art critic penned an article about the effort of Andrés Duany of DPZ and his efforts to recreate New Orleans one small piece at a time. Much of the article has been covered by this blog before so I wont belabor the point. Although one paragraph mentions something I think is important and should be discussed in more detail.
He dismissed showy, big-budget projects such as the "Reinventing the Crescent" plan as "silver bullet" solutions. New Orleans, he said, is historically addicted to them. The aquarium, Convention Center and world's fair were all silver bullets meant to save the struggling city. They were high-profile substitutes for more elemental changes to the municipal codes that, he believed, would have accomplished more over time. Duany puts great stock in municipal codes.His objections, though, is tempered by the knowledge of what is really needed.
They were high-profile substitutes for more elemental changes to the municipal codes that, he believed, would have accomplished more over time. Duany puts great stock in municipal codes.Taken independently he is correct. Taken as a whole he is wrong. New Orleans needs all these solutions. That is why I have consistently favored all of them even if it is with reservations.
All of the project Mr. Duany mentioned have improved the city though they have not solved all of the city's ills.
Bringing the city back will be a long-term and multifaceted slog through the cypress swamps. The journey will be hard, dirty and impossible without effective leadership. People like Andrés Duany are providing that leadership. But what makes his leadership so effective that he takes the effort to listen to the residents and brings them to where they wish to go.