October 11, 2005

TEACHING I.D. IS WORKING:

Many big visions for new Big Easy: Planners look to reconceive what took 300 years to evolve. (Amanda Paulson, 10/12/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

Even as the US Army Corps of Engineers claimed victory Tuesday in pumping out the last of more than 224 billion gallons of floodwater, some in New Orleans were looking forward to the chance to rebuild and, perhaps, reshape one of America's major cities.

Within days of hurricane Katrina, urban planners, architects, and engineers flocked to the city to get a first look at the potential. If their efforts seem uncoordinated, their goals are lofty. Many planners and politicians don't want to merely re-create New Orleans, but to make it better - socially, culturally, economically, environmentally, and physically.

Their excitement is palpable. "It's the urban planning challenge of this century," says Kristina Ford, an environmental studies professor at Bowdoin College who headed New Orleans city planning for eight years. "How can we rebuild the town so we can re- create over a period of a few years what took 300 years" to evolve?


Man, no one believes evolution proceeds naturally anymore, do they?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2005 6:08 PM
Comments

First rule should be not to build a city below sea level. After that they can go to town on their own dime.

Posted by: AWW at October 11, 2005 8:57 PM

Nice that The Christian Science Monitor should acknowledge the key point though: evolved means "developed or achieved gradually" as opposed to designed, as a new city would be. It's like London versus Milton Keynes.

Posted by: Brit at October 12, 2005 6:19 AM

There is an economic geography theory which states that whatever evolutionary process
is happening in a city simply speeds up
when a disaster like this happens.

The classic case study is San Francisco
after the great earthquake/fire. The business
district was gradually spreading, but the
individual property owners prevented a rapid
expansion into residential areas. After the
disaster it wasn't hard to make people an offer
and get on with the big developments.

Another example is Nicaragua after its last
great earthquake (during the Somoza era).

Posted by: J.H. at October 12, 2005 8:58 AM

Brit:

Precisely.

Posted by: oj at October 12, 2005 11:21 AM
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