December 19, 2007

IF KATRINA TAUGHT ONE LESSON...:

High Noon in New Orleans: The Bulldozers Are Ready (NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF, 12/19/07, NY Times)

Ever since it took over the public housing projects of New Orleans more than a decade ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been itching to tear them down.

Now, after years of lawsuits and delays, it looks as if the agency will finally get its Christmas wish. The New Orleans City Council is scheduled to vote on Thursday on whether to sign off on the demolitions of three projects. HUD already has its bulldozers in place, engines warm and ready to roll the next morning.

Arguing that the housing was barely livable before the flooding unleashed by Hurricane Katrina, federal officials have cast their decision as good social policy. They have sought to lump the projects together with the much-vilified inner-city projects of the 1960s.

But such thinking reflects a ruthless indifference to local realities.


...you'd think it was that New Orleans is a city below sea level, in a hurricane zone, on the water -- a bad combo. Housing the poor there reflects a ruthless indifference to life.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 19, 2007 12:00 AM
Comments

Has Ouroussof actually seen these projects? The nastiest public housing I've ever seen. And he wants people to continue to live in them? For what, to satisfy his architectural aesthetics?

Posted by: Buttercup at December 19, 2007 5:32 AM

To make him feel morally superior, Buttercup. He is advocating that someone do something for the poor, and as long as the barest minimum is done by government in can bask in the glow of good works done.

Because he cares.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 19, 2007 8:45 AM

I went to Loyola NO back in the mid 1980's and I visited various projects throughout my time there. They are the nastiest project I have every seen (including Chicago, Philly, Detroit, Atlanta and Miami).

Posted by: pchuck at December 19, 2007 11:42 AM

Only a human hating ideologue would find Machines for Living worth preserving.

Ruthless indifference indeed.

Posted by: Luciferous at December 19, 2007 2:36 PM

Turn the historically valuable architecture into yuppy urban lofts, they love it.

Posted by: Perry at December 19, 2007 7:04 PM
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