New Orleans Risks Extinction

Posted on February 5, 2006 
Filed Under Uncategorized

BBC’s Horizon programme suggests the possibility that New Orleans may be the first of many cities worldwide to face extinction.

Modern day New Orleans was a city that defied the odds. Built on a mosquito-infested swamp squashed between two vast bodies of water in what is essentially a bowl, its very existence seemed proof of the triumph of engineering over nature.

But on the 29 August 2005 New Orleans took a hit from Hurricane Katrina and overnight was turned into a Venice from hell.

“If you want New Orleans back you have to do some very fundamental things”, says Professor Penland.

“You’re going to have to bring the land back that protects the city from the ravages of hurricanes. If we don’t incorporate that then the city will be faced with extinction.

MORE.

Another report, questions who the city will be re-built for:

An important study released on Jan. 26 has confirmed what has been known for some time: the people most impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans are African-American and/or indigent. “The Impact of Katrina: Race and Class in Storm-Damaged Neighborhoods” () is a 16-page study headed up by John R. Logan, a sociology professor and director of Spacial Structures in the Social Sciences at Brown University.

It raises important questions such as “Whose city will be rebuilt?” Most of the data for this study came from the 2000 U.S. Census and the federal government’s damage assessment maps.

One of the main conclusions of the study is that 80 percent of the Black population in New Orleans may not return, either because their homes will not be rebuilt, money to relocate them back to New Orleans is lacking, or they are deciding—or being forced—to stay in other cities.

The findings also show that upwards of 50 percent of working class whites might not return either. The bottom line is that if the local ruling class and local and state government officials get their way, New Orleans will be turned into a city catering overwhelmingly to affluent whites and big business.
Before Katrina struck the Gulf Coast last August and exposed compromised levees, 70 percent of the close to 487,000 residents of New Orleans were Black. The Jan. 26 study projects that the population could permanently lose 140,000, mainly Black, residents.

“The suffering from the storm certainly cut across racial and class lines,” said Logan. “But the odds of living in a damaged area were clearly much greater for blacks, residents who rented their homes, and poor people. In these respects, the most socially vulnerable residents also turned out to be most exposed to Katrina.”

MORE.

There doesn’t seem to be any less enthusiasm for Mardi Gras 2006.

Link: The New Orleans Video

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