31 July 2006

New Orleans and Post-KTMB Planning/The Unified New Orleans Plan

Spurred from this CNN Anderson Cooper thing I saw a couple of weeks ago about "New Orleans not having a plan" but "Mississippi having a plan" I wanted to try and come up with a synopsis of what planning exercises have been conducted in New Orleans in the past eleven months. The post-KTMB comparison of New Orleans/Louisiana and Mississippi really gets me angry as to compare the two situations are apples to oranges. The type of devastation is completely different. The scale of the devastation is completely different. The socio-economic diversity of the affected citizenry is completely different. And on and on. Mississippi has a mostly clean slate--New Orleans has 100,000+ once-flooded structures still intact that in many cases can and should be rehabilitated. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast a 30 foot tidal wave caused the destruction of the coastal areas while in the majority of the City of New Orleans the devastation of our city took a different form: a slow inundation of seawater because of failed MANMADE flood control structures. A natural disaster versus an admittedly man-induced one. It is a different situation in every way . . . .

Post-KTMB New Orleans Planning Efforts:

First there was the Urban Land Institute-sponsored Bring Back New Orleans Plan in Fall 2005 touted by OUR MAYOR (tm). There were lots of public presentations and hearings and lots of citizen anger vented--mainly spurred by these big green blobs labeled "greenspaces" placed upon city maps upon especially low-lying neighborhoods of the city such as Broadmoor and New Orleans East--indicating an abandonment of these areas (i.e. "reducing the urban footprint") for urban development. All sorts of deadlines and timetables were established for Spring 2006 to get that plan going with first-hand involvement of advocacy and neighborhood groups, but none of this came to fruition and the ULI BNOB Plan became yet another study to gather dust on a bookshelf. Then in early-Summer 2006 the City Council introduced the New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilding Plan . . . .

Stop the presses. I don't need to write about this anymore as Becky Houtman has put together a complete summary. Find a better synopsis. It doesn't exist.

OUR MAYOR (tm) Bring Back New Orleans Plan ---->
CITY COUNCIL New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilding Plan ---->

Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend yesterday's Unified New Orleans Plan "event" at the City Park Botanic Garden due to something previously scheduled. Check out Schroeder's, Adrasto's, and Michael Homan's takes. Oh boy. And I've heard similar reports of it from others as well. Here's the Times-Picayune's more "approved for your consumption" take on the event.

UPDATE, 2pm: Humid Haney's perspective and the story as reported last night on WWL TV.



At July 31, 2006 2:01 PM, Anonymous humidhaney said...

I am involved in the UNOP process so I wrote my explanation of the event on sunday. Also I have added a shorter and simpler explanation on the UNOP site of what it is.

At July 31, 2006 3:33 PM, Blogger mominem said...

Can some one please tell me what Mississippi's plan is beyond their plan to reimburse uninsured residents who were not in a flood plan and lost property due to flood.

At August 02, 2006 9:26 PM, Anonymous R from MS said...


This is what mississippi is doing. I've spent lots of time in both states, since I'm from Louisiana and live in Mississippi. The attitude here is so different. There isn't constant bickering and complaining. I guess it's the leadership. The governor hit the ground running and hasn't stopped. Even people who might lose property to improvements see this as a chance to make something special. We knew immediately we couldn't recreate the beautiful place we had, so we're
going to make something else unique and beautiful in it's place. We do not have anything near a clean slate. They've been trucking out debris for a year and we still have to tear down miles and miles of damaged structures and save whatever we can. I agree that it's a very different situation, but it seems NO only wants to compare when it is favorable to them.

At August 02, 2006 10:31 PM, Blogger Seymour D. Fair said...

r from ms:

I didn't mean that statement as an insult to Mississippi. I want Mississippi to recover as much as I want Louisiana to. I do take offense, however, of your statements of "the constant bickering/complaining" and "the compare when only favorable to New Orleans" thing. You have one state: Mississippi. We have in reality three states here: North LA, South LA, and New Orleans. Because of this, not everyone is on the same page as many in the non-NO portions of our state could care less about the city. The Coast doesn't have to contend with this . . . . .

At August 02, 2006 10:55 PM, Anonymous r from MS said...

As I said, I am from Louisiana. I do understand that NO is like a seperate state. My home town has taken in many people from there and the culture clash is pretty intense sometimes. I also know many people from cameron parish who never found a single thing they owned before Rita. Some have forgotten that there are people all along the coast who aren't worried about the city because they're fighting with FEMA themselves. Things are rough everywhere. I was born and raised in South La and I know a lot of the trouble comes from leadership and very devisive politics. It's frustrating that we can't have regional unity in all this. We're all in the same boat, really and we could accomplish amazing things together. If we could get together. What I've seen in the papers is Blanco saying things like Louisiana should get bigger chunks of block grants. Not "we need more", but "We should get more of that". I've talked to many people in Louisiana who are very bitter and don't want to hear about Mississippi or Florida or even about the next town over. Most are just angry at FEMA and get defensive about how people talk a lot about NO, but you don't hear about St Bernard or Cameron. I do understand that those are much smaller places, but it's still people's whole lives gone. It's very hard for them to care about NO, or anyone else.


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