I hope to write quite a bit on issues around the rebuilding of New Orleans. It’s a bit overwhelming in two ways, the first logistical and the second political:
- The issues involved are just incredibly complex, in terms of social and physical engineering.
- The Bush administration is almost certain to run this the same way they ran the rebuilding of Iraq: badly, with maximum inefficiency, graft, and cronyism. Resistance is futile.
But just as a teaser, check out a couple of intriguing ideas, both via City Comforts. Both start from the basic problem that much of New Orleans is built beneath sea level, and is sinking (and oh yeah, sea level is rising). So there’s two things you could do:
- Rebuild the city as another Venice, with deep canals and elevated buildings.
- Fill it up until it’s above sea level, the way they did with Galveston, Texas in the early 1900s.
Crazy, maybe, but then, razing wetlands to build a major seaport beneath sea level is crazy to begin with.
(See also: 5-point plan for sustainable rebuilding.)