Planning, Plans, and People: Professional Expertise, Local Knowledge, and Governmental Action in Post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans

30 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2008  

Marla Nelson

University of New Orleans

Renia Ehrenfeucht

University of New Orleans

S. Laska

University of New Orleans

Abstract

In rebuilding after the largest disaster in our nation's history - Hurricane Katrina - New Orleans has faced two key challenges: (1) how to enable all residents, including those with the fewest resources, to return to the city without recreating pre-Hurricane Katrina vulnerabilities and the inequities they represent; and (2) how to prioritize limited redevelopment resources. A citywide recovery strategy was necessary to address these challenges.

The purpose of this article is to examine the planning processes and the difficulties the city has faced in developing its recovery blueprint. Two interrelated, yet distinct, tensions played out through these processes: (1) tension between the need for speed and deliberation (Olshansky, 2006) in formulating a recovery blueprint and (2) tension between the relative weight afforded professional and resident assessments and priorities in setting recovery agendas. These tensions, accompanied by unanticipated resident distrust of government and professionals and the failure of city officials to designate quickly a single agency with the authority to guide a comprehensive recovery planning process, slowed the development of a citywide rebuilding strategy.

Keywords: Catastrophe Planning, Katrina, Post-Hurricane Katrina

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Marla and Ehrenfeucht, Renia and Laska, S., Planning, Plans, and People: Professional Expertise, Local Knowledge, and Governmental Action in Post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Cityscape, Vol. 9, No. 3, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1090161

Marla Nelson (Contact Author)

University of New Orleans ( email )

2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148
United States
(504) 280-3110 (Phone)

Renia Ehrenfeucht

University of New Orleans ( email )

2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148
United States
(504) 280-6517 (Phone)

Shirley Laska

University of New Orleans ( email )

2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148
United States
(504) 280-6301 (Phone)

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