'There's No Place Like New Orleans': Sense of Place and Community Recovery in the Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina

Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 615-634, 2009

20 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2010

See all articles by Emily L. Chamlee-Wright

Emily L. Chamlee-Wright

Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University

Virgil Henry Storr

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

This study contributes to the literature on the strength of place attachment, identity, and dependence in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. It also engages the literature concerning the role of sense of place in community engagement and the disruption in place attachment, identity, and dependence that natural disasters can cause. By drawing on interview data collected from residents who returned to New Orleans after the storm and from former New Orleanians who evacuated to Houston but did not return, this article investigates the “sense of place” that residents in Ninth Ward New Orleans neighborhoods identify in their narratives about their pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina experiences. The data considered here suggest that returning residents believe that New Orleans in general (and their Ninth Ward neighborhoods in particular) possess a unique bundle of characteristics that, when taken together, cannot be found or replicated elsewhere. While sense of place is an important motivator for returning residents, the data also suggest that complementary factors must be in place if the full potential of this social resource is to be realized.

Suggested Citation

Chamlee-Wright, Emily L. and Storr, Virgil Henry, 'There's No Place Like New Orleans': Sense of Place and Community Recovery in the Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina (October 1, 2009). Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 615-634, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1711286

Emily L. Chamlee-Wright

Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University ( email )

3401 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201-4432
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://theihs.org/

Virgil Henry Storr (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

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