An Improbable And Fragile Comeback: New Orleans 10 Years After Katrina | Forbes


In the fall of 2005, many saw in postdiluvial New Orleans another example of failed urbanization, a formerly great city that was broken beyond repair.Yet 10 years after a catastrophe that drove hundreds of thousands of its citizens away, the metro area has made an impressive comeback.

New Orleans’ resurgence since Katrina has come courtesy of $71 billion in federal funds and the determination and verve of New Orleanians themselves, as has been well-documented by Tulane geographer Rich Campanella, who provided research and direction for this article. It also benefited from the generosity of the volunteers who worked in the recovery efforts as well as that of neighboring cities, notably Houston, which housed thousands of evacuees. Many have now returned, joined by newcomers from around the country, determined to turn around the city. “A city,” notes urban historian Kevin Lynch, “is hard to kill,” and New Orleans is proving that assertion.

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