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Why The Plan To Shrink New Orleans Failed | fivethirtyeight

Canizaro — a big-name real estate developer in town — was due to deliver an official plan for redeveloping New Orleans the next day. But he confessed that he was still struggling with it. The question he asked was simple but profound: Should the authorities rebuild all of New Orleans after the flood? Or should they “shrink the footprint” and declare the lowest-lying areas of the city off-limits, converting large tracts of land into green space?

The “Great Katrina Footprint Debate,” as Tulane University geographer Richard Campanella would dub it, became a long-running public tussle over people’s right to rebuild wherever they wanted, even if that meant they were putting themselves in harm’s way.

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