This article explores the hidden, suppressed elements of New Orleans leading up to and immediately following Hurricane Katrina. The article is juxtaposed with excerpts from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities in order to provide a lens through which to ask questions not typically raised by government officials, city planners, and science and technology experts. This uncovers aspects of New Orleans that must not be overlooked in the rebuilding process. If policy, culture, and technology render aspects of New Orleans invisible, then only by revealing these aspects can one ascertain the truth of the city.
Erin Moore Daly
Edward J. Woodhouse
Was the Hurricane Katrina disaster an aberration, or did it emerge from decision-making processes similar to those governing other public outcomes? Is it more reasonable to expect post-disaster analyses to lead to systematic learning and improved policy, or not to change very much? Most generally, what can be learned about appropriate expertise and usable knowledge from the Katrina experience? I argue that many of the same processes and institutions are at work to create vulnerable populations, design the built environment carelessly with respect to public values, place barriers in the way of preventive action, and make it difficult for experts to contribute to improved outcomes. No doubt there will be some hurricane-specific learning in Katrina's wake, such as more houses on stilts, but political influentials are unlikely to revamp the systemic norms, practices, and institutions that helped shape the disaster. Implications are discussed for interdisciplinary, problem-focused research and community service by scientists, engineers, and other experts.
Research on human-environment interactions often neglects the resources of the humanities. Hurricane Katrina and the resulting levee breaches in New Orleans offer a case study on the need for inclusion of the humanities in the study of human-environment interactions, particularly the resources they provide in examining ethics and value concerns. Methods from the humanities, when developed in partnership with those from the sciences and social sciences, can provide a more accurate, effective, and just response to the scientific and technological challenges we face as a global community.
Anna J. Wesselink, Wiebe E. Bijker, Huib J. de Vriend, and Maarten S. Krol
This article shows how Dutch technological culture has historically dealt with and developed around vulnerability with respect to flooding and indicates recent developments in attitude towards the flood threat. The flooding of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina temporarily made the Dutch public worry about the flood defense infrastructure in the Netherlands, exemplified by the Delta Works. Could this happen in the Netherlands? After the flooding disaster of 1953, a system of large dams was built to offer safety from flooding with—in theory at least—protection levels that are much higher than in New Orleans. In the public's perception the protection offered is absolute. In practice not all flood defense structures are as secure as they are supposed to be, but their upgrading takes time and money. Katrina has served as a reminder of what is at stake: Can the Dutch afford to take another 10 years to restore the protection level of their flood defenses? Calls for pride in clever engineering are the latest in a continuing debate on the best way to continue life below sea level.
significant focus on the nearby city of New Orleans. This rural community was then significantly affected during the BP oil spill (locally referred to as “the Spill”) in 2010 due to a major part of the local populace’s employment within the fishing or oil and
Victoria C. Ramenzoni and David Yoskowitz
. Offshore Oil and Deepwater Horizon: Social Effects on Gulf Coast Communities—Volume I: Methodology, Timeline, Context, and Communities . OCS Study BOEM 2014-617 . New Orleans, LA : BOEM Gulf of Mexico OCS Region . http
Hannah Swee and Zuzana Hrdličková
Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina . Durham, NC : Duke University Press . 10.1215/9780822379195 Bankoff , Greg . 2007 . “ Living with Risk; Coping with Disasters ”. Education about Asia 12 ( 2 ): 26 – 29 . Bankoff , Greg , Georg Frerks
Sarah Besky and Jonathan Padwe
; Patel 2009 ). Scholars of food security and food sovereignty examined urban gardening and community food movements in diverse locations (see Truitt 2012 in post-Katrina New Orleans; Freidberg 2001 and Schroeder 1999 in sub-Saharan Africa; Premat
attributed to the perception that the categorization of one’s home within a zone of vulnerability would decrease its value. References Adams , Vincanne . 2013 . Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina . Durham, NC : Duke