The author discusses the post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans in the light of lessons learned from the historical examples of cities rebuilt after natural and manmade disasters. Most cities have preserved their pre-disaster street layouts during reconstruction, although building techniques have often been upgraded. The challenge of rebuilding New Orleans is particularly complex since it is a modern city, with many interconnected sets of technological and human infrastructures that must be put in place simultaneously. The extent of the real demand for rebuilding New Orleans, a city with a declining population, and a weak economy, represents a serious challenge.
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