The urban reinvestment and renewal efforts of the last half-century left a legacy of neglect and underinvestment in many American cities. Now that pattern is shifting.
Large-scale public housing projects and forced relocation programs created pockets of poverty in inner cities, concentrating the problems of low-income urbanites and not really doing much to effectively solve them. The concept of urban reinvestment has, understandably, developed a negative connotation over the years.
New Orleans is still struggling, especially its hard-hit Lower Ninth Ward. The economic recession has been bad news for development all over the world, and it's really not helping things down in New Orleans. The federal government's broke, states are cutting costs, and local government is practically bankrupt. But even in tough times, there is one place where business always seems to be good and money's always flowing: the movie industry.
Maybe New Orleans should look to Hollywood as a means to recovery. It has the money, it has the incentive, and it's proven that it actually has the power to make it happen.
It is now about 22 months since hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. I was recently in New Orleans for the first time and had plenty to see. The city is still very much in a state of devastation. But there has also been a lot of progress.
In this post, I'd like to share some pictures I took when I was there and some facts and figures I've come across that help illustrate the current situation in the city...