Rebuilding the Big Uneasy

As New Orleans continues to dry out, efforts are underway to reopen the central business district and tourist quarter as soon as possible. The steps send a multiple message: Life goes on, business as usual — and tourists, please come back! It's a heartening message, but one that brings its own caution. Any economy largely dependent on tourism — two thirds of New Orleans' travel business is tourist oriented — runs some risk as tourism trends wax and wane.

As New Orleans begins to rebuild, it'd be wise — as Robbie Vitrano suggested earlier this month — to reconsider all aspects of local life and work. Consider the city from a design perspective. Involve engineers, architects, preservationists, designers, and urban planners. Take this as a chance to preserve the best of what was — while encouraging only the best of what could be. Don't just go back to what was — or make hasty mistakes in the name of quick wins.

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  • roger fulton

    hold on, there...from what I read/see/hear on national media, MOLD has taken over as the number one threat to New Orleans. Television reports show the green/black creeping stuff everywhere. Scientists report it is in the air and may threaten rebuilding. My fear? Politicians ram-rodding projects past science and health concerns being shelved for tourism and money considerations. Gee, that's never happened before.
    Go slow. Congress should be involved up to it's navel. We need watchdogs all over this one.
    Remember "Legionnaires Disease?" Open one the big Radisson in New Orleans without cleaning out the mold, which will take 6 months to a year, and its
    Legionnaires Part Deux.

  • mahendra kumar dash

    It is a time factor.Slowly and certainly it will pick up.How tourism picked up again after a short break of most devastating Tsunami? Phuket and hotel industry at other places gradually leaped back to normalcy.It may be intital setback,but normalcy will come.Yes,main problematic area that will remain will be entirely psychological.This will take a long time to heal.

  • John Rogers

    Its the whole chicken or the egg first dilemma. Which comes first, businesses which bring people, or people which are vital to have the businesses there in the first place?

    Considering the rebuilding of New Orleans from a mass-design perspective is not only an excellent idea, but perhaps the only way the economy there can be firmly replanted in time. If building contractors and businesses look to try to gain some sort of short-term quick profits, New Orleans will never rise too far from the ashes of Hurricane Katrina.

    Like any company that files chapter 11, New Orleans needs to have a clear and strategic business plan to pull itself out of "bankruptcy."