2005 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 19 Oct 2005 22:29:52 -0000
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] New Orleans - Who will return?
The Economics of Return
Class, Color May Guide Repopulation of New Orleans

By Blaine Harden
Washington Post
October 19, 2005

NEW ORLEANS -- It was a Thursday, the first of September, just four days after Hurricane Katrina, and floodwater stood seven feet deep in the living room of Robert Bouchon's big brick house on Memphis Street in Lakeview, this city's largest middle-class, white neighborhood.


When Katrina blew in and levees gave way, the high water, in many neighborhoods, was colorblind and classless. It clobbered Lakeview, a leafy and serene white area where longtime residents cannot remember serious flooding, as cruelly as the Lower Ninth Ward, a black neighborhood with a long, dismal history of high water.

But in New Orleans, where affluent whites live high and working-class blacks live low, the privileges of neighborhood quickly asserted themselves. For many, race and class predicted patterns of escape, dictating whether flight would be a nervous drive out of town or a caged week of torment and humiliation.

These days, as planners and politicians look ahead, many realize that the future of this city, which before the storm was more than two-thirds black and nearly one-third poor, swings on two simple questions:

Are residents coming home? If so, which ones?


For the entire article, see

Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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