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Could New Orleans become the south's next boomtown

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Many people are now speculating, that with some work, New Orleans could not only become the south's next boom town in terms of housing and real-estate, but in business as well.

Here is what is meant by "some work"

#1 New Levee's

No one wants to work or live in a city that they know cant handle major flooding.

We all saw what everyone has been wondering for the last 40 years, could the N.O. levees handle a major hurricane, and the answer of course, was no.

If new levee's are built, good ones, like they have been using successfully in the Netherlands for many years, People would feel much better about living in New Orleans. There has already been talk in the Federal Government about bringing people who are involved in the Netherlands' levee system into New Orleans to come up with a plan for a new levee system.

#2 Raise the Land

Raising the land in some areas could be a HUGE factor in controlling flooding in New Orleans. Not all of New Orleans would need to be raised, but the extreme low-lying areas like New Orleans East, would need to be raised. Remember guys, flooding in New Orleans wasn

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I also feel good about the future of New Orleans. I read today that Bush is supporting a bill for the federal government to spend $200 billion to rebuild the area. Considering that a significant portion of the metro recieved little damage, I truly believe..10 years from now, New Orleans will be a lot better off than it was before Katrina hit.

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I feel great about the future of New Orleans as well.

I'm not sure though about raising the land levels. That would cost billions of dollars. If the levees are redone, there wouldn't be much reason to do it anyway.

Anyone see the story on NBC last week about the Netherlands? Anyway, much of that country is below sea level as well. In the early 50's there was some huge storm that flooded half the nation and killed 3,000 people. The Dutch just went to work and spent the money to make sure it wouldn't happen again.

About New Orleans being a boomtown--I'm not sure. I hope the hurricane offers economic opportunity for its citizens, but I hope it wouldn't become like other southern boomtowns in character or appearance. I heard an interview with the president of UNO and he said his daughter was concerned about that same thing--don't rebuild it to look like Dallas.

So many New Orleans "localisms" have their roots in the poor or at least the "not rich"--Mardi Gras Indians, the music, etc.--that I would hate to see all of that go away.

Above all, I don't want to see the place turn into some gentrified place for rich folks. It was never that kind of city.

But I'm optimistic. I think within a year, the city will be close to normal--as normal as it ever was (and thank god it was never really "normal" :) )

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The Dutch spent $20B to build their flood control system and they have a budget of $500,000,000/year to maintain it. This is an amazing amount of money and I don't think that NO or the state of LA has the backbone to pass the taxes to generate this kind of money. And I think the rest of the nation is going to balk big time at commiting to these kinds of funds to just one city in the USA. There is a lot of sympathy now, but when the bills start coming in expect a lot of pushback.

The loss of wetlands is most likely the biggest contributing factor in the damage to the levee system in the first place. However, ironcially, it is the levee system that caused this loss. The levee system separates the river from the delta so sediment is no longer maintaining the wetlands. Scientists have not seen any new growth in the wetlands for almost 80 years (by drilling samples). Further, currently there is a loss of about 25 sq miles/year of what is left. The ACOE has been criticized in recent years, as they have learned more, because a lot of their projects make flooding worse that it should be and cause significant environmental damage. All to protect human habitats in risky areas.

Common sense would dictated that unless the goverment is willing to devote significant resources, away from others then not enough money is going to be spent to fix NO's problems and it is just another storm away from disaster. Given that I think they should probably just remove the levees and work with the parts that remain above the waterline.

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The Dutch spent $20B to build their flood control system and they have a budget of $500,000,000/year to maintain it.  This is an amazing amount of money and I don't think that NO or the state of LA has the backbone to pass the taxes to generate this kind of money.  And I think the rest of the nation is going to balk big time at commiting to these kinds of funds to just one city in the USA.  There is a lot of sympathy now, but when the bills start coming in expect a lot of pushback.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yea, the part I am most woried about is when the sympathy dies down...

This all goes into the "there are so many things that could happen to N.O. in the coming years"

I think money could be provided to build a levee system that can withstand a category 5 hurricane in New Orleans, the question is will it be provided. As sleepy said earlier, if an improved levee system is built, there would be no need to raise the land.

If the levees hadnt been breached after Katrina passed, flooding in New Orleans would not have been nearly as bad as expected. So a levee that could support a cat. 5 hurricane would be huge for New Orleans, and could make the difference between the city getting washed away, or the city getting 2-4 feet of floodwater.

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Size-wise, how does the Netherland's Levee system compare to that of New Orleans? Btw, this will eventually become an issue in other cities like Miami and Sacramento, and states with massive aging levee systems, such as Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.

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Levee System in the Netherlands

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Levee System in New Orleans

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I will add more to this later, I still have not been able to find the exact number of square miles that the Netherlands' levee system covers...

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great leadership and louisiana don't exactly go hand in hand. it will take a major, MAJOR clean up effort, not just the physical damage, but within the government for new orleans to become the south's next boomtown. i'm wondering how many people are going to stay in baton rouge that fled new orleans. i'm hoping new orleans proves me wrong though. i'd love to see one of america's great cities to rise back up and take it's place on the mouth of the mississippi.

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I do not think New Orleans will have the population as before Katrina.

There will be mini boom just rebuilding the interstructure. If only 60% of the people return, I would not call this a boom. It is going to interesting to see what the businesses do, that move to Baton Rouge and othe cities after the hurricane.

The Fed. Govt. will invest lots of money there, but will the private sector do the same? It will be great to see trolleys going down St. Charlies St. again.

I believe New Orleans will be smaller than it was before Katrine.

New Orleans will be back with about 250,000 people. For it to grow, it will have to greatly improve the levee system. Clean up all the corruption in local goverment, and do a better job of addressing the needs of the poor.

Lets hope the fishing industry will be able to recover. We get a lot of seafood from that area. I hear the high cost of fuel and low prices for seafood, many fishermen will not go back in busniess.

The economy of New Orleans is complex, so we will see how much of it will be put back again.

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This could, literally, turn out to be the largest urban renewal in American history that causes a tremendous boom. Plenty of work is ahead for us, but, with over $200 Billion about to, imminently, come into New Orleans, that figure alone constitutes a boom. There will be numerous offshoot businesses with this kind of money coming in, and with the tax incentives designed to lure small and big business to New Orleans, I think we may witness unprecedented growth in Metro New Orleans over the next decade to likes that this nation has ever seen....But, we'll NEVER let New Orleans lose its' charm.

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All of the population will probably not return. But I think at some point in the near future New Orleans will be able to get close to it's former population even if it's it's newcomers and not all the former residents. The redevelopment project will pump a lot of money into the area which could end up helping the city in the near future. But of course there are a lot of 'ifs'. Not sure whether anyone will want to foot the bill to revamp the levee system but having the Dutch take a look at it is a great idea, they are the experts on this.

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Forgive me for sounding a bit pessimistic, but I don't have much faith in modern urban construction, especially rebuilding efforts on a large scale. Most of what makes New Orleans so special is that it was built before the rules and laws that are now imposed on modern urban development. If much of the historic structures in mid-city and Bayou St. John have to be leveled due to water damage, its going to really be a sad situation.

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If New Orleans does get rebuilt as proposed, many of the other areas of the USA will find the prices of the materials to go up a great deal, hindering their economic development.

I would personally prefer a natural economic boom (as in the booms much of the other parts of the south have been seeing) to a forced one. If that much money is funneled into New Orleans and programs for other cities are cut, the US will be in fact worse off.

We will see with this next hurricane though, if it brings about more destruction to the city we might as well call it a day and use the money to create a system that does not rely on one port city for stability. Which we should be doing anyways.

There is no sense in boosting up this one city to hinder the development of many of other cities.

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I hope they keep the same lots. I'd hate it if they'd bulldoze a block where 20 homes are and divide it into 8 lots.

There are reports of people around the nation that are already looking into buying property,flooded or not, to cash in on the expected boom. Realtors are saying the phones are ringing constantly with people interested in New Orleans.

Here's an article from an architect about rebuilding New Orleans.

www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_3038678

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Abandon below sea level areas, save downtown. Build up with more dense development the areas that are legitimate land areas(above sea level). The French quater is already above sea level so it should be okay. It would have the river on one side and a lake on the other. Unlike the Netherlands, The USA as a whole doesn't need those square miles to be drained and protected by costly levees. The Netherlands is a small country that has to fight for every little bit of land it can. Much of their national budget probably goes to their levee systems. New Orleans could be a large metro just taking up different "real" land to the south and west of downtown. ...just an idea.

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I'd read somewhere about converting some of the below sea level land back to marshes. I think this could turn out pretty well, giving the city more greenspace. Maybe other's will find this idea more interesting than rebuilding all the areas with modern construction.

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Abandon below sea level areas, save downtown. Build up with more dense development the areas that are legitimate land areas(above sea level). The French quater is already above sea level so it should be okay. It would have the river on one side and a lake on the other. Unlike the Netherlands, The USA as a whole doesn't need those square miles to be drained and protected by costly levees. The Netherlands is a small country that has to fight for every little bit of land it can. Much of their national budget probably goes to their levee systems. New Orleans could be a large metro just taking up different "real" land to the south and west of downtown. ...just an idea.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Then it's really going to be densely populated. I think only about 20% of the built up area is above flooding or non swamp. Which is about 15 sq miles. To put in only half the population in this area will require an average density of 16,000 a sq mile. At this level you start getting to the apartment level. To get the infastructure of the city in this area will be like a city of 42,000 a sq mile.

I still think my idea is the best.

1-Build category 5 and over levees.

2-Raise the houses in the flood prone areas,where the water can get to the roof.

3-Get the pumps to a higher level so they will not be underwater again.

The thing is it floods there a lot,usually a foot or 3 in the streets,so that's no problem in those areas,but there are areas where if for any concieveable reason the levee will break again,or a massive hurricane hits,then the flooding will be up the the roofs.

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