National Science Foundation
In the wake of near total destruction of infrastructure in some parts of the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, policy makers are faced with a quandary. New Orleans has considerable economic value, not only as a commercial port, manufacturing hub, and tourist destination, but has a rich and colorful history and thus unique cultural value. However, the present location of New Orleans and the legacy of engineering interventions have created a city so vulnerable that catastrophe was inevitable. It is apparent that any redevelopment of the current location must contend with present and future vulnerabilities. To evaluate possible future planning options for the restoration of New Orleans, it is necessary to consider the contributions of three primary planning disciplines, Environmental Planning, Urban Planning, and Housing Planning. Each of these three components, when bound to the evolved city, is essential in defining the possible options for reconstruction. This project submitted under the Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) program investigates public attitudes toward different options for the future New Orleans. To assess the social value of different restoration plans for the New Orleans area, a survey will be administered to a cross-section of the United States population. In order to be sure that there is sufficient information on preferences across diverse households, data will be gathered from a stratified random sample, composed of (i) New Orleans residents and evacuees, (ii) regional households, and (iii) households in other parts of the nation. This study will elicit local and national valuation of the historic and cultural attributes that make New Orleans unique. The study will also elicit public valuation of mitigation that can harden the city against future hurricanes and tropical storms. The results of this study will be useful for policy makers at the city, state, and national level as they formulate a restoration plan for the city of New Orleans.
Principle Investigator: Jamie Brown Kruse (ECU)
CO-PI’s (in Alphabetical order): Okmyung Bin (ECU) Craig E. Landry (ECU) Harold Stone (ECU) Kenneth R. Wilson (ECU) John Whitehead (Appalachian State University)