Tag Archives: New Orleans

Does New Orleans Have an Identity Crisis?

And if so, how many other cities do as well? I spent five weeks in New Orleans in May/June of this year…it is a truly fascinating city, a completely unique place, yet for the most part it denies the fact that it is a delta city. With large tracts of the city below sea level, it would seem reasonable to expect water to be an omnipresent characteristic. But the built environment of New Orleans denies water, walls it off, instead of embracing it.

There’s a line from Jurassic Park that I’ve quoted a bazillion times: “[The scientists] were so concerned with whether they could, they never stopped to consider whether they should.” Wherever technology allows one to ignore nature, this seems to be too often what happens. Modern New Orleans was built wrongly (where it is built wrongly) because it could be. Continue reading

Posted in architecture, Climate Change, Culture, Josh Grigsby, Placemaking, Response Pieces, Sustainability, technology, thinking, urban design, urban planning, vernacular architecture, What if? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Orleans—No Fate But What We Make

It is fitting that the New Orleanian who tagged this wall a few blocks north of St. Charles chose to quote John Connor. The Big Easy has been falling on hard times for decades, emerging from several Judgment Days of its own with stays of execution if not blanket absolution. Somehow, like the Weebles of my childhood, the city wobbles but it won’t fall down.
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Planologie Returns

Yep, I’m back.

First off, thank you to the thousands of readers who continued to visit the Planologie Blog despite nary a new post in over a month. I expected my modest readership to dry up completely, and am quite pleased to be proven wrong.

Secondly, I’m changing things up a bit. Sea changes in my life have sent me on a bit of a walkabout, with my next couple of years to be spent studying Urban Studies in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid, among other European locales. First, though, I’m in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Boston for a month apiece. I’m going to spend less time researching articles to repost, more time exploring, observing, and documenting my travels. Posts will no longer be daily; two or three per week is my new target, and it might take a bit before I’m back to even that. The viewpoint will remain, of course, focused on urban planning-related issues.

Again, thank you everyone for sticking with me. Hopefully the best is yet to come.
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Brad Pitt, Andres Duany, and Aesthetic Diversity: Why There’s Room for Everyone in the New N’awlins

The New Orleans that was swept away when the levees broke cannot be restored. A new New Orleans is rising—it cannot be otherwise. Isn’t it possible that in this new New Orleans there is room for Frank Gehry and Andres Duany? For the experimental and the traditional? For the future and the past? Can’t this new New Orleans be a city that retells the stories of its forebears while crafting new tales of its own? It has been a long time since New Orleans had anything new to add to the larger discussion of American urbanism. A long time since the national spotlight shone on it for reasons other than crime, poverty, catastrophe, or the musical achievements of the past.

History should never be forgotten, but neither should it be made into a golden calf. Cities need to breathe, they need to periodically remake themselves. As long as the people remaking New Orleans remain in service to the city’s most vulnerable residents, New Orleans wins. Architects win. Design wins. Creativity wins. Experimentation wins. A new vernacular arises alongside the old. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, History, human scale, Josh Grigsby, Livability, Neighbors, Placemaking, Response Pieces, Sustainability, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Creating Car-Reduced and Car-Free Pedestrian Habitats

It will take a long time for the US to embrace pedestrians, bicycling, and electric carts as substitutes for cars in our communities. And yet an inevitable change is coming that will significantly increase environmental quality, and restore real community and economic viability. Changing legislation, master planning, and the development of car-reduced and car-free communities will move us forward, writes Greg Ramsey. Continue reading

Posted in Auto Independence, Culture, human scale, Livability, Placemaking, Shout Outs, Sustainability, transit, Transportation, walkable, What if? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments