New Orleans, as everyone knows after Katrina, is a city sitting below sea level. I lived there for 10 years from the mid ’70s to mid ’80s and always found it a bit disconcerting during the Spring flood season that as you sat eating begnets and drinking coffee at the Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter ocean-going tankers and freighters were passing, unseen, 20 feet above your head in the Mississippi River on the other side of the levee.
While the city still struggles to rebuild itself some people have ideas on how to cope with the threat of future flooding. Architect E. Kevin Shopfer is proposing the building of a floating habitat for some 40,000 residents.
Named NOAH (New Orleans Arcology Habitat) it would be “a self-contained community including residential units, public gardens, offices and commercial space, hotels, schools, a public health office, and even three casinos. The finished structure will contain an estimated 30 million square feet of space.”
You can read about the proposed project here:
I guess I was a little ahead of the curve when I spent the last two years of my tenure in the suburb of Chalmette living on my own floating answer to the flooding problem…
I can never write or talk about the Katrina catastrophe without reminding people that it wasn’t JUST New Orleans that was devastated by the storm. In adjacent St. Bernard Parish the destruction was nearly total. Depending on which report you wish to believe, only between 3 and 15 buildings remained untouched by the storm.
The area that was demolished by Katrina’s winds boggles the mind. If you were to get into your car at the western edge of the New Orleans area, Kenner, and got on to Interstate 10 and zipped along at 70 mph it would take you over 3 hours to get to the eastern edge of the pile of damaged buildings east of Mobile, Alabama!