Monday, March 06, 2006

The PLAN for New Orleans

In the Washington Post:
"So what is the path to long-term recovery that all of this suggests? It's this: The governor of Louisiana, the mayor of New Orleans, parish presidents and all of their commissions must produce one single, fully fleshed-out, detailed plan. This must not be just another request for billions in federal assistance in the midst of a vague discussion of the tough local issues but a specific plan that addresses those issues head-on, including the footprint question. In other words, a denser New Orleans with a smaller footprint, but also one that can accommodate everyone who wants to return and that can be defended against future hurricanes at significant but manageable expense.

This plan should also detail bold reforms, such as replacing the failed Orleans Parish public school system with a diverse collection of charter schools and replacing the outdated Charity Hospital system with coverage that offers the needy solid preventative and other care through numerous providers.

For its part, the Bush administration must endorse this general path now to encourage bold, courageous Louisiana decisions. And this endorsement must mean that the administration will take the lead in funding a responsible plan once it is produced. The $6.2 billion in federal block grant funds approved in December is a great down payment. But additional federal dollars will be needed to buy out areas that can be converted to natural flood basins and to help rebuild others. This could be done through the Baker bill or a state version of it with federal support."

What's wrong with this picture? Doesn't this sound like a lot of government, and therefore, a lot of "forced" redevelopment of hurricane damaged New Orleans?

Is there any evidence from past experience with such a large planned redevelopment of a city that would suggest whether to expect the effort to work out well?

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