Vulnerability and social resilience: comparison of two neighborhoods in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
1 Ecole des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris, Lab’Urba, 80 rue Rebeval, 75019 Paris, France
2 University of New Orleans, Transportation Institute, 368 Minelburg Hall, 2000 Lakeshore Dr, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA
3 Université de Mons, Faculté d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme, rue d’Havré, 88, 7000 Mons, Belgique
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
On August 29th of 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast of the United States leading to one of the most powerful disasters in history. Damage costs reached more than 100 billion dollars, as well as 150,000 flooded houses and 1,330 deaths. 10 years later, the damage remains visible in the city of New Orleans, and the rate of recovery is highly varied throughout different neighborhoods in the city. A popular idea is to associate this to the neighborhood social class, i.e. the poorer an area is, the more difficult the recovery process is. However the reality is more complex. This study looks at two economically similar and highly damaged neighborhoods, with two deeply different recoveries. The Lower 9th Ward, an isolated, and poor neighborhood surrounded by water with the Mississippi River and the industrial canal, has experienced an extremely slow recovery. However, in the isolated and relatively poor neighborhood known as Village de l’Est, located on former marshes at the edge of the city between Lake Pontchartrain and the Bayou Bienvenue, the Vietnamese community ties and cohesion have brought the neighborhood back to fruition faster than anyone would have expected. Despite many common features weakening their technical resilience, such as relatively modern and fast urbanization on former natural and low lands protected mostly by levees, their radically different reaction following Katrina points out the key role of social resilience. This communication will aim to present decisive social aspects of resilience aside from geophysical and physical features such as risk awareness, social link and community culture.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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