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> The "New" Urban, Whats going on in New Orleans
Kitty
post Oct 31 2005, 11:37 PM
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So I was watching the news this morning and they had a little segment about what they're planning to do architechturally to New Orleans. Obviously theres not much left, and they're going to need alot more structure to their houses to withstand any hurricanes that might come. So theres a huge group of architects out there coming up with ideas on how to build houses. Since they have basically a blank slate, theres alot of room for new inventions.

So they had some of the architects on screen and they explained how they were working on designs for floating houses, anchored down so they dont float away entirely, and they had plans for houses built closer together, with little allyways and small streets and such with more of a pedestrian access only type thing. This way they get people out and walking/riding more instead of driving down the street to get a gallon of milk or something of the sort.

I was just thinking this is a really good idea, and it made me happy to see that not only are they trying to make the city more weather-proof and durable, but make it more people and economically friendly at the same time. Since America has the highest obesity rate, they get people out and walking, and since gas is going to be very limited soon, they'll decrease the amount of gas people burn for short trips.

Its a long stretch, since all the communities going up around where I live are like every other one, way far away from any conveniant place to buy groceries, but does anyone think that they'll start building more towns and cities in this fashion? Any other thoughts on whats going to happen in the future, as far as gas consumption goes? I'm curious to know what people think because honestly, the thought of not being able to use a car scares me so much

Edit: Its not a very daft topic, but I wasnt sure about issues or daily life.... I suppose it would be better in one of thoes forums.... oh well. Mods can change it if they feel it appropriate


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Mata
post Nov 1 2005, 02:01 AM
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I'm lucky in that where I live I don't need to drive. I'm 28 and Sues is 26 and neither of us have ever had a lesson. She walks to work, we walk to visit friends or catch a train. We do have friends that drive and it can be very useful, but for the expense of a car compared to the amount that we'd use it it's just not worth it!

I'm not convinced that the new city planning sounds like a very good idea though. Preventing vehicle access to streets will cause a massive amount of problems, from simple things like moving house to emergency access for ambulances.

I think that New Orleans is going to be in for a shock when they find how few people want to move back there...

[Moved to Issues because I think it's probably better placed there, although I'm not sure either!]


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Kitty
post Nov 1 2005, 02:11 AM
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I'm sure they'll be thinking about emergency vehicles and such, they werent exactly clear about what the plans were, I'm guessing there really still in the brainstorming part of acctual planning. I suppose I could find some more info online. Once I finish my essay for class I'll hop on that ^^

Its strange for me to hear that you've never had a driving lesson, I'm sitting here aching to be behind the wheel. Though I really wish I would be able to walk places, but it doesnt work so well since I'm in the suburbs. I really think I'd be much more of a city girl tongue.gif


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pgrmdave
post Nov 1 2005, 04:10 AM
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Who is going to pay for all of this, and how much is the government going to expect former citizens to pay? Is this going to be another case of the government ignoring the fact that most of the city cannot afford anything?


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Witless
post Nov 1 2005, 02:10 PM
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No idea where the money is going to come from.. I'd guess though that the USA's debt will increase fairly soon..

I think it's a good idea but a double edged sword.. if they do what they are doing to london slowly.. then it's great. In london more and more areas are being pedestrianised in such a way like leiscester square, so certain vehicles can get their.. like police, ambulances, fire engines and vehicles with special permission and that's all. But... I do envision fewer people will want to return to new orleans as a result.

When fewer people return I'll start a rant too. It's a bit unfortunate that whenever real measures are taken to solve any problems that people are upset about, people get annoyed. Regardless of whether their reasons for the less cars in new orleans being noble or not. The results are great.. less pollution, less demand on oil/petrol, less car accidents more healthy folk with the walking. People will likely ignore all of this and be upset about not being able to scoot around anyway.

This is a slightly off topic comment.. but related.... It's like in the UK.. people moan about the national health service.. and the lack of beds... and lack of doctors.. and the health service being over stretched. But yet when anti smoking campaigns, and efforts are put in to get the weight of english people down. People ignore it. You have to give if you want to get.. I do truelly believe this.
So.. despite the dent to the population I am still willing to believe the new plans are a good idea... hey if it doesn't return to being a very very poor place, I may move there!.. Bikes and walking being the main source of getting around? Awesome world!


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Kitty
post Nov 1 2005, 08:28 PM
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Witless basically answered Prgmdave's questions. I honestly dont know where they're acctually getting money from, Once i get my other 600 words down for NaNoWriMo for today, I'll go ahead and look that up.... But we do pay taxes here in America, and they arent all used. So I'm sure alot of tax dollars are going straight to New Orleans, theres also alot of charities and non profit organizations going around and collecting money. They'll get it all together.


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pgrmdave
post Nov 1 2005, 09:48 PM
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QUOTE
But we do pay taxes here in America, and they arent all used.


The government spends more than it earns in taxes, so I'm sure this will simply send the USA into furthur debt. Not that I don't think that it is a worthy cause, and one to which I would give money, if I had money to give. I worry that it will be rebuilt to make it too expensive for the 'teeming underclass' to move back. Maybe I'm just too cynical, but I think that they should make the housing more affordable before they try to do anything else. While innovation is wonderful, it is a luxury, while housing is a necessity.


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Astarael
post Nov 1 2005, 09:57 PM
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It does sound like a good idea. Gas won't be around forever, and this will help with obesity a little. Hopefully if the idea is successful in New Orleans then other places will take it up. However, they really do need to have some emergency access in the planning if it's going to be safe. I do hope that this won't be one of the decent ideas that gets pushed to the side and then forgotten. The national debt is indeed too large right now. I think that some of it is frivolous spending and pork that really needs to be cut out if we ever want to pay off more of the debt, but that's really another subject.


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Kitty
post Nov 2 2005, 01:00 AM
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QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Nov 1 2005, 05:48 PM)
QUOTE
But we do pay taxes here in America, and they arent all used.


The government spends more than it earns in taxes, so I'm sure this will simply send the USA into furthur debt. Not that I don't think that it is a worthy cause, and one to which I would give money, if I had money to give. I worry that it will be rebuilt to make it too expensive for the 'teeming underclass' to move back. Maybe I'm just too cynical, but I think that they should make the housing more affordable before they try to do anything else. While innovation is wonderful, it is a luxury, while housing is a necessity.
*


The goverment issues money to certain companies, because taxes pay for whatever thoes companies do, and the company has to use all the money by the end of the fiscal (sp?) year. If they dont then they get less money the next year, which they obviously dont want. So it ends up getting spent on filler that the company buys. Say they have a couple thousand left over, they HAVE to spend it, so they'll buy some computers and hand them out for free. I know this because I know people that work in goverment buildings x.x; Its distubring.

I think it would be more cost effective in the long run to build New Orleans up with top of the line architectural technology because New Orleans keeps getting hit by these hurricanes and it breaks down the city. If you put a bit more money into the planning, it will last a lot longer and in the long run cost less money. Also take into consideration the gas it will save, thats alot.

By the way, I couldnt find anything online about new orleans and what they're planning, but I didnt search too deeply because I'm feeling kind of lazy unsure.gif


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Mata
post Nov 2 2005, 01:49 AM
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An ex of mine once said something very interesting, 'the difference between being middle class and working class and working class is that the middle classes have lots of doors open to them but the working class don't even know that they're there.' It's a pretty interesting view of things. Even if they do make government funded housing available to the poor of New Orleans it's likely that the poor won't get to live in them because they either don't trust the government to really look after them, they don't know that it's available, or the process for applying for the housing is so complex that it excludes the people in the most genuine need.


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Kitty
post Nov 4 2005, 01:02 AM
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Very true, very true. Especially since the mentality of middle class and working class tends to be compleatly different. Middle class will tend to think they have more rights to things, where working class I think tend to keep more to themselvs and what they know. Hopefully if they do make goverment funded housing they'll advertise it in some sort of appealing way because they need people to move back there, and the poor need houses.

I'm curious to see what happens....


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sjbbandgeek
post Nov 4 2005, 06:04 AM
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Perhaps we should put more study on what knocks down our cities before we consider rebuilding them?
After the Loma Prieta Earthquake, the building codes were updated and they fixed the damage in SF in a way so that it wouldn't happen again.
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Mata
post Nov 4 2005, 12:24 PM
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Yes, that would be sensible.

I'm also a bit worried about the possibility that all the poor's housing will be rebuilt and so those in the worst situations, without other options, will be forced to move back into a dangerous situation while the rich of the city decide that it might just be best to pack off to the east and west coasts. This could create a city dominated by poverty, which isn't going to do anyone any favours.


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Witless
post Nov 4 2005, 02:00 PM
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In fairness it's not as if the same people that want to improve things, are the same people that create anti flood, and earthquake proof homes and if you want to secure the homes of every place in a danger area.. then there's a lot more New Orleans to worry about. Almost every city on the coast of california is in a Tsunami risk zone as an example, and as far as I'm aware, there are no strategies implemented at all for if that should occur.

I still think just rebuilding it as an area similar to before with ultra cheap houses and nothing really different or improved seems unwise. I'd compare new orleans to a lot of heavy council estate like areas of the UK.. and things there only ever get better by improving the area. It'd be like having an earthquake hit one of those council tower blocks.. and rebuilding a council tower block to replace it. Surely you'd want to re-develop the land into something that would improve things?


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Mata
post Nov 4 2005, 02:30 PM
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California may be at risk from tsunamis but I doubt that they're several feet below sea level like New Orleans! A tsunami would probably cause quite a lot of damage to small areas of San Francisco, for example, but the people living there only need to go a few hundred metres at most before they're walking up a hill. The earthquake before the tsunami is the bigger problem around there, but many of the buildings have been built with fairly decent tolerance levels, although California is due a big earthquake so I guess we'll see how well they've done. I have many friends there so I hope they've done it well.


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Astarael
post Nov 4 2005, 10:09 PM
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There's very few natural disasters in my area of the southern United States. We get an occasional tornado, some continuous rain that keeps on for days, and things have gone all icy without snow a few times. However, none of that has caused any major problems. I love living here, especially when I think of how much I hate the cold and how cold it is fursther north. Best of luck to the friends in California! smile.gif I have a few relatives in Florida, but they live well away from the worst hurricane areas, so they've been fine through all that.


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Mata
post Nov 5 2005, 01:45 AM
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Does California not count as the south in the US? Did you reinvent the compass while I wasn't looking? wink.gif

Seriously though, Cali is probably in for some rough times on the longer term view of things and it worries me. That said, Tokyo is even more overdue a huge earthquake that Cali is. It's just not a good time to be a Pacific tectonic plate.


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sjbbandgeek
post Nov 5 2005, 02:38 AM
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There is one thing you should understand about the geography of California, in particulalar the central coast. Most natural disasters could be escaped.
Billions of dollars worth of damage would occur in a tsumani, but who is at the most risk? The people who build thier houses on the cliffs of highway one.
We have a diverse geography, travel 30 miles and you can go from central valley to the coast.
As for the earthquakes, I live within a 1200 meters of the San Andreas Faultline, and I feel no danger. We have many small earthquakes in California, which release the pressure that causes the big ones.
The danger from earthquakes that kills more people are the fires, and we are better at handling them than in 1906. Plus California has a strong economy, so having a disaster that would kill thousunds and leave us to rebuild over years is unlikely.
Knock on wood of course.
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Kitty
post Nov 5 2005, 02:52 AM
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I'm with Mata on this one.
There will never be enough 'little' earth quakes to stop a big one from happening eventually. California has some major issues ahead of them, and Japan just scares the heck out of me.


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pgrmdave
post Nov 5 2005, 05:39 AM
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QUOTE (Mata)
Does California not count as the south in the US? Did you reinvent the compass while I wasn't looking?


California, while it is south, is not part of the South, which, by most accounts, is east of Louisiana, and south of Virginia, inclusive, but doesn't count most of southern Florida.


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oobunnie
post Nov 5 2005, 09:39 AM
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QUOTE (Kitty @ Nov 5 2005, 02:52 AM)
I'm with Mata on this one.
There will never be enough 'little' earth quakes to stop a big one from happening eventually. California has some major issues ahead of them, and Japan just scares the heck out of me.
*

But Japan also happens to be leading the field in earthquake-resistant engineering. Not to mention that they promote knowledge of evacuation, and emergency measures for earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. Some how I think Japan will fair okay because they update their technology to prevent problems on a regular basis unlike the States where they tend to update once the area has been devistated.

As for rebulding New Orleans, alot of home owners had to have had home insurance right? So reasonabliy that will take a large chunk of burden off the government or charity rebuilding. And can't they just follow the genral development plans they have for hurricane prone spots in Florida to rebuild?
I dunno. It just seems to me that maybe some of this hype is coming from the government wanting to make up for what was seen as a poor job responding to this disaster. And maybe instead of coming up with radical plans they should come up with a fiesable plan to get these people back into homes. Yes make the necessary adjustments to make it a safer zone, not just the homes but mostly the levy and drainage systems. But do it in a reasonable timeline to prevent a mass decrease in the population of New Orleans that just decide it isn't worth it and leave.
But floating homes?! Come on. You might as well put your house on stilts, atleast then you have a better chance of finding it afterwerd. And if your going to have a floating house, why not have a hover craft house? Yes a hover craft house would solve all problems. Instead of evacuating your family you could just move the entire house out of harms way.


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pgrmdave
post Nov 5 2005, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE
As for rebulding New Orleans, alot of home owners had to have had home insurance right?


Not exactly. Flood insurance in places like that is extremely expensive, and the areas that were worst hit were the poorer areas.

QUOTE (http://info.insure.com/home/flood/)
If your home sits between the mainland and often-stormy, ocean waters, you might not be eligible for federally subsidized insurance. The government limits its liability by excluding property owners in such areas as the North Carolina Outer Banks, sections of the Florida panhandle, and selected areas in Delaware and South Carolina. The reason stems from the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, which is designed to protect wildlife living in valuable ecological areas. The government discourages development by withholding subsidized insurance.

Also, a study released by the FEMA on June 27, 2000, reported that close to 87,000 homes and buildings have been built on land likely to wash away during the next 60 years.

Some insurance companies are willing to expose themselves to higher risks and take on policies in some of the developed barrier areas. Instead of $340 in premiums offered through the government program, a few private companies will charge about $3,000 a year for flood coverage of slightly less than $200,000.


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Mata
post Nov 5 2005, 03:51 PM
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As with most situations, what really needs to be tackled are the reasons for poverty in the first place, such as lack of employment, affordable public transport, reasonable working conditions, and lack of skills in the work-force (for starters). It's not easy, but they have the chance now to rebuild whole aspects on the city in a manner that will massively improve the lives of those that live there.

The trouble is, does the government care enough about the poor to bother taking the time, effort, and money to do this right? The pay off won't come before the end of this presidency, instead the increased generation of revenue would feed back into the economy ten or fifteen years down the line. Given the way that the Bush government has borrowed massively to fund other ptojects without thought of how they are going to have to raise taxes massively in ten year's time to repay it, I feel it's unlikely that they are really thinking about the long-term interests and will instead probably cobble together a quick-fix that looks good in the short-term but ultimately only continues the cycle of poverty.


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Astarael
post Nov 5 2005, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Nov 4 2005, 09:45 PM)
Does California not count as the south in the US? Did you reinvent the compass while I wasn't looking? wink.gif

Seriously though, Cali is probably in for some rough times on the longer term view of things and it worries me. That said, Tokyo is even more overdue a huge earthquake that Cali is. It's just not  a good time to be a Pacific tectonic plate.
*

Meant to say southeastern! Gah! rolleyes.gif I have got to spend more time editing my posts. South (intentionally capitalized) is the region I mean- see Dave's post, that's a good definition. It's a rather American idiom for the area that I keep forgetting everyone doesn't know. Offhand, it's also the area where people say "y'all" and where you can get decent sweet tea in most restaurants. Once you're north of Virginia getting good sweet tea is completely a lost cause. tongue.gif
On a more serious (and relevant) note, the government right now is causing some problems that will be atrocious to fix down the road when money is tighter. It would be so much better for the country and the economy if we spent a load of money now rather than more loads later. Seems like car maintenance to me, really. If you pay for oil-changes and tune-ups now, you'll save the large sum later that it would take to replace some expensive part that broke because you weren't taking care of it. Unfortunately, the current government seems to have no planning skills and no concept of delayed gratification. Here's hoping the next adminastration is better.


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oobunnie
post Nov 5 2005, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE
Not exactly. Flood insurance in places like that is extremely expensive, and the areas that were worst hit were the poorer areas.


Do they not also have natural disaster coverage? This tends to be alot cheaper. I pay something like $14 a month for it, close to what I pay for fire coverage.

QUOTE
As with most situations, what really needs to be tackled are the reasons for poverty in the first place, such as lack of employment, affordable public transport, reasonable working conditions, and lack of skills in the work-force (for starters). It's not easy, but they have the chance now to rebuild whole aspects on the city in a manner that will massively improve the lives of those that live there.

But this would be solved more by massive social programs then housing. And short of 3 month employment training classes that are offered to the unemployed I don't believe they have much in place to handle this. And America tends to be against social programs as a whole. So I think bringing big business is the easiest solution. Subsidizing businesses to come there would be a good idea, as would government funded rebuilding contracts the utilize residents and allow them to get a trades programs at the same time. I suppose having the closer housing would increase the number of establishments in the area creating more jobs. But these would also probably be bottom of the barrel jobs.


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