A new Brookings Instiitution report says that on theÂ eve of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, “greater New Orleans isÂ rebounding and, in some ways, doing so better than before” though “key economic, social, and environmental trends in the New Orleans metro areaÂ remain troubling.”
The fascinating study notes that the recovery effort — “in the last five years, hundredsÂ of citizens, government leaders, business and civic leaders, nonprofits, and philanthropiesÂ have been tirelessly working together” — is becoming a case study of regional community resilience.
The report. â€œAn Overview of Greater New Orleans: From RecoveryÂ to Transformation,â€ was written by Amy Liu and Allison Plyer. It is part of a joint project of Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program and the Â Greater NewOrleans Community Data Center called the New Orleans Index at Five.
In the introduction, the authors write:
It has been often said that New Orleanians are resilient.Â They have to be after being dealt three crises in five yearsâ€”Hurricane Katrina and theÂ levee breaches, the Great Recession, and now the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.Â To be resilient is to be able to recover from a major stress or shock. But New OrleaniansÂ have issued a more laudable challenge for themselves after Hurricane Katrina: TheyÂ must not only bounce back, but do so better than before.
Yet, as the nation witnesses another disaster unfolding in the Gulf Coast region on theÂ eve of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, some have questioned whether NewÂ Orleans can rebound at all.Â The answer is yes. The city and metro area have been recovering from Katrina and, inÂ fact, may even be on the path to transformation.
National attention on the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has overshadowed the moreÂ mundane but herculean task of reinventing New Orleans. In the last five years, hundredsÂ of citizens, government leaders, business and civic leaders, nonprofits, and philanthropiesÂ have been tirelessly working together to ensure that the city they love emerges from theÂ 2005 hurricanes with all of the cityâ€™s assets preserved but its flaws corrected.
The report’s research found:
â€¢ Despite sustaining three â€œshocksâ€ in the last five years [Katrina, recession and oil spill], greater New Orleans isÂ rebounding and, in some ways, doing so better than before.
â€¢ Further, greater New Orleans has become more â€œresilient,â€ with increased civicÂ capacity and new systemic reforms, better positioning the metro area to adapt andÂ transform its future.
â€¢ Yet, key economic, social, and environmental trends in the New Orleans metro areaÂ remain troubling, testing the regionâ€™s path to prosperity.
The report (as well as the related work in the Index project) has some really interesting research and analysis on New Orleans recovery thus far and the road ahead. It notes that the community has used the post-Katrina period to make major reforms in its public schools, health care delivery, criminal justice system and neighborhood development efforts, though obviously there is a long way to go. The full study can be found here.
Thanks to the Recovery Diva, Claire Rubin, for posting this on herÂ blog.