development

Angela Chalk lives right in the middle of New Orleans, in the 7th Ward. Her house withstood Hurricane Katrina's pounding winds, but not the flood that followed when the federal levee system failed.

"I had 6 feet of water," she says, pointing to a watermark on her wall.

And she wasn't alone. About 80 percent of the city's homes were inundated with floodwater. It was weeks before the water receded and Chalk was able to return home.

When she did, what she found was a crusty brown mess.

Jesse Hardman

This coming week in New Orleans will be packed with press conferences and commemorations as the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s nears. The Lower 9th Ward, considered one of the city's most devastated neighborhoods a decade ago, is seeing more visitors than usual, including city workers and business investors.

Jesse Hardman

Lots of people who visit New Orleans today are surprised to find the city in such good shape. The rebuilding effort has been long, arduous, and largely successful in most areas (with a few notable exceptions, like the Lower 9th Ward).

New Orleans would not be where it is today without the students, church groups, retirees, professional organizations and lone good souls who gave their time and energy to rebuilding. At least a million people, by one count, and likely many millions. Newcomers poured into the city after the storm, and many became new New Orleanians.

“We’ve been having bad snakes and all kinds of different things going on," says Deborah Rogers. She’s a Bronson Street resident who is a victim of blighted properties in her area.

Rogers says it bothers her to see neglected homes next to people who are taking care of theirs. She points to scattered debris along one side of an abandoned house. People have empty their trash on these lots, attracting unwanted guests to the neighborhood

Erin Krall / WWNO

Several proposals are being submitted to the state to revitalize the empty Charity Hospital in New Orleans. A nonprofit called “Healing Minds NOLA” is leading one effort to create a one-stop shop for mental health services.

Eileen Fleming / WWNO

The University Medical Center is getting ready to open in August. The news media was given a preview of how the billion-dollar hospital is taking shape.

Eve Abrams / WWNO

Friends of Lafitte Corridor seeks to revitalize the Lafitte Corridor by working to build, program and promote the Lafitte Greenway as a great public space.

“I brought my family along with me: my husband, my granddaughters. We come to have a good time,” says Ariska Everette, who’s sitting on a folding chair in front of a giant movie screen on the Lafitte Greenway. There’s a tub of popcorn in her lap. She’s waiting for the film Annie to start, but she says just being outside, in this space, feels great.

Matt Schwarz, Linda Pompa and Peter Ricchiuti.
It's New Orleans

When people talk about which parts of New Orleans are desirable, you often hear the phrase, "block by block." Meaning, in blighted parts of town there are bright spots. And in the nicer parts of town there are areas that are not so great.

Two parts of town that have been commercially block by block are the mostly empty lots around Loyola Avenue near the Superdome, and the largely abandoned Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.

Today, that’s all changing.

Jesse Hardman

As part of a Hurricane Katrina 10th anniversary initiative, Habitat for Humanity is putting up 10 new homes in New Orleans East. A few hundred volunteers are spending the next 10 days along America Street, putting up new single-family homes in lots that have sat vacant since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flooded this neighborhood. 

The New Orleans City Council just passed the first new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance in 40 years. One part of the ordinance, Article 23, mandates a more “green” approach to water in the city — specifically, all the extra water we get from heavy rain and storms.

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