An Ecosystem Vision for New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta: Applying Ecological Economics and Ecological Engineering

Robert Costanza, William Mitsch, John Day

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    The restoration of New Orleans and the rest of the Mississippi delta after hurricane Katrina can become another disaster waiting to happen, or it can become a model of sustainable development. Sea level is rising, precipitation patterns are changing, hurricane intensity is increasing, energy costs are predicted to increase dramatically, and the city is continuing to sink. Most of the city is currently from 0.6-5 m (2-15 feet) below sea level. In this context, the conventional approach of simply rebuilding the levees and the city behind them can only be a delaying action. But if New Orleans, and the delta in which it is located, can develop and pursue a new paradigm, it can be a truly unique, sustainable and desirable city, and an inspiration to people around the world. This paper discusses the underlying causes and implications of the Katrina disaster, basic goals for a sustainable redevelopment initiative, and seven principles necessary for a sustainable vision for the future of New Orleans and the Mississippi delta.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEcological Dimensions for Sustainable Socio Economic Development
    Editors A Yanez-Arancibia, R Davalos-Sotelo, J W Day and E Reyes
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherWIT Press
    Pages245-260
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9781845647568
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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