Planner Defines a New Vision of New Orleans

Bruce Katz
Bruce Katz Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab - Drexel University

September 14, 2005

The untold story is that the Federal Government, for 40 years, created this hyper concentration of poverty in inner city New Orleans through the concentration of subsidized housing in many of the neighborhoods that were most affected by the flood. The places that were hardest hit were federal enclaves essentially. And the Federal Government going forward really has to rethink the principals of rebuilding so that we don’t replicate the mistakes of the past.

One out of five, poor families lived in neighborhoods of extreme poverty—poverty rates of 40 percent or more in the neighborhood. One out of three poor blacks lived in those kind of neighborhoods. And what we know of neighborhoods of extreme poverty is that schools don’t function, businesses don’t invest, and there is an absence of jobs and employment opportunities.

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