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URBAN DESIGN

UPDATE

Newsletter of the Institute for Urban Design September/October 2005 Vol. 21 No. 5

PATAKI LEADERSHIP FAILURE AT GROUND ZERO ECHOES IN BATON ROUGE, NEW ORLEANS BY BUSH / FEMA FUMBLE Among Fellows closest to Gulf Coast catastrophe has been University of Texas at Austin Dean Frederick Steiner who enrolled nine Tulane University students on emergency basis at Austin. Austin has also provided an academic base for three Tulane professors and has extended a continuing offer to Dean Reed Kroloff at Tulane for further assistance as needed. Biloxi

Biloxi, Mississippi is focus of a study by Michael Sorkin and the Urban Program at City University of New York. The group is working, at the invitation of Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel to modify city plan in response to damage done by Hurricane Katrina. Andreas Duany is also advising the city as part of a Congress for the New Urbanism Charette. Hargreaves Associates will do a new waterfront plan for Baton Rouge, reports Glenn Allen. And Ove Arup is working in several Gulf Coast sites.

Baton Rouge

It has been said that the Gulf Coast area devastated by Hurricane Katrina is the size of England. If so, how could FEMA and/or the White House respond appropriately? George Bush may return in November for more photo opportunities with Habitat for Humanity and other self-help group. But a congressional bill for $1 billion in aid to Gulf Coast disaster struck sites will be provided as loans rather than grants. And Senator Ted Kennedy’s proposal for a Gulf Coast Recovery and Disaster Preparedness Agency that would coordinate Federal funds to the region has little change of passing. This means that help to cities in region from outside urban designers is unlikely to have much impact. On the other hand, Baton Rouge, whose population has doubled, Biloxi, which is rebuilding, and New Orleans, whose mayor has formed a citizen committee, will remain urban design case studies for years to come on how to respond on a regional scale to natural disasters. A hint of what urban designers can anticipate in re-planning New Orleans may be glimpsed in the looking glass of Ground Zero. Here Governor George Pataki moved quickly to create a new Lower Manhattan Development Corporation into which an anticipated $21 billion in federal funds could be funneled. When, in early October, the Governor withdrew plans for the Freedom Center, by Fellow Craig Dykers’ Snøhetta Group, he killed the most promising design element in the Ground Zero plan. Governor Pataki’s decision to, in effect, substitute retail shopping space for The Freedom Museum is the template for public leadership failure that one can continue to expect to see from President Bush through the remainder of 2005. The good news is that urban design is emerging in new education programs across North America. At the same computer aided design holds perhaps the best key to urban design on a regional scale. The Emergent Design Group, founded in 1997 at MIT develops simulations based on modeling theory and intelligent systems. A master plan for Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, with Frank Gehry and Alvaro Siza suggests successful acceptance of their work.

Institute for Urban Design - Urban Design Update Sept./Oct. 2005  

Pataki Leadership Failure At Ground Zero Echoes in Baton Rouge, New Orleans By Bush / FEMA Fumble

Institute for Urban Design - Urban Design Update Sept./Oct. 2005  

Pataki Leadership Failure At Ground Zero Echoes in Baton Rouge, New Orleans By Bush / FEMA Fumble

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