Social Justice During Disaster Relief An Architectural Inquiry into the Responsible and Rapid Resiliency of Relief Housing
Jonathan G Kirby
ÂŠ 2011 Jonathan G Kirby. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the author. The text of this book is set in ten-point Eurostile.
To the most resilient person I know, Marilyn Louise Kirby
Final Project Proposal
Site (Context) Research + Documentation
[Fig. 01] New Orleans Police and volunteers use boats to rescue residents from a flooded neighborhood on the east side of New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 31st, 2005. Hurricane Katrina left much of the city under water. Officials called for a mandatory evacuation of the city, but many residents remained in the city and had to be rescued from flooded homes and hotels. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Dr. Joseph Bilello, FAIA: Joseph Bilello, Ph.D., FAIA is a Professor of Architecture and former Dean at Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning. Bilello holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Master of Architecture from Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Agency FB University in Saudi Arabia.
for excellence in teaching. He has been a registered architect in New Mexico, California, and Maryland.
He was formerly Associate Dean for Research at Texas Tech and the AIA Director of Education. He has served on the Boards of Directors for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Architectural Research Centers Consortium, The AIA/ACSA/ ARCC Initiative for Architectural Research, Minnetrista Cultural Center, and directed the Rural Assistance Initiative of Texas Tech University and Health Sciences Center. His research on sustainability, building performance, community development and architectural education has been published and presented internationally. His architecturally based paintings and mixed media works have been exhibited nationally. Among his awards are the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Creative Achievement Award, Distinguished Alumnus Award at Washington University School of Architecture, Graham Foundation Grants, AIA San Francisco design award, Distinguished Researcher Award from Texas Tech, and Phi Kappa Phi induction
Dr. Karen Keddy: Since joining the architecture faculty at Ball State University in 2006, Dr. Karen Keddy has developed the cultural and social issues courses in both the undergraduate and the graduate programs. These courses highlight social justice issues, citizenship and worldviews, universal design, environment-behavior studies, marginalized users, social aspects of visual culture, methods of social analysis, evidence-based design and research methods. She has also taught the foundation year Design Studio, and the Architectural Research Methods in the graduate program. She received her PhD in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a minor in Critical Pedagogy, where she also received a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies. She has taught several Women’s Studies courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. Among these courses were Feminist Social and Political Theory and Gender in the Built Environment. She has worked on high-end retail and residential interior spaces in small architectural firms both in New York City and Vancouver, B.C. She is a mixed-media artist [painting, collage, photography, assemblage, and fiber arts]. Most recently, she had
two photographs in a juried photo exhibit at the IAPS conference in Leipzig, Germany. She has designed and sold jewelry in shops and galleries across Canada, including the National Art Gallery of Canada gift shop gallery when she was a ‘selected’ jewelry artist for the year. She has entered several memorial competitions and received special mention for her design proposal for the Women’s Monument Competition in Vancouver, B.C. Prior to obtaining her Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies degree, she practiced as a registered nurse for eleven years in oncology, neurosurgery, hemodialysis, and renal transplantation. She has lectured nationally and internationally on visual research methods, pedagogical strategies, and her research on nursing workplaces. She has received several awards, fellowships, and grants for her research, including one by the Nova Scotia Government Department of Culture and Heritage for her current interpretive-historic research on the post-disaster transformation of Halifax’s public buildings into medical facilities after the 1917 Halifax Explosion. She has been a M.Arch thesis advisor for design projects focused on collaborative learning, a children’s burn center, a memorial for victims of leukemia, hospital patient room design, participatory design, feminist housing design, architecture of the senses, and urban community gardening.
Michele Chiuini: Michele Chiuini obtained his first degree in structural engineering at the Politecnico of Milan in 1973. In order to pursue his interests in architectural design methods, he studied at the Faculty of Architecture, Sheffield University, England, where he obtained an MA with Distinction. In 1977, he became Lecturer in Architecture at Nottingham University, teaching Design Theory and Architectural Design. He opened the Archilab office in Nottingham with David Nicholson-Cole, RIBA, and then an office in Italy where he returned to practice in 1981. In 1989, he was invited to Ball State University, USA, to teach Structural Design and Architectural Design. His research interests have included building technologies for housing and digital communication methods as Senior Research Associate del Housing Futures Institute. He also published Structural Design with Wiley in 1998. During the last ten years, his research has focused on the use of digital media for the analysis and documentation of archaeological and historic structures. In this field he has co-edited the proceedings of the international conference on Digital Media Applications to Cultural Heritage, Amman, 2008. He is currently engaged on a research on Santa Maria Antiqua in the Roman Forum and on the digital reconstruction of the Chicago Stock Exchange.
[Fig. 02] Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina flow through the Idustrial Canal levee into New Orleansâ€™ Lower Ninth Ward on August 30th, 2005. Extensive damage left the Lower Ninth Ward in water up to twelve feet in some areas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
I originally gained interest in the idea of disaster relief in the spring of 2011 while enrolled in ARCH 503: Research Methods at Ball State University. As a class, we covered multiple natural disasters and their impacts on highly-capitalized buildings. It was when a fellow student conducted a case study on schools affected during the Haitian earthquake of 2010 that the concept of “highlycapitalized” buildings came under intense scrutiny. In our society, deeming a building as “highly-capitalized” is reserved for overly financed skyscrapers, sporting venues, and revenuegenerating complexes. In a statement that classified the Haitian schools as lacking a serious level of capitalization, one very strong Haitian world view was omitted. For Haitian people, the amount of value instilled on the school systems can easily rival the financial capitalism that more-developed nations associate with the aforementioned grouping of buildings. For Haitians, education is a means of getting out of current living conditions—severe inequality, corrupt governance, poor planning, and environmental degradation—and providing a future that can better living conditions for fellow citizens. To classify Haitian school buildings as severely lacking capital is to neglect the cultural and social values in place in the society and to display some degree of ignorance towards unfamiliar world views.
For similar reasons, the amount of capital that individual families invest in their homes and property cannot be ignored either. Following a disaster, people’s livelihoods are at stake and they are entitled to the opportunity to recover from catastrophic events in a manner held in similar regards to the recovery process of more publicly-visible efforts. In addition, I became interested in the relief work being conducted in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward during a field-trip week as part of a studio course in the Architecture Department during the fall of 2008. At the time, I was unaware of all of the lesstransparent aspects. However, with several classes dealing with social and cultural issues in architecture, I soon began questioning the work being conducted in terms of social justice. Why were people not returning to their homes? Why were people forced to travel across state lines to be “stored” on cots in the middle of the playing surface of sporting venues? Combining all of these issues, I arrived at a topic in which I felt not only comfortable approaching but in which I felt a sense of obligation. Too many design studios in architecture school involve designing a “highly-capitalized” building on a flat, pristine site. Very rarely do professors provide a program in which students must take into account the social and cultural issues of a community and strive to meet needs that are not clearly visible and require an effort to understand hidden tensions. Unfortunately, it requires a | xvi
student-driven course for an opportunity to approach real-world issues that go unrecognized every day in a profession that has failed to connect with ninety-eight percent of the world’s population. While I would like to continue to work in this area after I graduate, I would like even more the idea that this issue be resolved to a level currently not present. Unfortunately, I have very little optimism towards that occurring, so I will continue my efforts in bringing attention to this issue. I hope that through my work with this study and its availability within the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University, students currently in their undergraduate studies will begin to question some of the highprofile design projects and, instead, request programs that deal with social justice to not only under-served communities in thirdworld countries, but all of humanity who are currently dealt with some degree of social injustice. Maybe as a soon-to-be graduate of a Masters of Architecture program, my hopes and dreams are far-fetched. Maybe I’m expecting too much to come out of one graduate student’s final project that is surrounded by an additional twenty students with the same aspirations. However, I know if it affects one person in a way that sparks an interest that begins a process of asking questions, I will feel that it has served its purpose. I wish when I was working late hours on the fifth and sixth floors of the Architecture Building with no windows and little outside contact, I would have xvii |
had the fortitude to question the responsibility of current and emerging architects. Maybe this project will serve that purpose for a current student, and for that maybe, I’m still holding out.
[Fig. 03] Beverly Evans, a resident of the Lower Ninth Ward, rides through the neighborhood for the first time following Hurricane Katrina. The city provided Lower Ninth Ward residents with the opportunity to take bus tours through the neighborhood for a brief look. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukart)
Abstract With the ever increasing occurrences of natural disturbances capable of producing catastrophic damages to coastal areas, it is imperative to review the methods in which disaster relief housing is provided in terms of social justice. In an instance saturated with capitalism and hidden agendas, it is critical to understand how disaster responses affect indigenous people through the extensive issue of displacement--being forced or obliged to leave a specific place of habitual residence. Too often, the opportunities that a disaster generates from the viewpoint of a politician, a foreign developer, or even a business person can be so enticing that the fundamental and ethical needs of the victims are overshadowed. Durations of displacement vary from event to event and the injustice endured by the victims falls within a spectrum of social justice that is not just black and white. Utilizing case studies of organizations who have provided relief housing in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina include the Tulane City Center, Common Ground Relief, Make It Right, and Jericho Road. These studies provide an insight into how the issue of displacement has been handled and what issues of social justice were encountered during the relief efforts. Furthermore, a site visit to New Orleans provided opportunities to conduct interviews and participatory observation with the aforementioned organizations while volunteering with Common Ground Relief in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward.
By understanding the cultural and social issues that exist in a specific site, a design can combat the basic world view within western civilization as exhibited in the current relief responses. No longer can a “universally-applicable” design be accepted as a means to serve all people. This project initiates a discussion of how detrimental such a basic belief, that of the legitimacy of imposing living “standards” on vulnerable people, is to a socially just solution and provides a new world view, one that promotes the fundamental and ethical needs of the victims of catastrophic disasters.
Mahesh Daas [Chairperson of the Department of Architecture]
___________________________________________________________________ Karen Keddy [Major Advisor]
___________________________________________________________________ Joshua Coggeshall [Director of the Architecture Graduate Program]
Joseph Bilello [Minor Advisor]
[Fig. 04] Flood victims are seen among their belongings and trash by the Superdome in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina September 3rd, 2005, in New Orleans, LA. (AP Photo/Ron Haviv/VII)
Project Description This study uncovered the extent to which social injustice is embedded in the humanitarian aid of relief housing in coastal areas following catastrophic damages from a disaster. More specifically, this study dealt with the relief housing that was provided in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to the residents of New Orleansâ€™ Lower Ninth Ward. There have been many humanitarian aid efforts across the globe in the past and the frequency is increasing exponentially. Several of such efforts from around the world were utilized as precedent studies to better understand how different organizations and architectural firms have dealt with similar issues following catastrophic damages from a disaster. In the same manner, a group of organizations actively involved in relief efforts in New Orleans were utilized as case studies to better understand how such organizations have handled issues specific to the conditions present in New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward following Hurricane Katrina and the period after the levees broke. During this period of time in New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward, issues pertaining to social justice including fairness, quality, dignity and respect became apparent.
approach was debunked. No longer can such a design approach be considered deployable or even ethical. Instead, a site-specific approach must be formulated from the initial design phase to ensure that the cultural and social issues of a victimized community are taken into consideration. With so many organizations involved in providing humanitarian aid at multiple scales, the methods in which aid is provided is incalculable. The need for a unified collaboration is evident to ensure social justice for all victims of disasters, both natural and man-made. One approach to providing responsible relief housing is to ensure that the seven universal design principles are integrated into the design phase of both temporary and permanent housing. These seven universal design principles would fortify the chances of relief housing providing equitable and intuitive use for all users while maintaining low physical effort. This approach would increase the probability that temporary housing could transition to permanent housing because needs of all users would be met in the design.
By reviewing the relief responses provided after a series of catastrophic events during the last decade, the belief that humanitarian aid can be supplied to communities suffering from recent disasters under a â€œuniversally-applicableâ€? design | 006
Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to develop an architecturally responsible and rapid response to catastrophic events in coastal areas in which the housing stock is damaged or destroyed. By uncovering world views harbored by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in disaster relief housing efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, the need for an improved and responsible approach was evident. World views were evident through the organizationâ€™s mission statements and through an analysis of the work already constructed. Furthermore, world views were apparent through personal communications and interviews in response to a series of pre-scripted questions. By understanding the cultural and social issues of a specific neighborhood, New Orleansâ€™ Lower Ninth Ward, a retroactive site analysis was conducted that takes into account the social setting of the residents. By understanding the underlying climactic conditions and values of residents within a specific site, a design that is responsive to specific conditions was brought to fruition that meets the fundamental and ethical needs of a population suffering from a disaster crisis. By developing a mass-producable core that can be delivered to a site following a disaster, initial shelter can be provided to residents who remain in the area and can provide support to bring displaced residents home. The core has all necessary amenities to provide temporary shelter to the victims of a disaster. Following an initial 007 |
period of response to the disaster, a family could then begin rebuilding their home around the core in a manner that serves their personalized needs. The core is intended to be industrial in design and engineering in order to provide a reliable shelter that can later be incorporated into a permanent residence. In order for the design to be considered successful, it must meet all temporary demands while being sophisticated and durable enough to endure the test of time. Too often, temporary relief shelters and homes are abandoned for more suitable dwellings. This process is both detrimental to the victims of catastrophic damages as well as the environment in which it is placed.
Questions Addressed This study will draw connections between two topics that are rarely intertwined, social justice and architecture. Disaster relief housing provides the greatest opportunity for the architecture community to become involved in social justice around the world. This study is designed to focus on relief housing efforts in coastal areas that must respond to issues of flooding and wind damage. In addition, issues of site-elevation must be taken into consideration to respond to the potential of future flooding. Furthermore, it is intended to reveal the world views of organizations working on relief efforts and how those world views affect the citizenship of the victims of catastrophic events. This study addresses the following questions as they relate to New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward:
☑☑ How do natural disturbances that cause catastrophic damages reveal issues of social justice into the public sphere? ☑☑ What are the roles of architects after disasters? ☑☑ What are the roles of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)? ☑☑ What are the world views of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) currently working in disaster relief housing efforts? ☑☑ What is the role of communities affected by disasters and how can those roles be respected? ☑☑ How do the victim’s concept of citizenship change throughout the occurrence of a catastrophic disaster? ☑☑ How are issues of social justice brought into the public sphere following catastrophic disasters? ☑☑ How can we improve post-disaster housing relief efforts?
Significance of the Problem It was imperative for this study to make explicit the inherent connections between social justice and architecture. In an interview for Architectural Record with Naomi R. Pollock, AIA (2008), world-renowned architect Shigeru Ban, known for his humanitarian efforts in developing countries, stated: “When I came back to Japan after studying in the U.S., I realized that architects are not respected in Japan, and I wondered why. One of the reasons is that the profession has a very short history in Japan. Another is that many people think architects drive up costs and create unusual buildings to call attention to themselves. Historically, architects worked for privileged people, such as kings and religious groups; it is the same today when big corporations and government entities use architecture to make their power and money visible. Some medical doctors and lawyers work for the money while others engage in pro bono, humanitarian activities—yet architects rarely take on this kind of work. So I thought it was really important for us to do something for society, not just to build monuments or help developers make money” (What inspired you to take on relief? para. 1). Unfortunately, too few architectural firms are involved with humanitarian aid, leaving design efforts up to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This lack of involvement from the architecture 009 |
community only solidifies society’s world view towards architects stated in Shigeru Ban’s interview. Instead, current and emerging architects should be striving to eradicate this world view and, in its place, construct one in which conscientious care is taken to infuse serious investment in the future of the architecture field. Larry Minear (2002), Director of the Humanitarianism and War Project at Feinstein International Famine Center stated, “The distinctive features of the edifice of the future include more clear-cut authority for coordination, a more apolitical nexus for humanitarian action in conflict settings, greater consistency in responses to humanitarian emergencies wherever they occur, more effective management of the heterogeneity of the humanitarian family, reduced externality in humanitarian activities, and more synergistic relief and rights work” (p. 122-123). All of these features presented by Larry Minear could benefit from the inclusion of an architect into humanitarian efforts in which housing stock is either damaged or destroyed. With the inclusion of the architecture profession into relief housing efforts, designing temporary shelter that can easily transition into permanent housing is a possibility.
[Fig. 05] Thousands of displaced residents from New Orleans took cover from Hurricane Katrina in the Superdome, a last-resort shelter at midnight on Sunday, August 28th, 2005. Many residents did not have the meas to leave the city following the mandatory evacuation announcement. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Types of Disasters and Resilience In the past decade, the occurrences of disasters capable of producing mass devastation have increased exponentially. These disasters vary in type and methods to ensure resiliency in design depend on the conditions present during the disasters. According to C. Perrow (2007), “The most persistent devastation has been from meteorological disasters associated with water: floods, hurricanes, rain, and wind. The association with water is understandable. Great rivers and coasts have the most temperate climates, the fisheries, and the transportation. It is futile to intone, as one scientist does, ‘do not keep the water from the people, but the people from the water.’ We keep the water away with human constructions, such as dams and dikes and levees, and when these fail there is disaster” (p. 15). M. de Villiers (2008) adds to this position by stating, “Floods are one of the natural phenomena most easily grasped. This is because while they can and do happen on a catastrophic scale, they are also quotidian events, easily seen and often experienced, and happen as readily in tiny creeks as in huge rivers… Flooding has been the most life-destroying of all natural calamities” (p. 189). A strong association with disasters revolving around hydrology exists that brings this type of disaster to the forefront. At the time of the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26th, 2004, thirty-nine percent of the world’s population lived near coastlines. When a coastal region is directly affected by a natural disaster, there are also indirect impacts on those in non-coastal areas.
A reduction in production and shipping of resources impacts all regions (Del Moral & Lawrence, 2007, p. 3). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s figures are slightly higher. “While coastal counties, as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), make up only 17 percent of the nation’s land area, they are home to more than 50 percent of its population; thus some of the highest urban densities are found in coastal areas” (Beatley, 2009, p. 14-15). According to T. Beatley (2009), “The Atlantic and Gulf coasts are subject to intense and damaging storm activity, including hurricanes and tropical storms, as well as nor’easters. Since 1995, the United States has experienced a period of increased frequency and intensity of tropical storms (about fourteen per year compared with an average of ten per year between 1850 and 1990)” (p. 17). R. Del Moral and W.R. Lawrence (2007) declared that “Occasionally natural disturbances were so violent that many species became extinct. Today, the rules have changed; humans have profoundly altered the balance of destruction and recovery, by intensifying natural disturbances and creating many novel ones, without an equal emphasis on recovery” (p. 1). Furthermore, they have stated that “…our collective ‘ecological footprint’ magnifies the effects of natural disturbances on humans. Tsunamis and hurricanes are more devastating where protective coral reefs and mangrove swamps have been destroyed” (p. 2). “Recently, the hurricane | 012
season has lengthened and hurricanes have become more intense, due to widespread warming of tropical oceans. As humans expand into sensitive coastal habitats, natural protective barriers including swamps, dunes and estuaries are being destroyed. Homes continue to be built on marginal land such as coastal bluffs and cliffs or on steep hillsides, resulting in more damage to property and greater loss of human lives. Most dramatically, sea levels are rising, leading to widespread flooding and potential losses of entire nations” (Del Moral & Lawrence, 2007, p. 24-25). In order to reduce the vulnerability of communities, there have been numerous studies dealing with resiliency. “C.S. Holling’s work on ecological resilience, beginning in the early 1970s, is often identified as the beginning point of discussions about resilience and its application to natural and social systems. Holling speaks of the resilience of ecosystems as ‘the capacity of a system to absorb and utilize or even benefit from perturbations and changes that attain it, and so persist without a qualitative change in the system’s structure” (Beatley, 2009, p. 3). According to C. Perrow (2007), “Disasters expose our social structure and culture more sharply than other important events. They reveal starkly the failure of organizations, regulations, and the political system. But we regard disasters as exceptional events, and after a disaster we shore up our defenses and try to improve our responses while leaving the target in place… disasters are not exceptional but a normal part of our existence. To reduce their 013 |
[Fig. 06] A Family Rescued from Their Roof
damage will require probing our social structure and culture to see how these promote our vulnerabilities” (p. 3). In his work regarding the vulnerability inherent in cities, M. Pelling (2003) declared, “Immediately after the disaster is a short emergency phase, followed by progressively longer periods concerned with restoring basic services and physical, social, economic and psychological reconstruction. Reconstruction should dovetail into the next round of mitigation and preparedness work as systems learn from the event by adapting to reduce the likelihood of future events” (p. 13). In addition, M. Pelling stated that in order to reduce vulnerabilities, a system must contain resilience: “the capacity to adjust to threats and mitigate or avoid harm. Resilience can be
found in hazard-resistant buildings or adaptive social systems” (p. 5). T. Beatley embarked on this idea in Planning for Coastal Resilience: Best Practices for Calamitous Times (2009) by stating that “The resilience of a community can be viewed in terms of the resilience of its physical and built environments—the ability of a coastal community’s homes and buildings and built infrastructure to withstand and adapt to natural forces and changing circumstances—and also in terms of the resilience of ecosystems and the natural environment… A community’s resilience can also be understood as a function of its social systems and networks and its levels of social and community support” (p. 10). Furthermore, “[Resilient] cities would be capable of withstanding severe shock without either immediate chaos or permanent harm. Designed in advance to anticipate, weather, and recover from the impacts of natural or terrorist hazards, resilient cities would be built on principles derived from past experience with disasters in urban areas. While they might bend from hazard forces, they would not break. Composed of networked social communities and lifeline systems, resilient cities would become stronger by adapting to and learning from disasters” (Beatley, 2009, p. 4). “In 1978 the National Research Council argued that an effective disaster planning process must have a “social as well as technical dimension” wherein learning takes place through the “sharing of experience and knowledge among participants” (Kartez & Lindell, 1990, p. 8). T. Beatley (2009) also addressed this issue of social
variables integrated into the vulnerability of cities. “Vulnerability is also a function of social and community variables. ‘Social vulnerability varies over space and time,’ and will depend on an interaction of social, economic, and biophysical factors. Indicators of social vulnerability include age, income and poverty, housing stock, race, and the presence or absence of social networks and social support structures that could help in the event of a disaster” (p. 22). Management systems have been established in recent history to create methods to respond to disasters. J. Kartez & M. Lindell (1990) declared, “Different critics have attributed failures to different factors, including: (1) lack of relevant experience with disaster response; (2) a failure to learn from experience; (3) a lack of commitment to carrying out a disaster planning program; and (4) doing the wrong kind of planning” (p. 3). Developed by the Department of Homeland Security in 2004, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a means to standardize incident management and response, including disasters. These standardizations deal with processes and procedures, planning and training, personnel training, and communications among others (Gallant, 2008, p. 29-31). C. Carter (1984), in creating procedures and guidelines for preparation and response to disasters, declared, “All communities and villages have vitally important assets when it comes to dealing with disaster. These include local knowledge and experience plus a local structure | 014
capable of mobilizing and utilizing that knowledge and experience. Clearly, these assets need to be organized and utilized to optimum effect” (p. 127). He supplements that argument by stating that in order to generate self-reliance within a community, it is essential for the people to be educated on the potential outcomes of a disaster, the best actions to take, how to assist fellow community members, how to assist in the communication and warning process, and how to improvise a shelter until assistance arrives (p. 138). In responding to a disaster, there is a great deal of communication required to ensure success. In their study of adaptive planning, J. Kartez & M. Lindell (1990) stated, “Emergency managers also must recognize the problems that emerge in dealing with other response organizations. Under disaster conditions, some organizations attempt to protect their autonomy by acting unilaterally. However, a coordinated response by the community as a whole may require that each emergency organization voluntarily surrender a significant degree of the autonomy that it exercises over the functions that it performs. When disaster impacts are severe and the time pressure to respond is intense, situational demands may necessitate a degree of coordination typically achieved only by a means of a centralized authority system“ (p. 6-7). C. Carter claimed that an important component of this communication involves the community. “Arrangements for promoting and maintaining public awareness and education at the 015 |
[Fig. 07] Flooded Streets of the French Quarter
community or village level obviously need to be coordinated with policies and programs emanating from senior government levels” (1990, p. 135). Disasters of all types and specifically those dealing with hydrology, have lasting impacts at multiple scales. However, the most critical scale to ensure resiliency is at the community level. Communication becomes entangled in a web of policies at larger scales, prohibiting the effectiveness of resiliency in recovery.
Displacement Displacement is an issue that can either occur internally or externally and is the result of several forms of conflict. “According to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights implies the ‘basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled,’ often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law… Human rights and social justice imply the basic freedoms to live a healthy, prosperous life in a fair and just society” (Welch, 2008, p. 125). These human rights and social justice was placed in jeopardy when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005. In Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, E. Dyson (2006) recalled, “Governor Blanco said that President Bush had phoned her before the press conference began to express his concern about the storm’s impact and to urge Blanco and Nagin to order the evacuation. Ray Nagin, major of New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina, suggested that the 134,000 citizens who didn’t own cars should hitch rides with friends, family, neighbors, and church members. For those who couldn’t, the mayor suggested they make it to the Superdome as quickly as possible” (p. 59). S. Crowley (2006) stated, “The Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005, especially Hurricane Katrina that made landfall on August 29, precipitated a housing crisis of historic proportions. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed or severely damaged by the winds and storm surge of the hurricane itself or were ruined by the floods that breached the levees guarding the low-lying areas
of New Orleans” (p. 121). In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, 30,000 individuals were stranded at the Superdome and another 3,000 individuals were located at the convention center.All in all, there were approximately 80,000 people marooned in the city without nourishment or evacuation instructions (Dyson, 2006, p. 72). With such a late call for evacuation, reliable venues were not available for refuge for the fleeing residents. According to Dyson (2006), “The Superdome was clearly a place that state and city officials had not planned to stock with food and water. The supplies they had would only feed 15,000 people for three days, or, given the number of people gathered, enough to last a day and a half. Authorities viewed the Superdome as the ‘shelter of last resort,’ not a place where people would stay for any length of time. But Katrina’s fast and furious approach scuttled all plans” (p. 60). When plans finally involved removing people from the Superdome island, the disgruntled victims of Hurricane Katrina were eager to leave at the first chance. In a first person account in his article New Orleans’ Culture of Resistance, J. Flaherty (2008) recalled, “When a bus would come through, it would stop at a different spot every time, state police would open a gap in one of the barricades, and people would rush for the bus, with no information given about where the bus was going. Once inside, evacuees would find out where the bus was taking them; Baton Rouge, Houston, Arkansas, Dallas, or some other location... I was told that if you boarded a bus bound for Little Rock, for example, even people with family and a place to stay in Baton Rouge would not be allowed to get out | 016
of the bus as it passed through that much closer city. You had no choice but to go to the shelter in Arkansas. If you had people willing to come to New Orleans to pick you up, they could not come within seventeen miles of the camp” (p. 36). The basic rights and freedoms spelled out by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights were nonexistent in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. According to L. Bates and R. Green in their article titled Housing Recovery in the Ninth Ward: Disparities in Policy, Process and Prospects (2009), “The wide geographic extent of Katrina’s damage, along with poor evacuation and sheltering plans, caused many black families to be evacuated to distant locations, rather than finding temporary housing with nearby friends and family. The great distance from former homes made it more difficult to join in recovery planning processes, to assess damage to owned properties, and to resume regular employment. The catastrophic nature of the disaster exacerbated the problems expected for African Americans and created new issues, slowing their rehousing [sic] process” (p. 231). The mass exodus from the city of New Orleans resulted in an unprecedented scene. “In the fall of 2005, New Orleans was a ghost of a city. Out of an estimated population of 455,000 residents, 353,000 had been displaced by flooding” (Dishansky & Johnson, 2010, p. 39). As previously mentioned, many victims of Hurricane Katrina were loaded onto busses and sent to surrounding major cities. According to T. Beatley (2009), “Following 017 |
Hurricane Katrina, much of the city’s population relocated to other cities, and New Orleans’ current population is still less than half what it was pre-Katrina. Many demographers and economists are not surprised; they believe the social ills of New Orleans—very high levels of unemployment and poverty, a high crime rate, and what one recent observer described as a ‘basket case’ economy— suggest the merits of a post-storm population readjustment. These pre-storm conditions, moreover, illustrate the high degree of social vulnerability that existed in this coastal city” (p. 141). The issue of displacement did not simply end as soon as the storm left the city. “The post-hurricane housing circumstances of many of the displaced people constitute a second disaster. The federal government has been roundly criticized for its failure to assure decent emergency shelter to carry out federal law requiring that all people in the United States who are displaced by natural disaster be assured safe and affordable temporary housing and assistance to regain long-term housing stability. This failure has compounded the hardship, confusion, and trauma of the people most in need of assistance” (Crowley, 2006, p. 126). The effort in choosing where to rebuild left a portion of the population feeling undesired and underrepresented in their attempts to return home. “Following the November ULI visit, the public debate was redirected, and there was widespread public concern about the city’s ‘footprint,’ ‘shrinkage,’ mass buyouts, and the forced abandonment of parts of the city” (Dishansky &
Johnson, 2010, p. 44). According to S. Crowley (2006), “Along the way, tensions erupted over which neighborhoods would or would not be allowed to rebuild. A report by the Urban Land Institute recommended the notorious shrinking of the footprint with a buyout of property owners in lower-lying areas” (p. 151). Large groups of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were left without voices in the recovery efforts. Members in the community and in organizations began standing for those displaced victims. In their book regarding the planning process for rebuilding New Orleans, R. Dishansky and L. Johnson (2010) noted, “Wade Rathke, chief organizer of ACORN, said, ‘The arrogance of the ULI’s recommendations is breathtaking. People like Canizaro, the ULI and the commission itself are unelected and unaccountable. They rejected the idea that home owners and citizens should have a voice and instead wanted decisions to be made in bulk at the community level, rather than individually… The ‘whitewashers’ and ULI promoters have argued with the support of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, for bad medicine to be swallowed and neighborhoods written off, particularly in the hardest hit lower-income areas where ACORN members have lived forever… We realize that without resources or leadership or any kind of plan that gives the majority of residents input and the means to move forward, the developers’ bulldozers will win. Our members and hundreds of thousands of people like them will be stuck in the New Orleans Diaspora, homeless and unable to return’” (p. 56). Finally, the voices of the displaced victims were beginning to be heard regarding the rebuilding
efforts. “December was a time of public discussion, albeit often disconnected, chaotic, and unevenly documented. [The American Planning Association] assisted in some of the conversations and helped [the Urban Land Institute] organize ‘town hall’ meetings for displaced new Orleanians in Memphis, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston and Baton Rouge on December 4-10. Several hundred people attended these meetings, and many were frustrated by the lack of news and information about when they might be able to return home and the services available to them” (Dishansky & Johnson, 2010, p. 45). In order to allow displaced victims the opportunity to return, some form of temporary housing had to be established. According to T. Beatley (2009), “Much of the discussion on rebuilding [had] centered around the question of how to provide adequate (and other short term) housing for those who have been displaced. The emergence of Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) trailer-villes [had] been a disturbing development and [had] led some to search for alternatives to putting families in such trailers for long periods of time” (p. 137). These were often viewed as means to keep people from wanting to return and eventually forfeit their land. At a committee meeting, the resentment from the community towards Bring New Orleans Back committee was evident in one resident’s statement. “New Orleans resident Harvey Bender expressed a common sentiment toward the BNOB chair when he said, ‘Mr. Joe Canizaro, I don’t know you, but I hate you. You’ve been in the background trying to scheme to get our land.’ Furthermore, Jimmy Reiss—who had | 018
been quoted in September as saying the Diaspora created an opportunity to build a city with fewer poor people—was the chair of the BNOBC’s infrastructure committee. His presence did little to engender trust of the African-American community” (Dishansky & Johnson, 2010, p. 57). In order to ensure better treatment of internally displaced persons, three documents were designated as necessary. The first document would contain existing rules and norms. The second document would contain a code of conduct that laid out principles in the treatment of internally displaced persons. Finally, the third document would be a declaration for internally displaced persons that was as close as possible to a authoritative legal document. These measures could assist in preventing internal displacement (Deng, 1993, p. 138). Furthermore, “The challenge posed by internal displacement involves principles of humanitarianism and human rights so basic—physical protection, shelter, food, clothing, basic health care, and the integrity of the person and the family as the most fundamental social unit—that they do not represent political or ideological interests of individual countries or camps” (Deng, 1993, 134). D.V. Rosowsky (2011) claimed that “Along with critical facilities such as hospitals, law enforcement, and water treatment plants, e.g. and essential lifelines (telecommunications, electricity and gas, transportation), a region’s housing stock is essential to recovery. People need a place to live and they need to feel safe in their homes” (p. 139). It is the homes, the people 019 |
[Fig. 08] New Orleans Residents Boarding Busses
that are essential in the process to recovering from disasters. Unfortunately, as S. Crowley (2006) pointed out, “Many thousands of displaced people remain in a transitional state, not knowing when or if they can return to their homes or even to their communities. The people with the fewest resources are experiencing the greatest level of uncertainty” (p. 121). It is imperative for the basic rights and freedoms described by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be present when an event occurs causing displacement. These victims must have a voice in the recovery efforts and must not be severely displaced and stuck in diaspora.
Relief Housing In a catastrophic event where the housing stock is damaged, returning residents need a place to stay and begin the rebuilding efforts. This relief housing is provided in several different forms., each with their own strengths and weaknesses. As a result of Hurricane Katrina, 302,405 housing units were seriously damaged or destroyed. According to the 2000 Census, there was a total of 412, 844 housing units in the area. 79% of the housing stock that was lost in New Orleans was affordable to low-income households (Crowley, 2006, p. 124). In order to provide victims with some form of housing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency took action. “FEMA’s initial response after the disaster was its standard disaster response: to order trailers. Providing a displaced household with a rent-free trailer for up to 18 months as an alternative to rent assistance is authorized under Section 408. Early reports were that FEMA had ordered 300,000 travel trailers and mobile homes. The prospect of several hundred poor families segregated together in trailer camps removed from transportation, jobs, schools, health care, and shopping provoked a widespread outcry across the political spectrum” (Crowley, 2006, p. 129). As T. Beatley (2009) described, “Few would expect or advocate that large numbers of people remain living in trailers for long periods of time. Thus post-disaster housing—the difficulty in providing it and the need for better, more creative, and healthier options—has become a major lesson following Katrina” (p. 138). The reasoning for the lack of advocacy is that, as T. Crowley (2006) declared, “The unstable nature of the trailers is
part of the impetus for the push for ‘Katrina Cottages,’ modular units built on foundations that can become permanent homes and that reportedly can be produced for less than the cost of trailers. However, limited as the trailers are, as one evacuee living in a trailer [declared], ‘It is better than living in a tent’” (p. 130). According to D.V. Rosowsky (2011), “In order to reduce the vulnerability of communities built along hurricane-prone coastlines, the following four areas must see progress: 1.Development of durable, constructible, affordable components, connections, and systems (both site-built and manufactured). 2.Rapid inspection, evaluation, repair, and retrofit technologies for critical elements 3.Risk communication (products, tools, media, educational). 4.Public-private partnership models for community resiliency/ sustainability” (p. 144). Furthermore, hurricanes create an opportunity for communities to increase the resiliency of the housing stock. Rather than simply replacing the structures with duplicates, the newly-built structures must be able to better withstand future hurricanes. This will allow for the communities in future hurricanes to encounter a hurricane with better odds to return-to-normal more quickly (p. 140-141). As part of the risk communication, in mid-April, FEMA finally released | 020
new flood maps and construction guidelines for the city. Prior to this release, property owners were unsure of whether to rebuild or to relocate. As part of the guidelines, if a home was destroyed by more than 50%, it would have to be elevated by three feet to meet new standards (Crowley, 2006, p. 151). According to D.C. Rosowsky (2011), “When weak structures are actually culled from the building stock, this in effect reduces the vulnerability at the community level. With replacement structures, presumably stronger and more resilient, this has the effect of increasing the community resiliency. This concept of community (vs individual structure) resiliency is particularly important given the degree to which community infrastructure elements are inter-related and inter-dependent” (p. 140). According to T. Beatley (2006), “The quality and tenure of housing is perhaps an obvious determinant of vulnerability. Homes vary considerably in terms of their strength, design, and quality of construction. Mobile homes are typically more vulnerable because of their less substantial construction, their frequent lack of adequate anchoring, and their frequent siting in higherrisk locations… The tenure and ownership status is also relevant: renters, for instance, may have far fewer resources with which to rebound from a disaster event” (p. 23). Part of the issue with relief housing is that “During post-disaster reconstruction a complex range of challenges arise, among them, acutely, the pressure to build houses within the constraints of a disrupted 021 |
context as quickly as possible so that displaced disaster victims have homes again” (Ahmed, 2011, p. 151). However, in regards, T. Crowley (2006) stated, “Massive dislocation and loss have already happened and cannot be undone. But how Americans decide to ameliorate the suffering that the dislocation caused is a choice we can still make. A commitment to a national housing agenda that assures a sufficient supply of affordable housing for everyone in neighborhoods and communities of their choosing, including those of limited means, is a good place to start” (p. 156). An emerging approach to providing affordable, temporary housing that is meant to last is passive survivability. Alex Wilson of Environmental Building News defines passive survivability as the “ability of a building to maintain critical life-support conditions for its occupants if services such as power, heating fuel, or water are lost for an extended period.” Energy conservation measures, such as passive solar design, natural ventilation, and photovoltaic panels could supply electricity during periods of power outages (Beatley, 2009, p. 88).
Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans “More than anywhere else in the United States, New Orleans is a city where people live in one neighborhood their whole lives, and where generations live in the same community. All of this is to say that New Orleans is not just a tourist stop. New Orleans is a unique culture, one that is resilient, and with a history of community and resistance” (Flaherty, 2008, p. 34). According to C. Waterhouse (2009), in the years leading up to Hurricane Katrina, the Orleans Levee Board and the Army Corps were enmeshed in high-profile real estate management projects including local parks, marinas, an airport and a dock. This resulted in the two groups neglecting the issue of the levees themselves. Furthermore, the public safety and environmental protection responsibilities were neglected, increasing the vulnerability of residents in New Orleans, including the Lower Ninth Ward. Furthermore, the Army Corps of Engineers had planned to structure the New Orleans levees to withstand a Category 3 storm, despite expert predictions of a high-level storm for the area. The inadequate planning for a high-level storm resulted in placing New Orleans residents at an increased risk. (p. 165-173). C. Waterhouse (2009) went on to state, “In New Orleans, critical decisions before Katrina were also made by the Orleans Levee Board and the Water and Sewage Board. Each of these boards, along with the Army Corps, made decisions that contributed to the devastation of the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans East, and other parts of the city” (p. 172). Unfortunately, “Federal, state, and
local governments routinely provide lower protection standards, fewer resources, and slower responses to the risk faced by people of color and poor whites” (p. 156). “Environmental decision makers in both the public and private sectors discount the well-being of racial or ethnic minority groups who otherwise lack the power to control the environmental protection they receive. When this happens, community members suffer from increased disease and death and their quality of life decreases.” In continuation, “While these decisions may lack a conscious desire to harm any of the groups mentioned, decision makers’ failure to recognize and reject the risks imposed upon these groups reflects a valuation that the well-being of these group’s members is substantially lower than what they would accept for themselves and their loved ones. Essentially, these persons decide that the increased risk of death and disease faced by these groups is ‘acceptable’ even though the same level of risk would not be found acceptable if imposed on the class of persons represented by the decision makers themselves” (Waterhouse, 2009, p. 162-165). According to Waterhouse (2009), “Environmental injustices take place when the environmental protection that people deserve to receive as fellow citizens, residents, or human beings is based on their race, their religion, their ethnicity, or the amount of money they have. These injustices take place because decision makers | 022
do not employ protective procedures designed to ensure that everyone receives treatment as equals” (p. 170). In context of New Orleans, he continued by stating, “Amid recurring calls to close the waterway because of the threat it posed to local residents, Army Corps personnel continued to defend its operation because of its importance to the local economy. Sixteen months before Katrina struck, a local official summed up one community’s concerns about the MRGO and the risks it posed: ‘This is not working for St. Bernard. This is about lives and the people who live here. It’s not about the dollars. It’s killing us and it’s going to devastate our area” (p. 173-174). In terms of negligent preparation, the Army Corps had plenty of time to ensure that the lives of people living in New Orleans would be safe. The 1994 Executive Order on Environmental Justice signed by President Bill Clinton directed federal agencies to “identify and address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations.” If the Army Corps would have conducted an investigation in accordance with EO 12898, New Orleans residents in the Lower Ninth Ward would have faced a less likelihood of catastrophic loss of life and property (Waterhouse, 2009, p. 174-175). In his study of coastal resilience, T. Beatley (2009) mentioned that levee construction in New Orleans lead to the placement of residential and commercial developments in vulnerable locations which put people in harm’s way (p. 8). In the case of New Orleans, 023 |
[Fig. 09] Displaced Residents Gathered Outside of the Superdome
the group who was put in harm’s way was not proportional to the demographics of the city. “New Orleans was not a high-income city, and its black population was disproportionately poor. Average household incomes in the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward were approximately $30,000 one year before Katrina. In the Lower Ninth Ward, nearly a quarter of homeowners were paying over 50 percent of their monthly incomes on housing costs. Those whose budgets were already stretched thin by high housing costto-income ratios had less saved for post-hurricane repairs, rental deposits, and replacement of furniture and other household goods” (Bates & Green, 2009, p. 232). Along with the residents of the New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward having low incomes, the
percentage having insurance was dismal. “Being in a historic district, many of the uninsured Lower Ninth Ward households had property mortgages that preceded the 1974 flood insurance regulation or that were not federally insured; others had paid off their property mortgages and were not required to carry flood insurance. It may also be that other low-income households could not afford even the low-cost [National Flood Insurance Program] premiums and had let their policies lapse” (Bates & Green, 2009, p. 233). Furthermore, “Although 71 percent of Orleans Parish households in the floodplain held coverage under this program, only about one-third of Lower Ninth Ward households did so. Furthermore, a substantial portion of the Lower Ninth Ward was considered outside of the floodplain due to its levee protection, and therefore over 60 percent of owners did not carry flood insurance. Despite being outside of the designated 100-year floodplain, these households flooded in Hurricane Katrina. Owners of flooded units in this area had to rely upon disaster relief, private grants, and personal finances to make repairs” (Bates & Green, 2009, p. 233). “At 6:10 A.M. CDT, Katrina made lethal landfall as a Category 4 storm south of Buras, Louisiana, along the Mississippi Delta. The eye of the storm brushed the eastern outskirts of New Orleans around 9:00 A.M. as six to eight feet of water covered the Lower Ninth Ward, among the city’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. The Army Corps of Engineers believe that as a storm
[Fig. 10] Displaced Residents Waiting for Busses Leaving the City
surge sent waves over the Industrial Canal, a barge broke free and crashed into the floodwall, gashing a breach that accelerated the flooding of the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish” (Dyson, 2006, p. 61). Despite predictions being made prior to Hurricane Katrina, no formal action was taken to reduce the vulnerability of the residents surrounding the canal. According to C. Waterhouse (2009), “Investigators revealed that the [Mississippi River Gulf Outlet] channel served as the chief cause of the flooding in New Orleans. Like a funnel, the MRGO directed the water surging from Lake Borgne to St. Bernard Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward. Rather than such action being a surprise, the storm fulfilled scientific predictions that, with even Category 3 conditions, the | 024
MRGO would act like ‘a shot gun pointed straight at New Orleans’” (p. 161). Similarly, C Waterhouse (2009) stated, “Just as predicted, when Katrina struck, water from Lake Borgne funneled down the MRGO to the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (Industrial Canal). The effects of this journey wrought massive devastation to the Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East. Statistics show that the majority of deaths caused by Katrina were of African Americans, at roughly 42 percent. Likewise, the death tolls were highest in predominately black areas like the Lower Ninth Ward” (p. 174). These two statements point out that “Rather than an anomaly, the destruction that Hurricane Katrina wrought on the poor and the minority residents of the New Orleans Ninth Ward exemplifies the experience of environmental injustice faced by millions of people in America and worldwide” (Waterhouse, 2009, p. 162). “Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East represent another san example of the environmental injustice caused by decision making that fails to take seriously the need to decrease the risk born by low-income and minority communities” (Waterhouse, 2009, p. 178). According to T. Beatley (2009), “Those who are the poorest members of the community will have the fewest resources with which to prepare for or respond to an emergency or disaster event. In New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, the absence of cars among the poorer residents, largely African Americans, resulted in special vulnerability, as these residents had difficulty evacuating before the storm, as well as escaping the city after it” (p. 23). 025 |
[Fig. 11] Devastation in the Lower Ninth Ward
Instead of visiting New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, President Bush directed Air Force One to fly over to provide a bird’s-eye view. In response to the image, Bush declared, “It’s devastating. It’s got to be doubly devastating on the ground. It’s totally wiped out” (Dyson, 2006, p. 71). According to E. Dyson (2006), “As horrifying as the actual events were, almost more disturbing was what Katrina revealed about the way the nation still thinks and feels about black people—whether in the media or in the culture more broadly. Ironically, this may also be the most opportune time in a while for the black elite to confront its own bigotry toward the poor and do something to help their plight” (p. 138). In continuing with Bush’s efforts to avoid the
ground conditions in New Orleans, E. Dyson (2006) stated, “Bush may have remained at a safe distance from the furious aftermath of Katrina, but tens of thousands of poor citizens in New Orleans were thrust into chaos and calamity in shelters of last resort inside the Superdome and convention center… Filth and feces, stench and urine, hunger and hopelessness, anarchy and anxiety, and darkness and death polluted the air as the stranded, largely black poor exiles were crammed into unforgiving spaces that reeked of unrelieved horror for up to five days… They weren’t citizens but castoffs, evacuees turned effortlessly, in language and life, into refugees” (p. 71-72). There was a clear lack of dignity provided by politicians to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. “Former First Lady Barbara Bush accompanied by her husband, former president George H.W. Bush, former president Bill Clinton, and senators Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama on a tour of relief shelters in Houston, including the Astrodome, where thousands of evacuees were housed. In a moment of unsolicited candor, Mrs. Bush let on that she believed the poor black evacuees were surely in a better place than they were before, a prospect that both pleased and frightened her” (Dyson, 2006, p. 130-131). Furthermore, the Former First Lady Barbara Bush was quoted to have said, “What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this—this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them” (Dyson, 2006, p. 131). There was clearly a lack of dignity and
[Fig. 12] Remaining Concrete Porch in St. Bernard Parish
respect shown to those victims of Hurricane Katrina who were able to survive. According to R. Del Moral & W.R. Lawrence (2007), the most tragic loss in any natural disaster is that of human life. Secondly, there is a loss of property, investments, and livelihoods. Thirdly, there is the loss and damage to the structure, efficiency, and productivity of natural ecosystems. When Hurricane Katrina passed over the Gulf of Mexico and onto US soil, nearly one hundred square miles of coastal wetlands were destroyed. This, along with human activities, intensify natural disasters that occur at later dates (p. 4). Hurricanes, among the most destructive | 026
natural disturbances, affect infrastructure, shorelines, and the communities along coasts. Estimates for Hurricane Katrina are more than $89 billion in damages (Rosowsky, 2011, p. 140). According to P. Steinberg (2008), “Eighty percent of New Orleans flooded, and 71 percent of the city’s housing stock suffered at least some damage. Almost eighty thousand housing units—43 percent of the city’s dwellings—suffered “severe damage” or were destroyed” (p. 21). “Hurricane Katrina engendered much discussion of how homes and buildings could be designed to not just fall down or fly apart during a disaster event, but rather to ensure conditions of livability for their occupants following the event. Can buildings be designed to be ‘survivable’ or inhabitable for some decent period of time, and under conditions in which the usual public services and facilities (power, water) have been disrupted?” (Beatley, 2009, p. 88). Furthermore, “Hurricane Katrina has highlighted other significant ways in which New Orleans’ population is vulnerable, with lessons for other major coastal cities. Food availability and food security have emerged as significant concerns; even today, many grocery stores have not reopened in the city, and those that have reopened require a car to reach them” (Beatley, 2009, p. 141). With so many vulnerabilities, S. Crowley (2006) declared, “Hurricane Katrina will be remembered as a seminal event in American history. The emptying of whole communities happened overnight. The dimensions of the diaspora are unprecedented in modern America. The destruction is so vast that it is only possible 027 |
[Fig. 13] Search and Rescue Mission
to comprehend by going to the Gulf Coast and seeing for oneself. Katrina is about wrenching hundreds of thousands of people from homes to which most will never return. Katrina is about the sudden and complete loss of all that home means—safety, respite, privacy, comfort, and security” (p. 155). “In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s flooding of New Orleans, politicians, pundits, and planners wrote off much of New Orleans’ low-income, African-American neighborhoods as unsalvageable. In particular, the Lower Ninth Ward was seen as a totally destroyed neighborhood best left abandoned. This impression was further reinforced by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
damage estimates, along with assumptions about residents’ desire and capacity to return. Each seemed to confirm that the neighborhoods were damaged beyond repair. Approximately 20,000 residents were displaced from the Lower Ninth Ward alone” (Bates & Green, 2009, p. 229). According to S. Crowley (2006), “Gulf Coast recovery czar Donald Powell says that his first priority for Gulf Coast recovery is, ‘levees, levees, levees,’ and his second priority is ‘housing, housing, housing.’ The ‘levee’ priority, of course, is about repair and strengthening of the levee system in New Orleans that breached, causing the floods that damaged so much of the city’s housing. For New Orleans, the future of the levees and the future of the city are one and the same” (p. 139140). This prioritization of levees over housing existed prior to and endured long after Hurricane Katrina. In The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007), N. Klein stated that after the levees broke and New Orleans was flooded and after contracts were handed out to large corporations to clean up the debris, local residents were forced to sit back and watch, rather than work. Instead of the corporations hiring local workers and paying them wages that would assist in getting back on their feet, outside aid was brought in at low overheads to increase profit. Much of this aid was at the hands of immigrant workers that were working illegally and to points, exploited by their employers (p. 412). According to L. Bates & R. Green (2009), “The loss of housing stock after Katrina and the post-disaster policies implemented by
[Fig. 14] Inmates Stranded on an Overpass
FEMA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) compounded pre-storm issues of limited housing opportunities. Nowhere was this more evident than in the city’s quintessential low-income, African-American neighborhood, the Lower Ninth Ward” (p. 229). The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a non-profit research organization involved in land-use concerns and real estate development, conducted interviews with more than 300 residents of New Orleans and held a town hall meeting. They produced a preliminary report and a full report within a month of conducting the research. The ULI recommended building in areas that only sustained minimal damages and to reevaluate the feasibility of rebuilding in areas that sustained more extensive | 028
damages (Dishansky & Johnson, 2010, p. 43). The ULI had a heavy hand in the rebuilding efforts immediately following Hurricane Katrina. R. Dishansky & L.Johnson (2010) continued, “As early as October 2005, the Urban Land Institute and some members of Congress were advocating the establishment of policies to ensure that large areas in the flooded sections of the City not be rebuilt. The City Council made a decision to focus the planning effort on the flooded neighborhoods first-and-foremost in order to provide residents of the flooded neighborhoods a process that would allow them to formally voice and define what would become of their communities” (p. 116-117). In response to ULI’s recommendations, representatives from Gentilly, New Orleans East, and Lower Ninth Ward—all neighborhoods that were proposed to be eliminated due to the feasibility of recovery—reacted with hostility. One developer was quoted as declaring, “We don’t need permission to come back! We are back!” (Dishansky & Johnson, 2010, p. 45). Both the ULI program and the Road Home program had recommendations that dealt with displacing the victims of Hurricane Katrina. According to R. Dishansky & L. Johnson (2010), “One of the most important recommendations was a “lot next door” program, in which neighbors would get right of first refusal to buy neighboring lots that entered into public ownership via voluntary sale through the Road Home program. This approach had several advantages: it would facilitate the transfer of Road Home properties into the 029 |
hands of responsible owners; it would allow for older neighborhoods to include larger lot sizes than previously permitted; and it would maintain wealth in the community. However, if this program was widely applied, the lowered densities it would create might reduce the efficiency of restored citywide services” (p. 120). One of the largest issues following the disaster and surrounding efforts to rebuild was a lack of communication between the city and the residents. R. Dishansky & L. Johnson (2010) stated, “The City of New Orleans owes its residents a plan laying out exactly which parts of the city can be rebuilt and when. The plan must be based, not on political considerations, but on careful analysis of
the physical and demographic realities facing the city. The criteria should be relevant, objective, clearly articulated, and applied in an even-handed manner. The analysis should be supported by hard scientific data, expert projections, realistic predictions of outcomes, sophisticated financial analyses, and comparisons of alternative plans” (p. 47). In an effort to establish more reliable communication ties, community meetings were held. “To help to quell [fears of displaced persons], city council president Oliver Thomas asked the BNOBC at its October 24 meeting to promise that the Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East would officially be included in the rebuilding process… the chair, Canizaro, [abstained] ‘because he felt it important that we make sure that all of the people in New Orleans East and the Lower Ninth Ward have an opportunity to have a safe, secure, environmentally sound, and quality home in a location that would not be susceptible to destruction in future disasters.” (Dishansky & Johnson, 2010, p. 48). During the long-term recovery from a disaster, the standard of living for minorities and low-income households typically declines. There tends to be an unequal access to opportunities along with unequal exposure to risks (Bates & Green, 2010, p. 231). According to L. Bates & R. Green (2010), “While rebuilding their permanent homes, residents need temporary housing—a place where normal routines can be reestablished after the emergency. Usually, displaced residents find temporary rental housing on the private market, often using government vouchers, or live in
[Fig. 16] Helping Children to a Helicopter Following Hurricane Katrina
temporary trailers provided by FEMA. Research shows that in the temporary housing stage, blacks are most likely to live in large FEMA trailer parks, which is the least satisfactory of temporary housing options. The parks tend to be poorly run and far from the original housing site” (p. 231). Survivors of Hurricane Katrina attempted to temporarily resettle in trailers on their own lots or in nearby parks. This close proximity allowed the survivors the opportunity to repair or rebuild their homes. Unfortunately, over a year after Katrina, homeowners in the Lower Ninth Ward were unable to reoccupy their land because the municipality had failed to establish the necessary services (Bates & Green, 2010, p. 232). However, governmental agencies slowed the process for | 030
those wishing to return home. “As of October 2006, only 1.6 percent of flooded units in the Lower Ninth Ward had received trailer placements, far below the 6.3 percent city-wide average” (Bates & green, 2010, p. 232). According to L. Bates & R. Green (2010), “When The Road Home began accepting applications, there was only one application center in Orleans Parish, and no centers providing assistance for homeowners in the diaspora. Many residents who had been displaced to Houston, Atlanta, and beyond—most of whom were African American—had to wait until the end of 2006 and early 2007 for centers to open in Houston and Dallas” (p. 238). Furthermore, “Applications from the zip code including the Ninth Ward rose from about 5,600 in February 2007 to over 7,000 in October 2007—still well below the 20,000 households living in the zip code before Katrina. About 20 percent of those applicants were unsure about whether they would rebuild in the neighborhood or take a relocation option—higher than the citywide average undecided rate of 13 percent. A year later, the U.S. Postal Service reported delivering mail to just over 9,200 addresses in the zip code—an increase of only 3,000 during 2007, the year that The Road Home grants were predicted to have major impact” (p. 238). In uncovering the disparities in the recovery process, L. Bates & R. Green (2010) stated, “The Road Home program grant process included two significant obstacles for homeowners 031 |
[Fig. 17] British Royalty Touring the Lower Ninth Ward
in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods—again, largely African Americans. These issues—long-standing problems with property tax value assessments and the common practice of leaving properties in heirship rather than processing ownership in probate court—appear to have been largely unanticipated, and resolutions were slow and incomplete” (p. 238). Heirship created several obstacles for residents wishing to return to their property. “Many homeowners were delayed or prevented from completing The Road Home process by not having a clear title to their homes… When a property was passed down after a death, the family simply agreed on who would occupy and ‘own’ the house but never completed succession in court. This status, called heirship, had
to be cleared before receiving a Road Home grant or any loans on the property” (Bates & Green, 2010, p. 239). In fact, in early 2007, over $500,000 was budgeted for legal aid attorneys to assist applicants in clearing the titles on their homes. Because of the excessive cases, the budget was depleted by December. Over 2,000 cases remained unprocessed in March 2008 due to unclear ownership (Bates & Green, 2010, p. 239). The struggle for homeowners carried out for an extended period following the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. According to L. Bates & R. Green (2010), “For the first 18 months of The Road Home program, fewer than 100 owners in the 70117 zip code area (which encompassed the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward) had closed on their grants, out of over 5,600 applications for approximately 17,500 damaged units” (p. 239). In continuation, “According to The Road Home weekly reports, starting in May 2007, there was a dramatic increase in the number of The Road Home applications closing citywide. With this increase [in] processing, by October 2007, approximately 55 percent of New Orleans homeowners who chose their option to rebuild or relocate had closed on their grants, but in the 70117 zip code, only about 35 percent had done so. The gap between closure rates citywide and in the 70117 zip code has remained consistent, ranging from approximately 8 percent at its lowest point to over 20 percent at its greatest” (p. 239). In compliance with the NFIP regulations, if repair costs of a house exceeded fifty percent of the pre-damaged value, the house was
[Fig. 18] Volunteers Clearing out a Flooded House
required to be repaired with elevated foundations. The typical cost of elevating foundations added approximately $20,000 to $30,000 to the repair costs. This resulted in a multitude of houses simply being demolished (Bates & Green, 2010, p. 234). Initial assessments by FEMA subcontractors estimated over threequarters of Lower Ninth Ward houses to have endured substantial damage over the fifty percent standard. When a community planning process composed of multiple organizations (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), ACORN Housing Corporation (AHC), Cornell University, Columbia University, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) conducted a secondary assessment, there were considerable variations | 032
(Bates & Green, 2010, p. 234). “The majority of structures in the Lower Ninth Ward were estimated at just over 50 percent damage, regardless of flood depth. Thus, units in the Lower Ninth Ward were estimated as having more damage than units in other neighborhoods for similar flood levels… Damage in the Lower Ninth was generally overestimated relative to other neighborhoods. Thus, recovery guidelines were stricter in this neighborhood than in others, most often requiring foundation elevation or demolition, options that added costs, time, and difficulty to the recovery” (Bates & Green, 2010, p. 235). Furthermore, a majority of Lower Ninth Ward residents were low-income homeowners without flood insurance and had to rely on federal grants to begin the recovery process. The Road Home grant funds up to $150,000 for repairs to rebuild at FEMA standards. The amount of the grant was dependent upon the lesser of the loss of the home’s value and its estimated repair cost (Bates & Green, 2010, p. 236-237). “Regardless of the actual cost of rebuilding, for low- and moderateincome African American homeowners, the grant was capped by lower home values. These home values were typically substantially less than the cost of replacement housing, reflecting decades of segregation, institutional disinvestment, biased assessments, and limited opportunities” (Bates & Green, 2010, p 241). This was also evident in the funding provided to residents in the Lower Ninth Ward. According to L. Bates & R. Green (2010), “Owners in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood received substantially 033 |
[Fig. 19] Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco Walking Through Musicians’ Village
less funding for rebuilding, averaging $82,000, than residents in wealthier neighborhoods, where repair costs rather than pre-storm value dictated the maximum value of the grant. If a homeowner needs to completely rebuild—either due to extensive structural damage or a damage estimate above 50 percent and a foundation type that could not be elevated—costs were estimated to be approximately $150,000 for a moderately sized house constructed by area nonprofit builders” (p. 241). This combined with the aforementioned issue of insurance caused great struggles for returning residents. “With low levels of flood insurance in the Ninth Ward, The Road Home grant may be the only resource homeowners can draw on for rebuilding. Thus, even with higher
assessed damage, Lower Ninth residents often would end up with fewer recovery resources… The consequences of policy choices are clear: Low-to-moderate-income African Americans, who tended to live in homes with depressed pre-Katrina values, to be displaced to distant cities, to be underinsured, and to have had more stringent damage assessments, receive grant amounts well below those of high-income, well-insured, single-family homeowners” (Bates & Green, 2010, p. 241-242). “One African-American community leader described distrust of the BNOBC in this way: ‘This is not like your mom or your dad trying to take care of your best interests while you happen not to be there. Folks don’t feel that way. They feel like their absence is an opportunity for [other] people to put them out. That’s far from trust’” (Dishansky & Johnson, 2010, p. 48). The public outcry over the residents’ ability to return shed light on the continued struggles the victims had to endure. In N. Klein’s work (2007), one woman’s struggle to return was recorded. “’My home is my castle, and I’m taking it back,’ announced Gloria Williams, a resident of the housing project C.J. Peete. The reinvasion turned into a block party complete with a New Orleans brass band. There was much to celebrate: at least for now, this one community had escaped the great cultural bulldozer that calls itself reconstruction” (p. 465). According to P. Steinberg (2008), “Repopulation estimates vary, but one study conducted one year after Katrina hound that there were only 929,554 people resident in greater New Orleans (a 30.5 percent drop from the 2000 population of 1,337,726)
and 200,665 in the city proper (a 58.6 percent drop from the 2000 population of 484,674). Poorer residents have had particular difficulty reestablishing themselves. The number of black households in the city proper suffered a 72.2 percent drop, from 322,792 in 2000 to just 89,891 in 2006” (p. 21). Unfortunately, “It is truer to say we discovered that New Orleans, like any other city, had been in the Third World all along. These faces of terror and want and despair and menace and stoicism are faces from the third world. What Katrina laid bare to the world, as well as to U.S. viewers…is that the United States…has a great deal in common with the Third World, and increasingly so” (Shapiro Anjaria, 2008, p. 188).
[Fig. 20] | 010
[Fig. 20] Cots and evacuees from New Orleans, LA following Hurricane Katrina cover the floor of Houstonâ€™s Astrodome, over three-hundred miles away from home.. (AP Photo/Christopher Morris/VII)
Definitions + Organizations Definitions: Forced Displacement: According to OneResponse, a collaborative inter-agency website devoted to the enhancement of humanitarian coordination (2008), forced displacement “occurs when individuals and communities have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of events or situations such as armed conflict, generalized violence, human rights abuses, natural or man-made disasters, and/or development projects” (n.p.). Furthermore, for the purpose of this study, forced displacement is evident down to the level of a specific address. While forced displacement occurs at multiple levels, it is critical to focus on the most specific instance for this study. Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE): According to 7 group and Bill Reed (2009), a Post Occupancy Evaluation is “an important practice that addresses how buildings and their occupants perform in relation to each other and to their larger context. Beyond the relatively simple measurement and verification of energy performance, POE addresses issues that quantify and assess the quality of life and health of a building, its place, and its occupants and, in the future, will address the health of the living systems of the site and region that are impacted by our structures and operation” (p. 313).
Resiliency: According to Mark Pelling (2003), resiliency is “the capacity to adjust to threats and mitigate or avoid harm. Resilience can be found in hazard-resistant buildings or adaptive social systems” (p. 5). Social Justice: According to N. Fouad, L. Gerstein and R. Toporek (2006), social justice promotes the “distrubution of advantages and disadvantages within a society” (p. 1). Furthermore, such “distribution of advantages [must] be fair and equitable to all individuals, regardless of race, gender, ability status, sexual orientation, physical makeup, or religious creed” (p. 1). Universal Design: According to Ron Mace, founder and program director of The Center for Universal Design (1985), universal design is “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” (p. 4). World Views: According to Gary Palmer (1996), a world view is “the fundamental cognitive orientation of a society, a subgroup, or even an individual . It encompases natural philosophy, fundamental existential and normative postulates or themes, values, emotions, and ethics; it includes conventional cognitive models of persons, spirits, and things in the word, and of sequences of actions and | 038
Organizations: events; it includes social scenarios and situations, together with their affective values, contingencies, and feeling states. It includes, as well, the methaphorical and metonymical structuring of thought. [It] may be taken as including ethos and cultural configuration, were these are defined as the ‘unconscious assumptions’ or ‘unstated premises’ of a culture or as ‘evaluative’” (p. 113-114).
Common Ground Relief: According to the organization’s website (n.d.), “Common Ground Relief’s mission is to provide short term relief for victims of hurricane disasters in the Gulf Coast region, and long term support in rebuilding the communities affected in the New Orleans area. [Common Ground Relief] is a communityinitiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support. This work gives hope to communities by working with them, providing for their immediate needs and emphasizes people working together to rebuild their lives in sustainable ways.” Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Iniative: According to the organization’s mission statement (n.d.), Jericho Road is “a neighborhood-based nonprofit homebuilder that providies families with healthy and energy-efficient affordable housing opportunities.” The Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Iniative (n.d.) claims to “partner with neighborhood residents, organizations and businesses to create and maintain a stable and thriving community.” Make It Right: According to the foundation’s website (n.d.), “The Mission of Make It Right is clear: It is to be a catalyst for redevlopment of the Lower 9th Ward by building a neighborhood comprised of safe and healthy homes that are inspired by Cradle to Cradle thinking, with an emphasis on a high quality of design, while preserving the spirit of the community’s culture. The goal
is to accomplish this quickly, so that the first residents can begin returning to their homes as soon as possible.” Neighborhood Housing Services: According to the organization’s website (n.d.), “Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans (NHS) was founded in 1976 as a private, non-profit housing corporation with the belief that a partnership between local residents, financial institutions, businesses and local government can stop decline, promote reinvestment, and restore pride and confidence in urban neighborhoods... NHS helps people to prepare for and achieve the dream of homeownership. [NHS] builds and renovates quality homes for working families who can afford to buy; and [NHS] helps neighbors develop their leadership and conflict resolution skills for stong, vibrant communities.”
Center, along with out primary collaborator the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, enjoys a broad range of partnerships with numerous off-campus community-based organizations. Each of these partnerships provides opportunities for faculty and students to engage real issues in the community and participate in the life of our city. Projects range in scale from small mobile neighborhood communication devices to urban scale neighborhood planning processes. The Tulane City center works in both private and public spaces and always recognizes the importance of thinking beyond the scale of the individual project” (p. 33).
Project Home Again: According to the organization’s website (2011), “Project Home Again is a non-profit, housing development organization created by The Leonard and Louise Riggio Foundation shortly after Hurricane Katrina to build high-quality, energy-efficient homes for low and moderate-income New Orleanians who have been unable to rebuild and return to their homes.” Tulane City Center: According to the Tulane City Center’s selfpublicated booklet (YEAR), “As the principal venue for outreach projects at the Tulane School of Archtiecture, the Tulane City | 040
Instrumentation In order to generate a basic understanding of the knowledge available in the field pertaining to this study, a literature review was conducted. The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin Madison (2009) defines the literature review as “a means to critically analyze a portion of published work in a field of study. Analysis incorporates summarizing, classifying, and comparing previous studies, literature reviews, and theoretical articles.“ Furthermore, the University of North Texas’ Health Science department (2006) defines a literature review as an extensive and exhaustive examination of previous publications pertaining to a specific area of study. It must acknowledge both the strengths and weaknesses of the publications. In addition, the literature review assists in creating an understanding of the information that is currently available pertaining to the study. The literature review also serves to establish what information is lacking and could use further development. One important outcome of a literature review is the accumulation of concepts and variables previously established in the area of study and a view into what methods and instruments proved usefull. In order to best understand the philosophies and “modus operandi” of the organizations involved in the rebuilding of New Orleans, in-depth interviews were conducted with members of each organization. Carolyn Boyce, MA and Palena Neale, PhD. (2006) define an in-depth interview as a qualitative research technique that requires intense individual interviews with a small sample. 041 |
This method allows for personal perspectives of particular ideas, programs, and situations. In order to uncover additional information about the daily interactions of disaster recovery efforts, participant observation was conducted. Pearson Education (n.d.) defines participant observation as a sociological research method in which a researcher assumes a social role in a situation under observation. By setting himself or herself into a specific social setting, the researcher becomes capable of experiencing the environment in a manner similar to the way the subjects experience it. A participant observation can discover the attributes of social reality by examining perceptions, understandings, and interpretations. In order to understand the world views of different organizations working in relief housing, case studies were conducted. Colorado State University (n.d.) defines a case study as a qualitative research method involving the collection of detailed information about a specific participant or organization. Case studies typically include accounts of the individuals. A case study generally culminates in a conclusion pertaining only to the individual or group and only in a specific context. Furthermore, case studies assist in answering questions of how or why and are a preferred method when there is a contemporary focus on a real life issue.
Procedures Participants: The process of planning for in-depth interviews incorporates identifying the stakeholders involved. Furthermore, it is necessary to identify a set of information that is desired and from whom the information will be obtained. Carolyn Boyce, MA and Palena Neala, Ph.D. (2006) state the importance of listing stakeholders that will take part in the in-depth interviews. Those stakeholder groups can be identified from national, facility, and beneficiary levels. Once the groups are identified, individuals within each group can be selected for the interview process. During the interview process and data collection, it is possible that additional interviewees will be identified (4). A previous visit to New Orleans in the Fall of 2008 shed light on a few organizations working in the city on relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. As part of a third-year design studio at Ball State Univeristy and under the direction of Will Marquez, Creative Director and Owner of W/PURPOSE, the URBANbuild program of the Tulane School of Architecure and the Tulane City Center was discovered. The discovery included a tour of the Prototype 03 house by URBANbuild located at 1900 Seventh Street, New Orleans, LA 70115. Emilie Taylor is a Project Manager for the Tulane City Center.
During the same visit to New Orleans, the Make It Right foundation was just beginning their work in the Lower Ninth Ward. At the time, approximately six houses had been constructed in the Lower Ninth Ward. Make It Right is one of the more well-known organizations working in New Orleans due in large part to itâ€™s founder, Brad Pitt. Sarah Howell is an architect at John Williams Architects, the firm who creates the construction documents for Make It Right houses. An additional organization, Common Ground Relief, was identified through a discussion wil Olon Dotson, Associate Professor of Architecture at Ball State University. Common Ground Relief is a non-profit organization that utilizes volunteer work in the Lower Ninth Ward to rebuild and elevate houses. Thom Pepper is the Director of Operations at Common Ground Relief. During an interview with Emilie Taylor of the Tulane City Center, an additional group was identified. Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative works in City Center to rebuild houses that were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Holly Heine is the Director of Operations and Communications for Jericho Road.
Interview Transcription and Review:
It is critical to develop an interview protocol that assist in the administration of all interviews. Carolyn Boyce, MA and Palena Neala Ph.D. (2006) suggest creating an interview guide that lists the questions or issues to be addressed during the interviews. The guide should be limited to no more than fifteen questions and should incorporate probes where necessary. An interview guide should include the following:
Following the in-depth interviews with the aforementioned subjects, the audio was transcribed verbatim. By utilizing a verbatim transcription, the possibility of losing key aspects of answers was eliminated.
☑☑ What to say to interviewees when setting up the interview; ☑☑ What to say to interviewees when beginning the interview, including ensuring informed consent and confidentiality of the interview; ☑☑ What to say to the interviewees in concluding the interview; ☑☑ What to do during the interview; ☑☑ What to do following the interview. While collecting data through the interview, the subjects should be aware of the purpose of the interview and the expected duration of the interview.
Once the interviews were transcribed, the transcription was sent to each interviewee for review. The interviewee then had the opportunity to review the transcription and submit for final inclusion in the research. This process allowed each interviewee to correct any statements as well as to provide additional information that they deemed necessary or essential. This allowed the interviewee the opportunity to either finish an incomplete thought or to remove a thought altogether. Following the individual reviews by the interviewees, the interview transcriptions were then read through for information that could be included within the study. This system allows an accurate portrayal of information from the interviewee.
Participant Observation: During the site visit to New Orleans in October of 2011, I conducted participant observation. While volunteering with Common Ground Relief in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, a participant observation was conducted. By talking with Thom Pepper, the Director of Operations for Common Ground Relief, a volunteer period of two days was established. The volunteering provided an opportunity to interact with residents attempting to rebuild following Hurricane Katrina. In an attempt to blend in with fellow volunteers, all observation was conducted without taking field notes. This allowed for physical labor while opening communication lines with the residents and fellow volunteers. A few photographs were taken while working to showcase the house being worked on, but the majority of information was gathered through memory of conversations that were recorded at the end of the day with notes and additional documentation.
Delimitations + Limitations Delimitations: According to Frank Pajares of Emory University (2007), â€œa delimitation addresses how a study will be narrowed in scope, that is, how it is bounded.â€? Furthermore, delimitations should describe the methodological procedures that are not being conducted, populations that are not being studied, and the reason why such exclusions were made. The delimitations are imposed by the researcher, as opposed to limitations. Surveys and questionnaires were not utilized in this study to avoid the appearance of reducing an individualâ€™s fundamental and ethical needs and desires to a mere sheet of paper. Instead, to understand the social justice issues involved with relief housing following a catastrophic disaster, more personal measures were undertaken. For this reason, interviews served a better function that surveys and questionnaires. By avoiding surveys and questionnaires, a large sample was not developed for possible large-scale generalizations. In order to create an in-depth understanding of the conditions and relief efforts conductive to a specific area, the sample chosen to gather first-hand information consists of organizations located in New Orleans, Louisiana. By choosing a sample of organizations operating in the same area, world views that are being expressed in a similar environment can be analyzed. Additional studies could 045 |
focus on groups working on relief efforts following the Haitian Earthquake of 2010, the Japanese Earthquake and ensuing tsunami of 2011, or any other disaster resulting in a loss of the fundamental establishment of housing.
Limitations: According to Frank Pajares of Emory University (2007), “a limitation identifies potential weaknesses of the study.” Limitations may pose threats to the internal validity of the study that could possibly be impossible to avoid or minimize. The limitations are a product of the methodological procedures implemented and the instruments utilized for data collection. In-depth interviews can be prone to bias. According to Carolyn Boyce, MA and Palena Neale, PhD. (2006) responses during indepth interviews can be biased due to the respondents desire to “prove” that a program is working. Biased interviews can also result from the respondent’s position and stake in a program as well as from the wording of interview questions. It is essential to design a method in which the effort to collect data, the chosen instrumentation, and the execution of interviews minimizes bias (p. 3). In addition, due to the amount of time and effort required for conducting in-depth interviews, the method tends to be timeintensive. In continuation, Carolyn Boyce, MA and Palena Neale, PhD. (2006) declare it imperative to consider the amount of time required for interview transcription and data analysis during planning (p. 3-4). Finally, in-depth interviews conclude in results that are not generalizable to a larger population. Carolyn Boyce, MA and Palena Neale, PhD. (2006) go on to state, “When in-depth interviews are conducted, generalizations about the results are
usually not able to be made because small samples are chosen and random sampling methods are not used. In-depth interviews, however, provide valuable information for programs, particularly when supplementing other methods of data collection. It should be noted that the general rule on sample size for interviews is that when the same stories, themes, issues, and topics are emerging from the interviewees, then a sufficient sample size has been reached” (p. 4). Limitations encountered during the in-depth interview method revolved around the follow-up process. In one instance, the interviewee failed to provide mark-ups of the transcription. Participant observations can suffer from a language barrier, a cultural barrier, or even accessibility. Johnson, A and Sackett, R (1998) describe participant observation as a means of a skewed description of behavioral research. Often, researchers tend to focus on a setting or behavior that is in adjunction with their own interests rather than representative of what actually occurs (p. 301-332). Furthermore, Schensul, S., Schensul, J., and LeCompte, M. (1999) declare that, because observation is filtered through the researcher’s interpretive frames, “the most accurate observations are shaped by formulative theoretical frameworks and scrupulous attention to detail” (p. 95). | 046
[Fig. 21] The Tulane City Center’s “Grow Dat” project under construction in New Orleans’ City Park in October, 2011. The project will be a youth farm where youth and adults can engage in meaningful work and transform their communities. (Jonathan G Kirby)
Disclaimer The following case studies are analyses of four organizations involved with relief housing in New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The importance of these case studies to this study is that all organizations have worked and continue to work in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina. Each organization has a unique approach to solving the issues created following the flooding that caused severe damage to the housing stock. Prior to conducting a site visit to New Orleans in October of 2011, interview guides were established for each organization. In order to gather data that could be compared across all organizations, similar questions were posed to each organization in a predetermined order. In addition to the interviews, participant observation was also utilized to gather first-person information during the site visit.
The case studies are presented in a manner that allows for comparisons to be made from one organization to another. After critical points in the interview transcription, reflections are provided. At the conclusion of each case study, recommendations for design criteria are presented from information gathered during the interview. It is the recommendations that created a framework for designing responsible and rapid relief housing following a disaster in a socially just manner. Furthermore, following the four individual studies, a matrix provides the underlying world views implicitly stated during the in-depth interviews.
Through the progression of each interview, there were some deviations from the interview guide, resulting in variations in the extent to which questions were addressed. As mentioned, the purpose of the in-depth interviews was to generate data to draw comparisons between the four organizations.
Common Ground Relief: New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, Louisiana, USA According to the organization’s website (2011), “Common Ground Relief is a volunteer run not-for-profit organization based in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. [Common Ground Relief] runs a diverse range of projects, from New Home Construction, to a Free Legal Clinic, to Community Gardening and the education of school children about Food Safety and Environmental Science with [their] Garden of Eatin’ Program. In partnership with Robert Wolfe Construction, [Common Ground Relief] works to elevate existing houses and construct new ones for returning residents throughout New Orleans, St. Bernard and Jefferson parishes.” The contact for Common Ground Relief was Thom Pepper, the Director of Operations for the organization since November 2007. During a site visit to New Orleans, an in-depth interview was conducted to understand the work performed by Common Ground Relief in the Lower Ninth Ward. The following is a transcription of the interview with Thom Pepper that was conducted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at the organization’s headquarters at 1800 Deslonde Street in New Orleans, LA. The interview lasted approximately forty-five minutes.
Thom Pepper: As the flood waters started receding, our volunteers started coming in and gutting structures; we gutted about 3,000 houses beginning in September or October of 2005. The gutting program was pretty much done by the spring of 2007, but at our height we had around 500 volunteers a week. In addition to that, we had food and water distribution centers. We had set up nine centers in seven parishes. In the summer of 2007, the mayor, Ray Nagin, and the city of New Orleans began posting notices on people’s homes that if they had not gutted their houses and if they had not maintained their yards, their property would be subject to seizure. So then we had to ramp the gutting program back up again because we had to take photographs after they had been boarded up, take them down to City Hall and get them off the demolition list. They were just posting notices on houses and people were living in Texas, living all over the place. People were hiring contractors when they were living somewhere else and the contractors would show up to the house and the house was gone. There was a Baptist congregation here that had gotten insurance money and fixed their church all up and they were no longer on the demolition list. A week before they were supposed to reopen the church and have their first services, the city came in and accidently tore the church down. It was pretty crazy. By the summer of 2007, we had already had 10,000 or 12,000 volunteers come through the program and so in the fall of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, we started to transition from relief | 052
“Here in the city, there were a lot of families that had owned their houses for generations... after the storm, people have had to go out and take out home loans or build new houses with mortgages that they never had before.” work to rebuilding work. We have a legal clinic that is now open five days a week. Here in the city, there were a lot of families that had owned their houses for generations and people had no mortgages. So what has happened after the storm, people have had to go out and take out home loans or build new houses with mortgages that they never had before. Jonathan G Kirby: I have heard that a lot of people who lived in the Lower Ninth Ward lived in homes that were owned for generations and a lot of times the title to the house never got turned over to the current residents. Because of that, they could not provide proof of ownership of the house. There was also the issue that a lot of owners did not have insurance because there was a lack of mortgages. Thom Pepper: Yeah, right. What had happened here was wills were probated that people never changed and we would have people come in to us and they would have paperwork where the electric bill would still be in someone’s great great-grandmother’s name when they first electrified the house in the 1930s. It wasn’t just the property owner, it was the power company and the city itself. Why or how could the same name be on the account after eighty years? How is that not a red flag for the gas company or the electric company? Someone gave them a two dollar deposit which is now thousands of dollars over time, you know, it was just some crazy stuff. It was just crazy; this entire culture, it was 053 |
[Fig. 22] The Common Ground Relief Model House
everywhere—the police department, the court system, the whole thing. Right now, we’re still doing a lot of succession, where people have to come in and show ownership, or a record of ownership. We are doing a lot of contractor fraud as well. So we’re doing all sorts of civil litigation. But what’s happened to these families who may be making $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 a year run into these problems where they need legal services and can’t afford attorney fees and they don’t qualify for pro bono services. So we’re sort of filling that niche. We’re also the only legal clinic in the city that is open at night so that people can come in after work.
“As an organization, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t put people back in jeopardy again.”
Reflection: It does not follow logic for victims of a catastrophic disaster to be required to endure unprecedented mortgages. Relief housing should be responsible to the victim’s needs, both in terms of amenities and financially. Jonathan G Kirby: What role do future residents and community members play in the design and construction of Common Ground Relief houses? Thom Pepper: I’m from Miami and what had happened with us is we had gotten hit by a Category Five hurricane like twenty years ago. What had happened was, about six years after the storm, the insurance industry came in, climbed into bed with the local government and began conducting house-by-house inspections. People who had not built back to code, or people who had not hired contractors were subject to fines and being sent demolition orders. The big problem too was it was affecting property values. People who had volunteers come in and do the drywall or plumbing had issues of banks loaning money for mortgages because the work wasn’t performed by a licensed contractor. Their ability to resell turned out to be detrimental because of the inability to prove the integrity of the electrical wiring or any other work conducted. As an organization, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t put people back in jeopardy again. We have done about 105 house interiors using volunteers and then in 2009, we set up a job training program because the volunteers can’t be here
forever and they should not be here forever. So two years ago we began making that transition from volunteers to going ahead and training and hiring locals. With our licensed general contractor and the sub-contractors, we’re going and hiring and training local residents to come in and fill these jobs. Now we’re re-partnering and doing elevations and new construction. All of our houses are [customized]. So what we do is we work with people and they say, well I had a five bedroom house and I only have $94,000. So, we can build them a house and then when their income stabilizes, it can be added to at a later time. We also will show them how to make their house into a five bedroom, three bath house. At first, people have outrageous expectations but when reality sets in—to be able to give people options and let people know what you can do—it all works out. We’ve had a whole series of community meetings and charrettes to talk about this stuff. But down here in the Lower Ninth Ward, we’re the only fire department where the equipment sits outside. The public library is open, but it’s sparsely. But our problem down here is the Lower Ninth Ward had the highest percentage of home ownership of any area in the city and had the highest percentage of black home ownership of almost any community in the country. However, there were a lot of retirees here and a lot of those retirees weren’t planning on coming back. So for us to repopulate this area, we had to have schools here because we needed to have families make a commitment to this community, not for two or three years but for ten or fifteen years. So that has been our big battle. From this man-made disaster, | 054
“...you’re removing an entire segment from the population who were native born and probably their parents and grandparents were too. To have that entire segment of the population only return to visit family members is rather sad.” people just said I’ve moved somewhere else, my kids are in school and I’m not going to come back. Which is sad because you’re removing an entire segment from the population who were native born and probably their parents and grandparents were too. To have that entire segment of the population only return to visit family members is rather sad. Reflection: We cannot just simply rebuild to get people to move back into the community. We have to build in a fashion that does not put people back into a vulnerable situation. In order to get residents interested in returning and becoming invested in the rebuilding efforts, it is critical to reestablish the schooling system and facilities. This creates an avenue in which the residents become invested for an extended period of time. Jonathan G Kirby: So do you have people who were displaced, who were bused out of the Ninth Ward, contact you about their properties? Thom Pepper: Yeah, so what we did with the house gutting program, is people came to us and we had them fill out a form and we had their addresses and how to contact them. What we started to do is that we were working with the elderly, we were working with single parent families and people who were handicapped. So that worked out really well for us and we were able to stabilize the community. Now it is like the second generation; people have 055 |
[Fig. 23] A Multi-family Residence Currently Under Construction
been back in their houses for maybe a year or two who are now coming in and wanting to finish off their interiors and do things that they just didn’t have the funds to do originally. But here what had happened, the government first came in and they said we have this program, if you want to come back and rebuild, then you’re an option one recipient and there was money to come back and rebuild. That money was based on the pre-Katrina assessed values of the properties. Here on this parish, there were like several property appraisers, everything was historically underassessed. So here, most of the structures were wood and the average age of a house was probably seventy to one-hundred years old, so there weren’t a lot of contractors here. So all of a
sudden, you have all of these people with all of this money but the price of building materials went sky-high because everything had to be trucked in. So there was a lawsuit that was filed and it was determined that the formula for the allocation of option one monies was flawed. So they decided to entitle everyone to an additional $30,000 for elevation and everybody knew they couldn’t elevate their houses for $30,000 so they would turn it down and then no one was rebuilding. So then they came up with this program in the beginning of 2010, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program which entitled people up to another $150,000 to either rebuild or elevate their houses. So you had people whose houses met the base flood criteria, but they weren’t entitled to any money. On the other hand, people may have had a foot of water in their house and they could have rebuilt. So they came back and changed it again. If people met the base flood criteria, they could use the money to rebuild. So, that program has been a nightmare and it is slowly working. It was a state program and the state of Louisiana had set aside like $750 million to do this and then they hired this company called Shaw to oversee it. Initially Shaw went back to the elevation companies who already existed here in the state and hired their employees to go ahead and administer the grants. So as the money was coming in, they were just funneling the money to this handful of people who were elevating houses who didn’t have the capacity to do any elevations. So it has been really ripe with fraud. Shaw hired all of these people from all across the country to come in here, so when one of these analysts was on the phone,
they don’t know whether or not they were talking to someone in Jefferson Parish, where they didn’t have any water, but yet people were able to elevate their houses there, or somebody living here in New Orleans East where there was eighteen feet of water in their house. And so what was happening was that the analysts viewed it as a slam dunk in that they could do everything out in Jefferson Parish because they worked off of commission. So all of a sudden, hundreds of millions of dollars has been approved for Jefferson Parish where houses didn’t even have any water in them. So it has been a really slow process in trying to get this thing remedied. So what we are doing, we partner with our contractor and run television ads for six months. Right now we have about eighty contracts for elevations and reconstruction. Reflection: The politics that are involved with disaster relief cause the process to be slow which has an adverse effect on residents wishing to rebuild. Temporary shelter should be rapid yet still provide options to the victims looking to rebuild. Recommendations for Design Criteria: In addition to reducing the vulnerability placed on the returning residents, it is imperative not to rebuild in a fashion that could result in hardships in later years. Temporary shelter should be universally designed in order to provide equitable use for all users. Furthermore, permanent housing should be open to | 056
“...you had people who’s houses met the base flood criteria, but they weren’t entitled to any money. On the other hand, people may have had a foot of water in their house and they could have rebuilt.” manipulation depending on the user’s needs. Housing, whether it is temporary or permanent, should be affordable for the victims of a disaster. The relief housing should be economically designed without jeopardizing the integrity of the system. Local labor should be used for rebuilding the housing stock in order to create an additional level of reinvestment in an area following a disaster. The design should be simple and intuitive in order to ensure people from all skill-sets are able to participate in the rebuilding process.
[Fig. 24] The Common Ground Relief Headquarters
Make It Right: New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, Louisiana, USA According to the architecture firm’s website (2009), “[John C.] Williams Architects is the Executive Architect for Make It Right, a [non-profit] foundation created by Brad Pitt to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Make It Right was formed after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005, and the goal of the foundation is to build 150 affordable, sustainable houses in one of the hardest-hit areas. As the Executive Architect on the Make It Right Project, our role is to produce construction documents for each house and oversee the construction process. We act as both the liaison between the Design Architects and the builders and also the liaison between the homeowners and the builders.” The contact for John C. Williams Architects was Sarah Howell, AIA, LEED AP, a project manager on the Make It Right project team and practicing architect. Sarah Howell graduated from Yale University in 2001 and is a registered architect in the state of New York. During a site visit to New Orleans, an in-depth interview was conducted to understand the work being performed by the Make It Right Foundation. The following is a transcription of the interview with Sarah Howell that was conducted on Thursday, October 6th 2011 at the office of John C. Williams Architects, LLC., 824 Baronne Street in New Orleans, LA. The interview lasted approximately thirty minutes.
Jonathan G Kirby: How does Make It Right acquire properties? Sarah Howell: In the beginning, Make It Right actually didn’t acquire the properties; it was one of the rules that Make It Right had. They were going to rebuild houses for people on their land within a target area in the Lower Ninth Ward. We systematically went through and contacted all of the families, all of the owners of the lots in our target area and asked them if they wanted us to build them a house or what they were doing with the land. Several people came forward and said they wanted us to build a house and they still had property. Unfortunately, a lot of people had sold their lots through the Road Home program and left for good. We then started to realize that a large percentage of our target area was no longer owned by Lower Ninth Ward residents. Reflection: Instead of buying houses from victims of a catastrophic disaster, an organization should work with returning residents to provide an opportunity to rebuild early on in the process. Jonathan G Kirby: Did Make It Right go into the neighborhood to find clients, or were people looking for organizations to assist in relief housing? Also, did you ever experience issues with property ownership in the Lower Ninth Ward? Sarah Howell: No, people were not coming. Make It Right was very aggressively seeking people and calling people and trying to | 058
“Make It Right was very aggressively seeking people and calling people and trying to find out who needed help... There were issues with property titles in the city’s records.”
find out who needed help. At first, it was really hard to get the word out because our demographic was not necessarily that internet savvy. It was basically just like grass roots, calling doorto-door and trying people who lived in the Lower Ninth Ward prior to Hurricane Katrina. There were issues with property titles in the city’s records. A lot of times, the title would be in the great, greatgrandfather’s name and they just never bothered to transfer the title or deal with the city. Going down to City Hall for a lot of families in the Lower Ninth Ward was not something to do, unless they were in trouble. They didn’t voluntarily go there and say, “Take a look at my tax records.” The hardest thing is not to build houses; the hardest thing has been that whole social side of it, dealing with trying to work through the red tape. Jonathan G Kirby: What role do future residents play in the design and construction of Make It Right houses? Sarah Howell: The first people that the architects met with was their client base and they basically had a charrette where the clients talked about what they like or don’t like about their houses and what’s important to them about housing in general—bedroom sizes, front porches, or kitchens. Then the architects came back a few months later with their preliminary designs and the residents had a chance to evaluate and critique the designs before a final design was produced. So we basically worked really hard to keep the residents involved in every stage of the design process. 059 |
[Fig. 25] A Completed GRAFT House in the Lower Ninth Ward
The houses have all morphed slowly as we have built them each consecutive time. Right now, we’re working really hard to lock-in the designs, because we want to try to build or continue to build affordable, replicable houses from here on out. Reflection: Before the designs are locked-in, the residents can be heavily involved. Individual needs can be met at the beginning of the design process, but as a design reaches later stages of development, it is more economical to have a more prototypical approach to relief housing. This is a result from only providing permanent housing without a transition from temporary shelter.
Jonathan G Kirby: What determines which design gets built more and how do you start to make changes to the individual designs? Also, are the clients able to make changes to the plans to better suit their personal needs? Sarah Howell: I have a conversation with each client and we look through the different designs and they choose which one they like best. After we built the first prototypes of each house, we figured out which houses were going to be more or less expensive to build and began to show clients only designs that were closer to the price which they could afford. Make It Right was trying to subsidize a certain amount of the cost, but not the whole thing. From the beginning, Brad Pitt wanted to provide a hand up, not a hand out. Before, when we were first developing the designs and working with the clients, if they wanted the bathroom to be two feet larger, we would work it out. The design was still in flux anyways, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to make the changes. But that’s a custom house mentality and we’re trying to do something that’s replicable. We’re not trying to do this crazy project that no one could ever reproduce anywhere else. Reflection: Whether or not a client can afford the technologies, the same level of high-design is provided up-front. Subsidies allow the cost to be more “affordable” for clients, but they are still forced to carry a mortgage, something unfamiliar in the Lower Ninth Ward. Permanent housing comes with a higher up-front cost.
Jonathan G Kirby: I’m also trying to do a firm study on BNIM. Has this office done any work with BNIM and how many of their houses have been built in the Lower Ninth Ward? Sarah Howell: I’m actually in the middle of drafting the generation five BNIM house. They’re down here a lot and I know Bob Berkebile pretty well. They have their mission and everything that they do feeds back into that mission and the triple bottom line theory. They’ve designed a single-family house that we’ve built probably eight or nine times. It’s one of the simpler houses out there and we’ve tinkered with it some. It wasn’t the best floor plan to start with and we’re still not too thrilled with it. Jonathan G Kirby: Does John C. Williams Architects or Make It Right conduct Post Occupancy Evaluations, an assessment of how well a building matches a user’s needs from the user’s perspective, of the houses built? Sarah Howell: We look at energy bills and stuff. There’s a whole branch of Make It Right that’s homeowner services and there’s a guy named Willie Murray who is in charge of homeowner relations and he probably does a sit-down chat every month but I don’t know if he’s asking them a set of questions that could generate data. But these are real people. It’s not like they’re mice in a lab. You have to go in there and try to establish some kind of connection with the people that you’re talking to so that they don’t just feel | 060
“...that’s a custom house mentality and we’re trying to do something that’s replicable. We’re not trying to do this crazy project that no one could ever reproduce anywhere else.”
like you’re examining them. But, there’s no problem with people expressing their issues. People would probably be very quick to tell you what they’re having issues with. You kind of have to take everything with a grain of salt. Reflection: Post Occupancy Evaluations are seen as an infringement on resident’s privacy and as such, if they are to be conducted, they must be performed with a sense of respect as well as skepticism. Recommendations for Design Criteria: The idea of not purchasing land from victims of a catastrophic disaster is a noble one in that it reduces the amount of permanent displacement. It provides a means to keep ownership in possession of the victims and creates an avenue to foster a relationship with the people in need of assistance. To allow people the opportunity to maintain ownership of their properties, rapid temporary shelter must be provided. It is necessary to have clients involved in the design process to ensure that the client’s essential needs are met. By eliminating subsequent client involvement, the designs that meet the first round of clients were expected to compensate for additional client’s needs. The transition from temporary to permanent housing should be easy and open-ended to meet varying needs. 061 |
[Fig. 26] A Completed Morphosis House in the Lower Ninth Ward
While the use of subsidies reduces the amount of costs the client’s are expected to afford, it’s not a sustainable approach and should not be expected of practical replication. Distinguishing the designs as “affordable” subsequently claims that the target market clientele in the Lower Ninth Ward are living in poverty and need assistance to attain “affordable” living standards. Initially, temporary shelter should be a cost-effective and universallydesigned phase apart from permanent housing. Furthermore, the details of the permanent house should be dependent on individual client needs.
Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative: New Orleans’ Central City, Louisiana, USA According to the organization’s website (2011), Jericho Road’s focus area is Central City. “Jericho Road’s approach to community revitalization is to address each neighborhood according to what we learn that particular community wants/needs. The purpose of the Community Revitalization work that Jericho Road is involved with in Central City neighborhood is to: build networks that find solutions, develop leaders that engage neighbors, and advocate for and support community change... For residents, Jericho Road wants to help create accountable relationships between neighbors, support resident-driven initiatives and empower residents to manage issues that affect their quality of life.” The contact for Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative was Holly Heine, Director of Operations and Communications. Holly Heine has worked with Jericho Road since January 2007. Prior to her current position, Holly Heine was the Volunteer Coordinator for the Office of Disaster Response (ODR) of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana. During Hurricane Katrina, she worked in Baton Rouge managing the first Red Cross team to open a mass care shelter. During a site visit to New Orleans, an initial briefing and preliminary interview was conducted to understand the work being performed by Jericho Road. The initial briefing was in place of an in-depth interview due to time constraints experienced by the interviewee. The following is a transcription of an interview conducted via email during October 2011.
Jonathan G Kirby: What is Jericho Road’s philosophy on displacement—being forced or obliged to leave a specific place of habitual residence, to the level of private property? Holly Heine: I’m not sure Jericho Road has an official philosophy but I will point out that the reason for beginning our work came from a belief and a desire to help residents of Central City come back to their neighborhood if they chose to do so after Katrina. It was then and is now Jericho Road’s desire to offer opportunities for wealth accumulation through homeownership to all low-income working families and particularly those already residing in the community we serve. Jonathan G Kirby: Who is responsible for funding of the financial demands of construction costs? Holly Heine: Jericho Road has funded most of the construction costs associated with our building until 2011, either with unrestricted grant funding or donation, and by recycling the income earned from the sale of a built home. At the end of 2010 Jericho Road was awarded funding through the Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Programs (1) and (2). This funding began to be used in 2011 and will continue into 2012. Both of these NSP sources are one time funding opportunities.
“Jericho Road has acquired, through purchase and donation, properties within a specific target area. Our intention has always been to build in clusters in order to make more of an impact on an area.” Jonathan G Kirby: How does Jericho Road determine which properties will be built? Holly Heine: Jericho Road has acquired, through purchase and donation, properties within a specific target area. Our intention has always been to build in clusters in order to make more of an impact on an area. Once our resident leadership work began to grow and we saw neighborhood associations begin to form, that directed some of our decisions about where to build as well. Reflection: By rebuilding within a specified target area, an identity can be established that the community can recognize and track its growth. This can lead to a greater community involvement which could be essential in the success of reconstruction efforts. Jonathan G Kirby: How does Jericho Road work with currently displaced residents returning to New Orleans and their property? Holly Heine: Jericho Road works with anyone interested in and qualifying for the purchase of one of our homes. This includes any New Orleans citizens that would still be displaced since Katrina. We develop personal relationships with each beneficiary once they determine that our product is something they want. We work to guide them through the entire process from correcting their credit scores to the closing on their new home. Jericho Road doesn’t actually offer all of the services needed to get through 063 |
[Fig. 27] A Jericho Road house completed in June 2007
this process but can/will direct those who desire through the process. Jonathan G Kirby: What percentage of Jericho Road residents were residents to the same lot prior to Hurricane Katrina? Holly Heine: 0%. Jericho Road does not “rebuild” homes for individuals with damaged properties. There are many organizations that do that work. Jericho Road purchases property and builds new homes or purchases uninhabited property with a structure that can be rehabilitated. Then the homes are sold as any new home would be sold.
Reflection: Instead of focusing on returning displaced residents to their property, the main desire is simply getting people to move into the neighborhood in order to initiate revitalization.
Holly Heine: None.
models a need for. We hear from community members that it is important to live in a house that is constructed in a traditional New Orleans fashion. We also know that in this community multiple generations live together and stay in their houses for long periods of time; therefore, factors to foster “aging in place” through universal design are incorporated. Using green elements is a way for Jericho Road to contribute to the sustainability of the home being affordable for the family that lives in it.
Reflection: Future residents are not involved with the design or construction of the houses they will soon be inhabiting. The residents purchase the houses after the design and construction phases are complete.
Reflection: By conducting Post Occupancy Evaluations, the needs and desires of the future residents can be incorporated into the design of relief housing. This results in a higher level of resident satisfaction.
Jonathan G Kirby: What role do future residents play in the design and construction of Jericho Road houses?
Jonathan G Kirby: Does Jericho Road perform Post Occupancy Evaluations, an assessment of how well a building matches a user’s needs from the user’s view, of the houses constructed? If so, how does Jericho Road use the information gathered in subsequent designs and affairs? Holly Heine: Yes. Any information gathered would then be considered when a next building project begins. Jericho Road places emphasis on three main criteria when planning a new home–architectural integrity, green building elements and universal design. Architectural integrity and universal design are both elements that the community has either responded to or | 064
â€œArchitectural integrity and universal design are both elements that the community has either responded to or models a need for... it is important to live in a house that is constructed in a traditional New Orleans fashion.â€? Recommendations for Design Criteria: By clustering rebuilding efforts, an identity can be created and serve as a catalyst for revitalization efforts within a neighborhood. Temporary housing should be achieved in an efficient manner that allows multiple possibilities for permanent shelter. When specific clients are not determined prior to the design and construction phases of temporary shelter, feedback from Post Occupancy Evaluations can be utilized to meet unforeseen needs. In order to meet a wide array of needs, the seven universal design principles should be followed. [Fig. 28] A Jericho Road house completed in June 2007
Tulane City Center: Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA According to the organization’s self-publication (2011), “The Tulane City Center houses the School of Architecture’s urban research and outreach programs. Programs of the City Center vary over time but share a focus on improving cities through fostering urban research, the development of flexible and innovative urban strategies, and the provision of environmentally and culturally informed principles to guide the design and revitalization of the contemporary metropolis.”
Emilie Taylor: For a quick sketch of what we’re up to, we’re just a university-based design-build program that does work out in the community. Our objectives include bringing design to under-served communities, providing an educational tool for the students, and teaching the value of design to the community.
The contact for the Tulane City Center was Emilie Taylor, a senior program coordinator and a Tulane City Center design/build manager. Emilie Taylor is also an adjunct lecturer at the Tulane School of Architecture. She received her Master of Architecture from Tulane University in 2006 and her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003.
Emilie Taylor: We don’t have a written philosophy or theory, but we believe we should increase density on high ground as well as middle ground. Instead of rebuilding aggressively in low-lying areas, maybe we should be targeting areas on higher ground. We don’t think that we should force people off of their land, but we think that we should encourage people to understand their geography and think about where it is that they want to live and invest money. So while we would never discourage someone from moving home, we’re not going to advocate that they build on a place that will be dangerous to them in the future. When we’re building in low-lying areas, we’re trying to build urban farms, such as Project Sprout and “Grow Dat.” “Grow Dat” is a four-acre urban Youth Farm in New Orleans City Park. So we propose alternate land-use in low-lying areas because we believe that’s an issue that we should be working towards as a gradual shift, not like a sudden displacement.
During a site visit to New Orleans, an in-depth interview was conducted to understand the work being performed by the Tulane City Center. The following is a transcription of the interview with Emilie Taylor that was conducted on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 at Rue de la Course at 3121 Magazine Street in New Orleans, LA. The interview lasted approximately an hour. Following the interview, a tour of City Center was conducted in order to visualize the Prototype houses designed and constructed by Tulane students involved in the URBANbuild program.
Jonathan G Kirby: What is the Tulane City Center an URBANbuild’s philosophy on forced displacement?
“we realized that actually just doing one house in a giant urban context was like throwing a little pebble out into the ocean”
Reflection: While residents should be permitted to return to their homes in low-lying areas, they should be urged to look for alternative housing located on higher ground. Instead of developing a sophisticated design that responds to the parameters present in a low-lying area, it is simply easier to avoid such areas and target more ideal topography. Jonathan G Kirby: Who is responsible for funding of the financial demands of construction costs? Emilie Taylor: With our Prototype houses, we partner up with a non-profit in town called Neighborhood Housing services and that non-profit has land and then gives us a construction budget to work with. Neighborhood Housing Services typically either builds new or renovates old homes, and actually, a majority of their work is renovation. But for the new projects, they usually have a construction budget around $110,000. The only restrictions they tend to put on the house is that it is three bedrooms and two baths. So under the URBANbuild program, we have built four Prototype houses, two stick-frame, one [Structural Insulated Panel System], and one metal framing. We’re basically like an experimental arm of the non-profit that’s feeding them information on how much different systems cost. We turn over a spreadsheet to the nonprofit and they can look at how prospective it is to implement SIPS versus metal framing.
[Fig. 29] Prototype 01 in City Center
Jonathan G Kirby: How are lots determined for the URBANbuild program and the four Prototype houses? Emilie Taylor: The original idea with the URBANbuild was that Neighborhood Housing Services would provide a site in a different neighborhood every year. In the first year, we worked in upper Treme. Second year, we were like, let’s do the Central City neighborhood and then we realized that actually just doing one house in a giant urban context was like throwing a little pebble out into the ocean. Not that doing five houses in one area is much better, but at least you can start to aggregate some kind of casual
change so that the neighborhood then starts to get some kind of momentum. People like to see stuff happening and they want to be a part of it. Reflection: By concentrating recovery efforts in one neighborhood, relief work can become a catalyst for a community’s identity and can generate interest that is critical to the successfulness of such relief. Jonathan G Kirby: How are clients chosen for the projects and at what point in the time line of the project are clients declared? Emilie Taylor: With Neighborhood Housing Services, a lot of times they are working to renovate people’s homes who currently live in them. One of the neighbors to the GreenBuild house, his name is Irving and his wife is Cheryl, they went to NHS asking for assistance in renovating their house. It’s kind of like a total service thing where you go there, they send you through some financial classes to help you with your credit and then you can take part in these grant and loan programs. Jonathan G Kirby: What role do future residents play in the design and construction of URBANbuild houses? Emilie Taylor: So in our case, we’re just building new homes on vacant land and NHS has, so far, been very specific about giving
us a program that they find most homeowners want and we build to that program. But so far, they haven’t given us a client to work with or for because they are afraid of making custom homes for individual families. What they are really wanting URBANbuild to do is to make prototypical homes that they can duplicate and then sell them to whoever is interested, not just something that a specific client needs. Reflection: Disaster relief housing is a business, and as such, customization to meet a specific client’s needs should be avoided. Instead, clients should adapt their needs to what can be provided by prototypical designs. Jonathan G Kirby: Does the Tulane City Center perform Post Occupancy Evaluations, an assessment of how well a building matches a user’s needs from the user’s perspective, of the prototypes constructed? Emilie Taylor: We don’t do official Post Occupancy Evaluations, but the homeowners all have my cell phone number and they call me all the time. So there’s a lot of questions, and it’s charming to me that they want our feedback, but it’s their house. We’ve gone back around to get utility bills but we haven’t done proper POEs like we should. A large part of it is not for a lack of wanting to, but it’s because we’re all massively busy. We work sixty or seventy hour weeks and we just don’t want to add anything to our plates. | 068
“What they are really wanting URBANbuild to do is to make prototypical homes that they can duplicate and then sell them to whoever is interested, not just something that a specific client needs.” Reflection: While Post Occupancy Evaluations are a resource that should be utilized in order to enhance design decisions, they generate an additional work load and are given a lower priority. Recommendations for Design Criteria: While the argument to increase density on high ground is understandable, the architecture community cannot expect to avoid designing in areas that are prone to disasters. An everincreasing world population and the necessity for accessibility to shipping routes demands that some of the population be located in vulnerable sites. However, the architecture community, through design, must reduce the inherent vulnerability through conscientious design efforts. Relief housing should serve as a catalyst for a neighborhood to return. All efforts should be taken to establish an identity in line with desires of the community and to return displaced residents to their own land. The concept of rebuilding across an entire city reduces the effect of creating an identity. Disaster housing relief efforts should be driven by the victims and, as such, should meet their fundamental and ethical needs. To have a capitalistic agenda at the mercy of a displaced and marginalized community is ethically wrong and distasteful. Instead, it should be an attempt to provide the victims an opportunity to reestablish 069 |
[Fig. 30] “Grow Dat” Project in City Park
their way of life. Relief housing should provide a beginning to long-term recovery, not simply a quick fix to conditions following a catastrophic disaster. Post Occupancy Evaluations are a necessity in meeting user’s needs. Evidence-based design helps reduce the degree of social injustice placed on the victims of a disaster. Any architectural design should be accompanied by a POE in order to understand how well the user’s needs are met.
World Views of Case Studies Common Ground Relief
Make It Right
Fairness and Equality We can’t just simply rebuild to get people to move back into the community. We have to build in a fashion that does not put people back into a vulnerable situation. Pre-Katrina property assessments resulted in insufficient funds being disbursed to the returning residents for rebuilding efforts. This forced many people into “electing” the option of simple moving on with their life in a new area. Dignity and Respect The government is responsible for the chaotic ownership dilemma for returning residents because of the lack of respect for the displaced victims evident in the lackadaisical bookkeeping prior to the disaster.
Before the designs are locked-in, the residents can be heavily involved. Individual needs can be met at the beginning of the design process, but as a design reaches later stages of development, it is desirable to have a more prototypical approach to relief housing.
Post Occupancy Evaluations are an infringement on resident’s privacy and as such, if they are to be conducted, they must be performed with a sense of respect as well as skepticism.
Gentrification In order to get residents interested in returning and becoming invested in the rebuilding efforts, it is critical to reestablish the schooling system and communal facilities. This creates an avenue in which the residents become invested for an extended period of time.
Instead of buying houses from victims of a catastrophic disaster, an organization should work with returning residents to provide an opportunity to rebuild. If properties must be purchased, the process should take place with another organization that has already purchased properties so as to reduce the number of victims losing their property.
Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative
Tulane City Center
Future residents should not be involved with the design or construction of the houses they will soon be inhabiting. Residentâ€™s needs should be adapted to what the house can provide.
While Post Occupancy Evaluations are a resource that should be utilized in order to enhance design decisions, they generate an additional work load and are deemed non-essential.
By conducting Post Occupancy Evaluations, Jericho Road can begin to respond to the needs of the residents and can incorporate evidence-based design in its houses. This results in a higher level of resident satisfaction.
While residents should be permitted to return to their homes in low-lying areas, they should be urged to look for alternative housing located on higher ground. Disaster relief housing is a business, as as such, customization to meet a specific clientâ€™s needs should be avoided. Instead, clients should adapt their needs to what can be provided by a prototype.
There are other organizations that can responding to the issue of displacement following Hurricane Katrina. Instead, Jericho Road focuses simply on getting people to move into the neighborhood in order to initiate revitalization.
By concentrating recovery efforts in one neighborhood, relief work can ensure that a communityâ€™s needs and interests are achieved.
[Fig. 31] This aerial photo showing one of the many FEMA trailer parks around the region, was taken in August, 2006. The trailers offer assistance to the thousands of families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. (Buddy Motley, ÂŠCKI, Inc.)
Indian Ocean Tsunami: Sri Lanka The Indian Ocean tsunami generated a situation in which a plethora of organizations rushed to provide relief aid. While the efforts present in Sri Lanka were relatively equal to all victims, the responses failed to consider climactic issues and, as a result, the residents were unfairly dealt disadvantages. The victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami were unjustly stripped of their dignity Following the tsunami of December 2004 in the Indian Ocean, Oxfam Great Britain, a large non-governmental organization, worked to supply aid to Sri Lanka. Multiple obstacles surfaced during the attempt to provide relief housing including complex property-ownership issues and sanctioned areas declared as nobuild buffer zones. It was foreseen that the rebuilding phase would be long-lasting, so to ensure that the victims of the tsunami had adequate housing, the NGO strived to design a transitional shelter that would be implemented following the emergency relief. While shelter was one of the main concerns, the NGO also focused on social concerns, including cultural values and local skill. In order to ensure the possibility of building more permanent housing, the Oxfam team utilized materials such as timber, corrugated metal, and cement blocks to allow for dismantling and reuse. Construction methods, such as bolts for timber joints, furthered the possibility of dismantling the temporary shelters. These construction methods provided the possibility for temporary shelter to transition into a more permanent dwelling.
Over the course of five months in 2005, Oxfam built nearly 2,000 transitional shelters in Sri Lanka. The organization refrained from settling on a universally applicable approach. Designs focused on differing familial sizes, various climates and environmental settings, and the skills and expertise found in the community. One pitfall of several relief housing initiatives is that the location for the reconstruction was undesirable for the victims of the disaster. Oxfam members found that listening to the desires of the displaced families and empowering them to make decisions resulted in the greatest benefits. Community involvement assisted in reducing the possibility of locating the housing in an area that would eventually be abandoned. Despite the implementation of the no-build buffer zones, residents returned to their houses along the coast where their livelihoods, boats and nets for fishing, were located. Some of the transitional relief houses that were constructed were not utilized as permanent residences, but instead used as capital to be negotiated for dowries. Instead of the victims of the tsunami receiving funding to rebuild in a manner in conjunction with social norms, they were forced to attempt rebuilding with little help. In Sri Lanka following the tsunami, hundreds of non-governmental organizations arrived to provide relief without any sense of coordination. As such, rebuilding took place all along the coast | 074
The organization refrained from settling on a universally applicable approach. Instead, designs focused on differing familial sizes, various climates and environmental settings, and the skills and expertise found in the community. without standards implemented to guide the rebuilding phase. With so many organizations providing relief in the area, it was soon deemed essential to establish standards to ensure equity among the victims of the tsunami. For example, relief efforts by a famous Asian architect included timber framing with soil-cement block infill. The building technology was completely unprecedented in the area, resulting in resentment from the people seeking relief housing. Instead, the intended residents relied on selling or renting the structures. Such actions result in unperceived tensions within the community. Issues arise with the process of implementing technologies that are not proven to work in all climates/environments. By utilizing panels and an infill system, the recovering community must learn and incorporate sophisticated means to add additional rooms or insert openings into the houses. This results in a lower capability of transforming a transitional house into a permanent house. Two years following the relief efforts, Oxfam members conducted surveys to learn the successfulness of the reconstruction efforts. A high level of unequal assistance, faulty structures provided to the people, and social issues arose from the designs. Following a disaster, many organizations strive to provide as much aid as quickly as possible. With such practices, quality control was lacking, resulting in shelters failing to meet the needs of the people. 075 |
[Fig. 32] Abandoned resettlement houses too far from the coastline
In areas such as Batticaloa and Ampara, families were forced to endure monsoons and dry seasons for two years following the tsunami in undesirable shelters. The shelters have been referred to as “chicken boxes” and “microwave ovens” because they were constructed entirely of corrugated meal sheeting. Such a design implementation was climatically unsuitable (D’Urzo, 2010).
Indian Ocean Tsunami: Tamil Nadu, India In Tamil Nadu, India following the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, the relief housing provided during humanitarian aid lacked connection to the accustomed vernacular. This induced unnecessary and unfair strains on the people, causing unfathomable social issues. In the years after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, rebuilding efforts were evaluated through anthropological research by Jennifer E. Duyne Barenstein PhD., a social anthropologist at the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland and Senior Researcher and head of the World Habitat Research Centre. The resulting research discovered that the rebuilding efforts were carried out in a fashion that was unrelated to the social norms of the communities. The post-disaster relief housing was designed in such opposition to the existing housing culture that the fishing community of Tamil Nadu experienced physical and mentalhealth issues. Typical, traditional houses in Tadil Nadu are constructed using thatch walls and a fully thatched roof. Furthermore, the houses were composed of two rooms, one of which was a semi-enclosed veranda connecting the interior to the exterior. The veranda offered an area that was considered public space during the day, where friends can gather, and a private space during the evening for sleeping. Large vegetation around the houses created more occupiable space and an area of refuge in the region that has daytime temperatures in excess of 1000F. As such, the community
generally viewed the vegetation as a source of protection that was sacred and provides a healthy environment. The materials chosen for the traditional housing vernacular are light and airy. Because they do not respond to the local climate, precast-concrete houses with flat roofs were avoided in the region. Following the tsunami of 2004, new building codes were implemented in the region that put the traditional vernacular housing of Tamil Nadu in jeopardy. It was the imposition of western models of housing construction in the area that led to the demise of the well-being of communities. Reconstruction efforts were directed towards replacing the vernacular houses of the region with more modern construction. Even families living in structurally-sound vernacular houses were encouraged to utilize the funds and build a new house according to the newly implemented building codes. With all of the funding and the codes, families were entitled to a reinforced-concrete house with a flat roof. The three-hundred twenty-five square foot house was divided into a dining room, two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. New spaces were introduced into the building language and the most important space, the veranda, was omitted completely. Furthermore, in order to construct these new, relief houses, the sites were cleared to allow for rapid and efficient building efforts. What resulted was rows of reinforced-concrete houses sitting in close proximity to one another without a single tree to provide shade to the community. | 076
It was the imposition of western models of housing construction in the area that led to the demise of the well-being of communities.
As a result of implementing construction methods without including considerations of social norms, the everyday lives of the communities were completely turned upside-down. Instead of having areas where community members could gather and interact, these individualized houses kept people secluded. Furthermore, because the houses were built at a restricted size, residents were restricted to living in a nuclear family setting instead of the multi-generational setting that they were accustomed. The elderly became isolated from the community, reducing the informal security provided by the community. This creation of isolation within the communities created an extreme increase in alcohol consumption and suicide rates. Because the trees had been eradicated from the site, people sought refuge from the sun in their private quarters. The simple absence of trees in the built environment resulted in catastrophic health issues for the communities. In order to provide respect and dignity to a community suffering from housing loss due to a disaster, more is required than simply providing a house. The relief houses must be constructed in a manner that meets the needs and preferences of the community members. A house contributes to the social system of a community, and as such, is an expression of the way a community lives (Duyne Barenstein, 2010).
[Fig. 33] State-built housing after the tsunami
Hurricane Katrina: New Orleans East, Louisiana, USA The conditions found in New Orleans East following Hurricane Katrina reflect a majority of those present in the Lower Ninth Ward. The injustice of urban gentrification begins to become evident in the redevelopment following Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, this events in this precedent study offer insights into yet another instance where a recent disaster affected a residential development in close proximity to coastal waters. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Deborah Gans, Principal of Gans Studio in New York and a Professor of Architecture at Pratt Institute, worked with DARCH Architects of New York in New Orleans. According to Gans, six months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans appeared as if the hurricane had passed through the city only twenty-four hours earlier. New Orleans East is a low-lying urban area juxtaposed with Lake Ponchartrain. Similar to the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans East is one of the most flood-prone areas in the country and is composed of lower-income populations. New Orleans East was brought into the light during the Urban Land Institute’s Green Dot Map for the recovery of New Orleans. With the Green Dot Map, the Urban Land Institute recommended turning low-lying areas into functions while increasing the density on higher ground. The residents displaced during the disaster would
be required to either remain in diaspora or move to different areas of the city. Following the recommendation, residents became irate because more African American neighborhoods were scheduled for removal than white neighborhoods at similar elevations. Racial tensions grew drastically following Hurricane Katrina, threatening the Urban Land Institute’s proposal. The Green Dot Map was soon discredited, allowing rebuilding efforts in the neighborhoods that had been designated to become extinct. Individual reconstruction efforts failed to establish a joint effort in increasing the resiliency of the city for future disasters. Similar to the Lower Ninth Ward, extended families resided in New Orleans East. In the group’s study, they uncovered that one family owned more than a dozen properties in one of the neighborhoods. This provided insight into the social concept that living was generational in New Orleans, well beyond the nuclear family. To increase safety, rebuilding in housing clusters was desired as opposed to a single individual attempting to return. The development covenant suggested that the neighborhood is the smallest sustainable social unit. Following the demise of the Urban Land Institute’s Plan, several new strategies were implemented. There was Bring New Orleans Back, the Lambert Plan, and the Unified New Orleans Plan. In the Bring New Orleans Back plan, a neighborhood had to have fifty percent of the residents declaring a plan to return before | 078
Six months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans appeared as if the hurricane had passed through the city only twenty-four hours earlier.
the neighborhood would be given funding for rebuilding, a difficult mandate with so many residents displaced across the country. When Gans and DARCH worked on plans to rebuild in New Orleans East, they focused efforts as a base level of multiple blocks. In working with the rebuilding plans, the Base Flood Elevation had to be consulted which depicts the elevation of a one-hundred year flood. In conjunction with the Base Flood Elevation, housing vernaculars were chosen depending upon the elevation of the site and the type of water nearby. Areas near saltwater wetlands generally utilized the vernacular of a fishing cottage while areas near fresh water utilized houses with a raised center hall. In addition, areas near brackish marshes utilized raised Creole cottages. On sites where the elevation was higher, the vernacular desired was of the shotgun house. Instead of forcing people to move away from the water, specific vernaculars that respond well to the area were utilized in order to allow people to return home. Furthermore, instead of focusing on elevating the houses to a level that would avoid future flooding issues, the group focused on the social and economic undertones of the area. There were specific construction methods that had to be utilized in New Orleans because of the site conditions. Because the ground can not support the traditional slab-on-grade of the ranch house, edge beams that were supported by subsurface piles had to be incorporated. In the review of the residencies washed away in New Orleans East, 079 |
[Fig. 34] Abandoned workshop because of the need to raise the foundation
the team determined that the concept of prefabrication must be handled with care, as not to be drawn into the illusion of universal applicability, both in the built form and the social aspect. All-in-all, one overarching belief in the groupâ€™s rebuilding efforts was that it was cheaper and safer to build a neighborhood than a house (Gans, 2010).
Site (Context) Research + Documentation
[Fig. 35] Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina pour through a levee along the Inner harbor navigational Canal near downtown New Orleans, La., Tuesday, August 30, 2005, a day after Katrina passed through the city. (AP Photo/Vincent Laforet, Pool)
Hurricane Katrina’s Diaspora Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, FEMA received applications for assistance from displaced residents that had relocated to every state as well as Puerto Rico. The total number of applications reached 1.36 million by September 23rd, 2005, less than a month after the catastrophic hurricane made its second landfall in Louisiana. Ten percent of the evacuees relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana while over six percent relocated to Houston, Texas.
Of the nearly 1.36 million submitted applications to FEMA in less than one month, eighty-six percent came from the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. However, despite the majority, over thirty-five thousand families were relocated over one-thousand miles from New Orleans.
Applications by Distance from New Orleans
[Fig 36] “Katrina’s Diaspora”
Miles 0 - 100 100 - 200 200 - 400 400 - 800 800 - 1,600 1,600 - 3,200 3,200 +
Applicants 626,232 338,080 184,169 143,497 45,371 13,403 323
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, estimates of New Orleans’ population were approximately 480,000. As of July 1st, 2006, those estimates were down to anywhere between 200,000 and 250,000. The United States Postal Service has been able to track this mass displacement through review of applications for change of address following the storm. As of July 1st, 2006, more than 270,000 households had filed a change of address form. Of the more than a quarter-million filings, approximately seventy-six thousand moved to a new address within the New Orleans area.
Zip codes with applications for change of address that had fewer than 25 households are not shown on the map below. In addition, the circles for the zip code regions are scaled according to the number of change of address forms processed. This scaled information depicts how the a great deal of the resettlement was focused in the Southeast area, but still spread across the entire country as well.
Zip Codes of the Greater New Orleans Area
[Fig 37] “Change of Address Forms”
70123 70124 70114 70130
70119 70125 70117 70122 70127 70113
70126 70118 7011670115
As of October 9th, 2005, approximately six weeks following Katrina, the number of evacuees in shelters had diminished to slightly over 20,000. However, the number of evacuees living in hotels had exceeded 600,000.
The Red Cross estimated that the average nightly room charge was $59. By September 19th, 2005, the total cost billed to date for hotel accommodations for evacuees was approximately $40 million. By October 9th of the same year, that cost had inflated dramatically in excess of $120 million.
Number of Hotel Rooms Rented for Hurricane Evacuees:
[Fig 38] â€œHotels for Evacueesâ€?
Less than 100 100 to 999 1,000 to 9,999 10,000 and more Alaska: 25, Hawaii: 0 100 500 1,000
New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward The temperature range for New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, as depicted in the diagram on the right, shows that the average annual temperature falls within the comfort zone as described by ASHRAE in the Handbook of Fundamentals Comfort Model, 2005. During the months of June and August, the mean temperature falls above the comfort zone, making cooling a necessity. The wind rose shows the wind patterns from June to August, the months when cooling is a necessity. The prevailing winds during these months comes out of the south and southeast. With these winds in excess of 70% relative humidity, some form of dehumidification is necessary. Furthermore, with temperatures in excess of 790F, it is desirable for the air to be cooled in some form before entering the building.
1100F 1000F Recorded High Design High Average High Mean Average Low Design Low Recorded Low Comfort Zone
900F 800F 700F 600F 500F 400F 300F 200F 100F Jan
[Fig 40] “Temperature Range” Temperature 79-1000F
Relative Humidity 30-70 % >70 % 15 20 25 Max Avg Min 0% Avg 100% RH
6% Jun - Aug
[Fig 39] “Psychrometric Chart” 085 |
[Fig 41] “Wind Rose”
Min Avg Max
Major Site Features  Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (Industrial Canal): The Industrial Canal is a 5.5 mile waterway connecting the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain and part of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet. In the 1960s, the canal was widened in order to provide access for a larger volume of shipping traffic.  Levee Floodwall: In 1965, shortly following the expansion of the Industrial Canal, Hurricane Betsy caused a breach in the canalâ€™s levee, flooding the Lower Ninth Ward and leading to the implementation of concrete floodwalls. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a breach in the levee floodwall led to the catastrophic flooding of the historic Lower Ninth Ward. During Hurricane Katrina, a large barge floated through the breach in the levee floodwall and became situated a few blocks into the Lower Ninth Ward.  Main Outfall Canal: A critical element of the cityâ€™s flood control system, the main outfall canal serves as a drainage culvert for the city. With the addition of navigation and drainage canals around New Orleans, the natural hydrological basin became divided into smaller sub-basins. During heavy rainstorms and tropical events, the rainwater is pumped out of these basins and into the outfall canals and Lake Pontchartrain.
 Lower Ninth Ward: The Ninth Ward is divided into the Upper and Lower portions by the Industrial Canal. The area of the Ninth Ward that was located down river from the Industrial Canal was then termed the Lower Ninth Ward. At 1.63 square miles, the average elevation of the Lower Ninth Ward is 0 ft (sea level). Because of the severe level of damage yo the area, following Hurricane Katrina, the Lower Ninth Ward was the last area in the city of New Orleans to be reopened to allow residents to return.  Claiborne Avenue: Claiborne Avenue is the major thoroughfare connecting the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish to downtown New Orleans. The Judge William Seeber Bridge over the Industrial Canal was greatly damaged during Hurricane Katrina and continues to be in poor condition. Following the storm, the bridge remained closed for several months due to its deteriorating state and was not fully reopened until early 2006.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, the population of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward was 14,008. As of January 2011, that figured significantly dropped to 2,842. After nearly five and a half years of recovery effort, only approximately twenty percent of the population value remains. While this does not depict a true representation of returning residents, it still highlights a severe discrepancy between both values. This discrepancy represents the issue of displacement that must be addressed with any relief and recovery efforts.
[Fig 42] “The Lower Ninth Ward” 087 |
Pre-Katrina January 2011
Additionally, as of January 2011, only approximately twenty percent of the number of families that had lived in the Lower Ninth Ward prior to Hurricane Katrina were present. While there were 3,467 families comprising the 4,820 households prior to Hurricane Katrina, there were only a mere 683 families comprising the 1,061 households in January 2011.
New Orleans Housing Typologies In an effort to provide relief housing that is similar to the existing vernacular of the site, the housing typologies of New Orleans were studied. Through the process of identifying the different typologies during a site visit in October of 2011and the reconstruction of floor plans and three-dimensional models of the typologies, a basic understanding was obtained pertaining to the organization and functionality of each typology. These three housing typologies of New Orleans contain a similar organization pattern and language that defines residential architecture in the area. It is critical to understand and acknowledge the organization patterns in order to ensure that relief housing is meeting fundamental expectations of the victims, a criteria established in the case studies as well as the precedent studies sections. These housing typologies have evolved over time in the area and address climatic issues as well as address functionality. The evolved housing typologies assist in responding to natural demands found in an environment and climate as unforgiving as New Orleans. For these two main reasons, it is imperative to learn from the typologies and implement similar strategies in relief housing. The following paragraphs assist in explaining the form organization of each typology, the typical foundation of each typology, and the areas in which each typology is generally located within New Orleans.
[Fig 43] â€œ2-Bay Shotgunâ€? As the most abundant vernacular housing type in New Orleans, the Shotgun house presents a linear progression of rooms perpendicular with the street. Circulation in a shotgun house typically flows from room to room, but a hallway or gallery can be added to one of the sides. In the two-bay shotgun house, apertures are located in pairs along the length of the house to facilitate cross ventilation. These houses are typically constructed with wood framing on brick piers. In New Orleans, the shotgun vernacular is predominately found in areas of higher elevations | 088
[Fig 44] “2-Bay Creole Cottage”
[Fig 45] “3-Bay Creole Townhouse”
The Creole Cottage can be found throughout older New Orleans neighborhoods. Because of the shape of the roof on the cottage, there is ample space for an extra room or storage on the second floor. The Creole Cottage offers a progression of rooms, generally with service areas located near the rear of the house. These houses are typically constructed with wood framing on brick piers or may also be constructed with brick-betwwen-posts or plastered brick.
The Creole Townhouse can be found throughout older New Orleans neighborhoods. It can either be completely residential or can provide commercial space on the first floor. Generally, this housing typology ranges anywhere in height from two stories to three and a half stories. The side corridor provides access to the courtyard in the rear of the house as well as to an out building in the rear of the house. These houses are typically constructed of masonry, but may also be constructed with wood framing.
In New Orleans, the Creole Cottage is predominately found in areas around brackish marshes on a raised foundation.
In New Orleans, the Creole Townhouse is predominately found in areas around fresh water and in dense urban environments such as the French Quarter.
Lower Ninth Ward Lot Dimensions In order to promote a solidified identity in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, a system of easements was developed for each lot. These required easements assist in meeting mandatory codes as well as promote sustainable strategies throughout the site.  20’ Front Setback Allow for implementation of continuous water management technologies. The incorporation of a bioswale would attenuate and treat stormwater runoff on the site. In addition, the front setback creates a buffer zone along the main vehicular circulation realm in order to reduce noise pollution in the immediate vicinity of the residences.
 12’ South Easement Provide adequate space to incorporate site improvements in order to control solar heat gain during the summer months with the addition of native vegetation. In addition, promote additional water management across the site with additional permeable materials.
 10’ Back Easement The back easement allows for an unobstructed supply line for utilities. The back easement also provides the possibility of implementing a raised pedestrian circulation realm that would create connections between residences in order to reduce the severe separation present during Hurricane Katrina.
 Foundation Elevation Following Hurricane Katrina of 2004, FEMA prescribed a Base Flood Elevation (BFE) of three feet above the highest existing adjacent grade (HEAG). This assists in preventing additional flooding in the future from storm surges and heavy rainfalls.
 4’-6” North Easement This is the minimum allowable setback which provides space to run utilities. This easement also serves the additional purpose of providing additional pervious ground treatment to assist in water absorption following a heavy rain or storm surges with a hurricane. | 090
VII [Fig 46] “Typical Lot Lower Ninth Ward” 091 |
[Fig. 47] Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill., helps paint a home at the Habitat for Humanity project at the Musiciansâ€™ Village, Friday July 21st, 2006 in New Orleans. Obama spent the day touring parts of the city damaged by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
Design Recommendations Following the case studies and literature review, a set of design recommendations was established for the design proposal phase of the project. These recommendations aim to ensure social justice during the disaster relief process by reducing the severity of displacement endured by the victims of a disaster. In order for a successful approach to disaster relief housing and eventually permanent recovery, it is critical for these design recommendations to be addressed and implemented.
To allow people the opportunity to maintain ownership of their properties, rapid temporary shelter must be provided.
The transition from temporary to permanent housing should be easy and open-ended to meet varying needs.
Temporary shelter should be cost-effective and universally designed while the permanent house should be dependent on individual client needs.
The following list of design recommendations cover a wide range of issues from temporary shelter to permanent housing and from principles procedures.
Relief housing should serve as a catalyst for a neighborhood and displaced residents to return to their own land.
Temporary shelters should be universally designed in order to provide equitable use for all users.
Victims of a disaster need to have a voice and a presence in the rebuilding effort, thereby demanding a quick return to the area of devastation.
Permanent housing should be open to manipulation depending on the user’s needs.
Relief housing should approach passive survivability: “the ability of a building to maintain critical life-support conditions for its occupants if services such as power, heating fuel, or water are lost for an extended period.”
The relief housing should be economically designed without jeopardizing the integrity of the system.
The design should be simple and intuitive in order to ensure people from all skill-sets are able to participate in the rebuilding process.
Universal Design Principles Equitable Use: The design is useful, marketable, and appealing to people with diverse abilities. The same means of use must be provided for all users; identical whenever possible; equivalent when not. It is imperative to avoid segregating or stigmatizing any users. Furthermore, provisions shall be made to equally provide privacy, security, and safety to all users.
Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities. Use different modes for redundant presentation of essential information. Provide adequate contrast between essential information and the surroundings. Additionally, maximize the “legibility” of essential information.
Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. Provide choice in methods of use. Use should be possible through a choice of methods. In addition, the flexibility in use should facilitate the user’s accuracy and precision while being capable of adapting to the user’s pace. Use should be equally accessible for both right- and left-handed individuals.
Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. Elements should be arranged to minimize hazards and errors. When unavoidable, warnings should be provided for such hazards. The design should provide fail safe features and discourage unconscious action in tasks that require vigilance.
Simple and Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. All unnecessary complexity should be eliminated in order to be consistent with the user’s expectations and intuition. A wide range of literacy and language skills should be accommodated. Information should be arranged consistent with its importance.
Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum amount of fatigue. The user should be allowed to maintain a neutral body position while exerting reasonable operating forces. It is critical to minimize repetitive actions as well as minimize sustained physical effort. Size/Space for Approach/Use: The design provides appropriate size and space for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility. A clear line of sight should be provided to important elements for any seated or standing person. The design provides adequate space for the use of assistive devices or personal assistance.
Critiquing An Existing Solution: pugh + scarpa architecsâ€™ high house Universal Design Principles: In plan, the High House depicts the full bath as ADA compliant with a five-foot clear diameter. However, in order to access either bathroom, or the bedrooms, an individual would be required to scale the half stairs connecting the public area to the private area of the house. Not only does this vertical barrier fail to provide equal use, but this design aspect severely aids in segregating users with limited mobility.
Several of the operable windows in the design are located on the second story of the living space. This condition creates an instance where a user would be forced to endure an unnatural body position to provide a natural breeze through the house. There is a lack of efficiency in the manipulation of the operable windows that creates additional strain on the physical body.
The decision to rely solely on stairs to serve as vertical circulation jeopardizes the flexibility of the design as a whole. In accordance with the Cradle to Cradle approach to sustainability, the design should be homeowner driven and, thereby, capable of being adapted to the userâ€™s pace. However, there is a lack of options in the method of accessing the house which greatly affects its ability to be flexible.
In the private area of the house, the intersection of walls that provide privacy in the bedrooms and bathrooms create tight spaces that do not provide adequate space for approach or use for a user relying on assistive devices. The overall geometry of the hallway generates additional complexity for navigating throughout the house, navigation that could be difficult when user mobility is reduced.
The extensive reliance on steel columns to support the private portion of the design as well as the placement of the columns increases the complexity of the system, thereby reducing the probability of a universal understanding of the building technologies. This reduces the ability for multiple knowledge and skill levels to understand the system and be able to assist in the reconstruction.
[Fig 48] Pugh + Scarpa Architectsâ€™ High House
Pugh + Scarpa’s proposal for their Make It Right home claims to redefine the concept of flexibility, multi-functionality, and adaptable space. The design also claims of transforming people away from a reclusive and isolated lifestyle. Furthermore, Pugh + Scarpa’s approach to Cradle to Cradle sustainability suggests that the design responds to the specific climate, it location specific, establishes a sustainable model, and is homeowner driven.
The High House has a clear distinction between the public and private areas of the house, similar to what is found in the Shotgun and Creole vernaculars. However, whereas the three New Orleans typologies have at least two points of access, Pugh + Scarpa’s High House only contains one access point in the living area. The layout of the New Orleans typologies ensures cross ventilation through the house to provide relief from the climate; however, the complexity in layout around the sleeping area breaks this pattern, reducing the possibility to utilize natural ventilation in the house.
The house is described as having the capability to provide natural ventilation to cool the house from May to September, when the average temperatures are at or above the high end of the thermal comfort zone. The extensive porches provide shading around the house envelope, yet the lack of operable windows limits the amount of cross-ventilation.
Phase 01 + 02: Logistics + Assembly Transportation Restrictions: Ground transportation offers some flexibility in the modes, but there are several restrictions placed on the dimensions and weights of the material shipped. Local and national height, width and weight restrictions must be considered when determining what type of truck could transport a core. Each type of truck has its own limitations regarding maximum weight as well as allowable clearance height. Because of these limitations, great care must be taken when determining the best vehicle to transport a core by ground. The available types of trucks for ground transportation include, pickup trucks, single unit trucks, dump trucks, and semi tractor trailer trucks. Semi tractor trailer trucks provide the largest carrying capacity with multiple trailer options. The differing trailer options are capable to transporting components of various dimensions and weights. Because of their shear size, semi tractor trailer trucks are the hardest to maneuver. A double drop trailer stretched provides the necessary clearance height for the core. With 11’-6” clearance and a length of up to 50’, two cores can be situated on the trailer. The concrete piles and necessary equipment can be placed on the trailer where the clearance is lower. While the typical trailer is 8’-6” wide,
oversized loads may be up to 14’-0” wide. These size restrictions and weight restrictions were incorporated into the initial design phases of the core to ensure feasible transportation. During transportation, the core is wrapped in a water-proof membrane to protect the finishes from the elements. Once the core has been placed on the foundation piers, the two exterior dynamic components are assembled to the core. Once these components are installed, the core is capable of providing temporary shelter for victims or a catastrophic disaster in which housing stock has been lost.
Foundation Considerations: In order to provide quick assembly, the foundation for the core is designed to be precast concrete piles with concrete caps. Because of the low bearing capacity of the soil on the site, the concrete piles are sized to adequately distribute the dead load and live load of the core. Enough reinforcement is placed within the piles, according to the load capacity formula as depicted in the calculations, and the spacing and coverage meets all minimum requirements. [Fig 49] Foundation Detail
Phase 03: Temporary Shelter
[Fig 50] Core Plan | 102
[Fig 51] Core Section AA 103 |
[Fig 50] Core Section BB | 104
[Fig 53] Core Section CC 105 |
Phase 03: Temporary Shelter + Dynamic Components  Vertical Access The vertical access into the core is a contained in a component that is attached to the side of the core once installed on the foundation piles. The component also serves as a security feature on the core, allowing the structure to close during the night hours. By dividing the surface of the component into two separate features, both a vertical lift and an overhead canopy are provided. The vertical lift provides identical use of the core, thereby avoiding any segregation of users.  Core Roof The roof component includes four pistons positioned near each corner of the component. Once installed on the core, these pistons are located within the bulkhead. By having four pistons, the roof structure can be sloped in any direction in order to capture solar energy. This feature creates a tolerance for error so that the core can be oriented in any direction on the site and still be capable of capturing solar energy. Because the roof structure is capable of tilting in any direction, a flexible material had to be fabricated to the underside of the component to ensure a thermal and moisture barrier around the perimeter.  Bedding The sleeping component ensures that the core can be used as a temporary shelter in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Located above the washer and dryer, the component cane
be folded out and arranged at different heights depending on need. This ability to locate the beds at various heights provides flexibility in use as well as equitable use.  Bathroom Privacy The privacy and shower wall for the bathroom is a lightweight space frame with a waterproof material. Because the bathroom and laundry/sleeping area are designed as a wet room, the shower wallâ€™s main purpose is to block a majority of the water while providing privacy. The lightweight space frame ensures that a user is capable of maintaining a neutral body position while engaging the component.  Shower Seat The shower seat is designed to be housed in the wall beneath the shower. This allows the component to be stowed out of the space while still being easily accessible. Itâ€™s lightweight design requires an individual to exert little force in order to use the seat.  Bulkhead Storage The storage component is located in the bulkhead and is either designed to store batteries for PV panels located on the roof or can be used for additional storage. The component can be easily retracted from the bulkhead for easy access. Its simple and intuitive use reduces complexity from the system. | 106
[Fig 54] Dynamic Components 107 |
Phase 04: Validation Universal Design Principles: The possible long-term housing solutions address equitable use through the use of a personal lift to gain access into the house. Because of the Base Foundation Elevation, the house must be raised the minimum of three feet above the adjacent grade. The inclusion of a ramp is not feasible on the site due to the required length in order to meet required codes. Because the solution can not be identical, the use of the lift provides identical access to the long-term housing. The public area or both long-term housing solutions offer flexibility in use in that they provide a transition area between the living room and the kitchen. Instead of providing built-ins that predetermine this spaceâ€™s use, the area is open for manipulation. The space is open to provide choice in the method of use and is capable of being adapted to the userâ€™s pace and needs. With the long-term housing, all unnecessary complexity is removed from the design. The users expectations and intuition are met because the design is derived from the housing typologies typically found in the New Orleans area. Furthermore, the spaces within the house area arranged consistently with their importance as determined from the housing typologies. Public areas are located in the front of the house while more private areas are located in the rear.
[Fig 55] House 01 Plan To provide a clear distinction between the different areas and uses in the house, differing materials establish clear and distinct boundaries. This transition can be visually, aurally, and tangibly perceived by users. This creation of distinction allows users to easily differentiate the elements within the house. Furthermore, this differentiation still allows compatibility with all sensory limitations a user may incur. In order to minimize adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions, building elements were arranged to minimize errors. In order to provide tolerance for error on | 108
[Fig 56] House 02 Plan the second floor, additional space was designed around the bedroom entrances. This additional space not only provides enough space for approach and use, but allows for unintentional consequences. In order to provide a design that can be used efficiently and comfortably by the user, one main issue to address was the operable windows. In the High House, the few operable windows were located at height that prevented the user from maintaining a neutral body position. In the two long-term housing solutions, operable casement windows located at an accessible height 109 |
minimize sustained physical effort while only requiring reasonable operating forces. The two long-term housing solutions provided address size and space for approach and use on several instances. Both designs feature kitchens with ample turning space for a wheelchair. There is adequate space provided in case a user relies on the use of assistive devices or personal assistance. In addition, the complexity that is evident in the hallway of the High House has been removed. Simple paths ensure that a clear line of sight is provided to important elements.
[Fig 57] Physical Model
[Fig 58] Physical Model | 110
[Fig 59] Physical Model 111 |
[Fig 60] Physical Model
[Fig. 61] A Chinook helicopter drops sandbags to repair the breach in the Industrial Canal levee, Sunday, September 25th, 2005, in New Orleans. The storm surge created by Hurricane Rita eroded repairs made after Hurricane Katrina and sent water surging back into the already devastated Ninth Ward. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
 “Residents In A Flooded Neighborhood” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 19) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Eric Gay.
 “Displaced Residents Gathered Outside of the Superdome” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 23) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Phil Coale.
 “Floodwater over the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 14) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/David J. Phillip.
 “Displaced residents Waiting for Busses Leaving the City” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 32) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Robert Galbrath/Pool.
 “Returning to the Lower Ninth Ward” from Katrina Revisited (p. 37) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2008. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by AP Photo/Robert F. Bukat.
 “Devastation in the Lower Ninth Ward” from Katrina Revisited (p. 36) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2008. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty.
 “Flood Victims at the Superdome” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 34) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Mandatory Credit: Ron Haviv/VII.
 “Remaining Concrete Porch In St. Bernard Parish” from Katrina Revisited (p.24) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2008. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by AP Photo/Gerald Herbert.
 “Displaced Residents in the Superdome” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 15) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Eric Gay.
 “Search and rescue Mission” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 24) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/David J. Phillip/Pool.
 “A Family Rescued from Their Roof” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 15) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Eric Gay.
 “Inmates Stranded on an Overpass” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 18) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/David J. Phillip.
 “Flooded Streets of the French Quarter” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 17) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by Eric Gay.
 “Flood Victims Waiting in the Rain” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 23) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Susan Walsh.
 “New Orleans Residents Boarding Busses” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 18) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by Dave Martin.
 “Helping Children to a Helicopter Following Hurricane Katrina” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 26) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Rob Carr.
 “British Royalot Touring the Lower Ninth Ward” from Katrina Revisited (p. 38) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2008. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by AP Photo/Lucas Jackson/Pool.
 “The North Home” from Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative. (2007). Retrieved October 15th, 2011 from: http://www.jerichohousing.org/worksite/ home-norths.php.
 “Volunteers Clearing out a Flooded House” from Katrina Revisited (p. 63) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2008. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by AP/Alex Brandon.
 “The Aubert Home” from Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative. (2007). Retrieved October 15th, 2011 from http://www.jerichohousing.org/worksite/ home-auberts.php.
 “Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco Walking Through Musicians’ Village” from Katria Revisited (p. 62) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2008. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by AP Photo/Alex Brandon.
 “Prototype 01 in City Center” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Evacuees in Houston’s Astrodome” from Katrina Revisited (p. 8) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2008. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by AP Photo/Mandatory Credit: Christopher Morris/VII.
 “FEMA Trailer Park” from Katrina Revisited (p. 13) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2008. harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by Buddy Moffey, ©CKI, Inc.
 “Tulane City Centers’ Grow Dat” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G KIrby
 “Abandoned Resettlement Houses“ from Beyond Shelter: Architecture and Human Dignity (p. 58) Edited by Marie J. Aquilano, 2010. New York, NY: Bellerophon Publications, Inc. Copyright 2010 by Sandra D’Urzo.
 “The Common Ground Relief Model House” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby  “A Multi-family Residence Currently under Construction” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G KIrby  “The Common Ground Relief Headquarters” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby  “A Completed GRAFT House in the Lower Ninth Ward” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby  “A Completed Morphosis House in the Lower Ninth Ward” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “‘Grow Dat’ Project in City Park” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G KIrby
 “State-Built Housing“ from Beyond Shelter: Architecture and Human Dignity (p. 190) Edited by Marie J. Aquilano, 2010. New York, NY: Bellerophon Publications, Inc. Copyright 2010 by Jennifer E. Duyne Barenstein.  “Abandoned Workshop“ from Beyond Shelter: Architecture and Human Dignity (p. 123) Edited by Marie J. Aquilano, 2010. New York, NY: Bellerophon Publications, Inc. Copyright 2010 by Deborah Gans.  “Floodwaters Pour Through Broken Levee“ from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 22) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Vincent Laforet, Pool.
 “Katrina’s Diaspora” from The New York Times (2005, October 02). Copyright 2005 by Matthew Ericson, Archie Tse and Judi Wilgoren/The New York Times
Jonathan G KIrby, 2012. Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby.
 “Change of Address Forms” Edited by Jonathan G. Kirby, 2012. Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby.
 “Core Plan” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Foundation Detail” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Core Section AA” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby  “Hotels for Evacuees” Edited by Jonathan G. Kirby, 2012. Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby.
 “Core Section BB” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Psychrometric Chart”
 “Core Section CC” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Temperature Range”
 “Dynamic Components” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Wind Rose”
 “House 01 Plan” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “The Lower Ninth Ward” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “House 02 Plan” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby.
 “2-Bay Shotgun”
 “Physical Model” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “2-Bay Creole Cottage”
 “Physical Model” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “3-Bay Creole Townhouse”
 “Physical Model” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Typical Lot Lower NInth Ward” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Physical Model” Copyright 2012 by Jonathan G Kirby
 “Senator Barack Obama in the Musicians’ Village” from Katrina Revisited (p. 63) Edited by Alan Dubrovo, 2008. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2008 by AP Photo/Rob Carr.
 “Repairing the Levee” from Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years and Beyond... (p. 24) Edited by Alan Dubroco, 2010. Harahan, LA: Express Publishing. Copyright 2010 by AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian.
 “Pugh + Scarpa Architects’ High House” from Architecture in Times of Need: Make It Right. Edited by Kristin Reireiss, 2009. Munich:Prestel. Edited by
[Fig. 10] Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina flow over a levee along Inner Harbor Navigational Canal near downtown New Orleans Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Hurricane katrina did extensive damage when it made landfall on Monday, (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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This architecture thesis project looks at the social justice embedded in relief housing provided in coastal areas. More specifically, it is...
Published on May 17, 2012
This architecture thesis project looks at the social justice embedded in relief housing provided in coastal areas. More specifically, it is...