Rebuilding New Orleans, but how?

    Because the old New Orleans is no more, it could resurrect itself as the great new American city of the 21st century.

    Or as an impoverished tourist trap.

So says an LA Times article (via eTurbo News). The author goes on to say that New Orleans could rebuild itself similar to Houston, a modern city that emphasizes its infrastructure and support system. Well, of course, it's become glaringly obvious that NOLA's infrastructure needs serious rebuilding. But unlike that article's author, I don't believe it should be done at the expense of preserving its touristic charm—that's what makes the city such a draw for meetings and conventions, which is a huge business the LA Times author seems to disregard. But when visitors to the city bring in $5 million, and 40 percent of that is from meetings, I'd argue that equal care should be taken to keep NOLA the city people want to come to to drop that $5 mil., and not just a cartoonish theme park of what we loved about her before Katrina came along, or just any city, USA.

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