A New Orleans visionary: Jason Halford

Discuss the New Orleans project With the primary economy centred around the entertainment industry, and the population shrinking for more than a decade, the region needed a new way to rescue the lives of…

A New Orleans visionary: Jason Halford

Discuss the New Orleans project

With the primary economy centred around the entertainment industry, and the population shrinking for more than a decade, the region needed a new way to rescue the lives of ordinary people.

“There is a desire to make it a different region,” says Henry Kerr, professor of American studies at Tulane University. “People who came up here have been told that they were unusual, that they’re not like the New York or Los Angeles that they see on TV, they are different. But I think the recent flood typifies very explicitly what I have been writing about for years.”

Now, the tide is turning.

“The city government, instead of fighting with us, is embracing some of the policies that we are suggesting,” Dr. Kerr says.

Dr. Kerr is in charge of a year-long project which wants to turn historically-fictional areas of New Orleans into livable, enjoyable areas where people can stay for a long time.

The project aims to develop neighbourhood levees of buildings, bridges, boardwalks, gardens, educational institutions and a park, and has been awarded more than $1.5 million dollars from the mayor and the state government to plan for future economic development.

“We all need to invest in a revitalised heart of the city. It’s smart politics, it’s smart public policy, and it is based on a very meaningful effort to actually inform people about the possibilities for public investment,” Dr. Kerr said.

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