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American Society of Landscape Architects

 

April 2006 Issue

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast
How landscape architects can use their digital skills to play a key role in the process.

By James L. Sipes, ASLA

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast EDAW

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. At landfall it had winds of 140 miles per hour and a storm surge of more than 30 feet, and it affected an area that covered 108,000 square miles. When levees and floodwalls failed, parts of New Orleans were inundated with more than 20 feet of water. By the time it dissipated, Hurricane Katrina had left a million people without homes, jobs, or schools, and resulted in more than $250 billion in damage.

On September 15 the president pledged to rebuild the Gulf Coast and do whatever it takes to bring back New Orleans and southern Louisiana. But unfortunately, simply rebuilding is not the answer.

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