Louisiana ’ s Response to Extreme Weather

  • Laska S
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The map that would become known as the “green dot map” was published by the New Orleans Times-Picayune on January 11, 2006, and quickly came to hold a central place in the canonical account of post-Hurricane Katrina planning in New Orleans. The map and its swift public rejection became emblematic of the overreach of top-down planning in the immediate aftermath of Katrina’s devastation, taking on a sort of mythical power as a singular artifact whose catalytic power was taken for granted. To better understand how this episode shaped post-Katrina planning, this chapter traces the development of the map through early drafts produced by three different sets of actors. Through critical cartography-informed visual analysis of the maps themselves and their “para-map” materials, the chapter assesses how visual representations and spatial classifications shifted with each subsequent interpretation. The textual and visual framing of the proposal as put forward in the Times-Picayune’s final map reinforced preexisting suspicions that post-Katrina planning would be insufficiently equitable and politically illegitimate. Through interviews with planners, designers, and decision-makers, the chapter considers how the green dot map and its reception have shaped water planning in New Orleans in the years since. The chapter highlights the critical importance of representational politics in an era when visual representations are increasingly central to climate change adaptation and other arenas of urban planning.




Laska, S. (2020). Louisiana ’ s Response to Extreme Weather. Louisiana ’ s Response to Extreme Weather (pp. 1–364). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-27205-0

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