Monday, March 29, 2010

Houses of the Future

This article “Houses of the Future” from The Atlantic focuses on the rebuilding of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. The author highlights five different houses that have been built using modern materials and ideas as part of the effort to rebuild New Orleans. These houses, and the housing projects that have produced them, have originated from independent neighborhood projects, created by “an assortment of foundations, church groups, academics, corporate titans, Hollywood celebrities, young people with big ideas, and architects on a mission.” These new developments are rising next to houses that were destroyed in Katrina and at the same time they differ from and are influenced by their surroundings. Many on the housing designs take inspiration from traditional New Orleans housing staples- porches are nearly always included. They also try to prevent devastation from happening in the future- some houses are elevated or feature roof access in case of an emergency. Most of these projects also use green technology to reduce their environmental impact.

I connected this article to Trouble the Water. The people in the film complained that the government did not send enough help to New Orleans during Katrina and they also did not send enough help to rebuild afterwards. The evidence from this article proves that. In New Orleans, “depending on whom you talk to, government at all levels has been passive and slow-moving at best, or belligerent and actively harmful at worst.” Because of this, independent entities have some up with their own plan to try and rebuild after the disaster. With so many ideas, New Orleans has turned “into something of a Petri dish for ideas about housing and urban life.” Hopefully all these ideas will continue to take root in New Orleans and neighborhoods will be revitalized so that Katrina’s effects can be reversed.

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