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by Yavni Bar-Yam
The Future of New Orleans
Prof. Bar-Yam visits the Lower Ninth Ward.

Lower Ninth Ward: Hope for the Future

In addition to his visit with the USACE and tour of their work sites, Prof. Bar-Yam independently visited the Lower Ninth Ward, the site of notorious levee breaches and tragic destruction during Hurricane Katrina, and of further flooding during Hurricane Rita. From a single vantage point, he could see overgrown lots where houses had been completely destroyed or swept away, as well as brightly painted, repaired, visibly inhabited homes. He could see damaged and boarded up structures lying abandoned as well as fantastically post-modern and innovative new construction going up. Nearly five years after the hurricanes' destruction, construction of new infrastructure was apparent. The juxtaposition of devastation and steadfast hope, of wreckage and renewal, attracts visitors to the Lower Ninth Ward, who come to see the reconstruction progressing and to pay their respects to the neighborhood.

Upon his return to Cambridge, Prof. Bar-Yam shared with the local NECSI community his experience witnessing the accomplishments of Task Force Hope and the challenges facing it. The community anticipates positive collaboration between NECSI and the USACE in the future.

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