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by Yaneer Bar-Yam and Paul Seguin
The Future of New Orleans

Complex Systems Engineering Principles

Among the complex systems principles manifest in Project Hope that are relevant to a wide variety of engineering challenges:

1) Separating complex from large scale and using appropriate methods for each: Use of competitive "evolutionary" process for the most complex engineering aspects of the program, specifically the design, while using mass production techniques for large scale construction. [1-3]

2) Creation of new reduced length perimeter boundary (skin) around protected zone, i.e. collective protection rather than ward by ward protection. This is manifest in the gates at the outfalls of the drainage canals and in the Lake Borgne barrier, which also distances the line of protection from the central areas. [4]

3) Distributing responsibility through designation of areas of New Orleans to different Mississippi districts of USACE. These divisions engaged in design projects for their designated area of New Orleans. [3,5]

4) Modularity of design was used in many aspects of the program, including the modularity of the design for different areas of New Orleans, and the modularity of the design-build process that allowed initial designs to be implemented while others were still in design stages. [6,7]

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