Are Cities Resilient? Disaster Recovery, Past and Present
Will New Orleans rise again, and if so, in what form? Lawrence J. Vale offers both comfort and caution. "In the last 200 years, there has been almost no case of a major city anywhere that hasn't been rebuilt after a major disaster," he says. Whether post-bomb Hiroshima, or Chicago after its 19th-century inferno, urban disasters become opportunities for "building back bigger and stronger," says Vale. Citizens and policy makers share narratives around these common traumas, of the sustained horror but also of inevitable progress and possible redemption. The issue for New Orleans will be how politics and economics attach to these themes. Will the city become "a Disney camp, Mardi Gras festival all year round," wonders Vale, or will people from the housing projects and from the ports also be allowed a seat at the table?
Moderator: Lawrence Vale, SM '88, Professor and Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT School of Architecture and Planning
Panelists: Thomas Kochan, George M. Bunker Professor of Management,; Co-director, Institute for Work and Employment, MIT Sloan School of Management; J. Phillip Thompson, Associate Professor of Urban Politics, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
Event date: 10/05/2005
MIT World -- special events and lectures