Saturday, July 21, 2007

World Class Thinking

From yet another stolen link. Thanks to Ray for spotting this National Geographic article. I'm a little less sanguine than Ray is about the spirit and details of the article. I think it fails to really push on the critical question: where is the national (specifically, the governmental) resolve when a portion of "American" territory is under grave threat? NG ought to blister the American president and the American congressional leadership, but it really doesn't.

Anyway, that's not why I'm linking to the article. It does have the virtue of including the voices of Torbjörn Törnqvist and Oliver Houck, a couple of Tulane professors (Go, Green Wave!).

Here's Törnqvist:
He envisions a new urban landscape perfectly adapted to climate change, with restored wetlands, high-tech floodgates similar to those in the Netherlands, and a cleaner, greener, denser city. The entire pre-Katrina population, he contends, could live quite comfortably in the parts of the city that did not flood, transforming warehouses and blighted districts into new walkable, sustainable neighborhoods on the high ground."The situation here is a huge opportunity for the city and the nation," says Törnqvist, who says he can't imagine Holland turning its back on Amsterdam, or Italy giving up on Venice. "If we walk away, we'll miss a fantastic opportunity to learn things that will be useful in Miami, or Boston, or New York in 50 years."

Here's Houck:
"There are people who will fight to the death to stay here because it's such a damned joy to live here."

Those words encapsulate precisely what I'm about. This is why I toss a few posts a week on this silly blog. This the spirit we have and/or need.

Why did I have to read this in National Geographic? Why are these guys not in the T-P every day, or in front of the City Council. Or ON the City Council?


oyster said...

It is a "damned joy" to live here.

"Damned joy"-- that's a better encapsulation than "Big Easy", and nowadays more accurate, too.

Leigh C. said...

"The Damned Joy" doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "The Big Easy", though...