Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Orleans’ Recovery Needs “Unconventional Thinking"

04.12.2008
Calling New Orleans "the canary in the global warming coal mine", two Tulane University professors say the Crescent City must embrace unconventional thinking in order to recover in a sustainable way from Hurricane Katrina while withstanding a continual threat from rising sea levels, diminishing wetlands and future storms. They stress that the number one priority for Louisiana should be to combat global warming and accelerated sea-level rise.

In the commentary "Sustaining costal urban ecosystems" published in the latest issue of the London-based journal Nature Geoscience, Torbjörn E. Törnqvist, associate professor in Tulane's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Douglas J. Meffert, deputy director of the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, also say New Orleans must concentrate more of its population on the 50 percent of its land mass that lies above sea level.

"New Orleans could accommodate more than 300,000 residents above sea level, which by U.S. Census Bureau estimates is approximately the current population of the entire city," the authors write, citing a recent demographic study by colleague Richard Campanella, assistant research professor in Tulane's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. "The population density in New Orleans immediately before the exodus caused by Hurricane Katrina was only about 2,500 residents per square kilometer. By comparison, the present-day population density in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a city in a broadly similar environmental setting, is almost 4,500 residents per square kilometer."

Törnqvist and Meffert also point out that much of the city's above sea level land remains vacant and undeveloped while urban sprawl continues in areas known to flood. Urban sprawl in flood-prone areas should be banned, they say, in New Orleans as well as in vulnerable areas nationwide such as St. Louis, MO. On the other hand rebuilding efforts in floodplains should be restricted to raised, storm-resistant structures like those featured in Brad Pitt's "Make it Right" project.

The professors also contend that efforts at wetlands restoration are currently "miniscule" and need to be ramped up, along with a better understanding of the role rising sea levels play in exacerbating the devastation brought on by hurricanes.

New Orleans offers an unprecedented opportunity to find more effective ways to make urban coastal areas safer around the world, Törnqvist and Meffert say.

"A concerted effort to restore and transform a coastal urban center whose functioning is inextricably tied to its surrounding natural ecosystem can only lead to new knowledge and understanding that will prove critical once comparable conditions confront Shanghai, Tokyo and New York City," the authors write. Nature Geoscience is a monthly, multi-disciplinary journal aimed at bringing together top-quality research across the spectrum of the earth sciences along with relevant work in related areas.

Michael Strecker | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.tulane.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California
24.02.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht 'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field
23.02.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>