The tale of a two-tiered city: Community civic structure and spatial inequality in post-Katrina New Orleans

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Abstract

In this article, I investigate the long-term consequences of community civic structure on postdisaster recovery. Tracing various signs of recovery after Hurricane Katrina, I find that community civic structure is associated with deepening, rather than reducing, spatial inequality in New Orleans and report 3 findings. First, community civic structure contributes far more to repopulating communities on higher ground than low-lying neighborhoods. Second, despite the similar level of civic resources before Katrina, community civic structure has cast different impacts on reducing vulnerabilities across neighborhoods after Katrina. Though a dense civic structure helped attract more resilient populations in high-lying neighborhoods, the opposite happened in low-lying neighborhoods. Finally, community civic structure is associated with the city’s racialized geography, concentrating more Whites in the city’s safer areas and Black residents in the low-lying communities. These findings raise caution against pursuing community-based resilience as a postdisaster strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1114
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Volume40
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Urban Affairs Association.

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