On August 29th 2005, the headwaters of Hurricane Katrina's storm-surge arrived at New Orleans, the levees broke and the city was inundated. Perhaps no other disaster of the 21st century has so captured the global media's attention and featured in the 'imagination of disaster' like Katrina. The Katrina Effect charts the important ethical territory that underscores thinking about disaster and the built environment globally. Given the unfolding of recent events, disasters are acquiring original and complex meanings. This is partly because of the global expansion and technological interaction of urban societies in which the multiple and varied impacts of disasters are recognized.
These meanings pose significant new problems for civil society: what becomes of public accountability, egalitarianism and other democratic ideals in the face of catastrophe? This collection of critical essays assesses the storm's global impact on overlapping urban, social and political imaginaries. Given the coincidence and 'perfect storm' of environmental, geo-political and economic challenges facing liberal democratic societies, communities will come under increasing strain to preserve and restore social fabric while affording all citizens equal opportunity in determining the forms that future cities and communities will take. Today, 21st century economic neo-liberalism, global warming or recent theories of 'urban vulnerability' and resilience provide key new contexts for understanding the meaning and legacy of Katrina.
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About the Author
William M. Taylor is Winthrop Professor of Architecture at the University of Western Australia, Australia.
Michael P. Levine is Winthrop Professor of Philosophy at the University of Western Australia, Australia.
Oenone Rooksby is a Research Associate at the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Architect at Officer Woods Architects, Australia.
Joely-Kym Sobott is a Research Associate at the University of Western Australia, and teaches in the field of Architectural History and Theory.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
William M. Taylor and Michael P. LevineCatastrophe and the “Katrina Effect”
Reckoning: Disaster and Justice
Naomi ZackThe Effect of Katrina on Ideas About Justice
Anna HartnellNew Orleans, 2005 and Port-au-Prince, 2010: Some Reflections on
Trans-American Disaster in the Twenty-first Century
John Hannigan“It's the end of the city (as we know it)”: Katrina as Metaphor and Template for the “Urban Apocalypse”
Richard CampanellaA Katrina Lexicon
James O'ByrneBearing Witness: Jourbanalists in the Eye of the Storm
Dissembling: Sociology, Philosophy and Ecology
James RhodesExtending the “Urban Disaster” Paradigm: From New Orleans to Detroit (and Beyond?)
Michael LevineWitnessing Katrina: Morbid Curiosity and the Aesthetics of Disaster
Accounting for Disaster
Grahame ThompsonPost-Katrina and Post-Financial Crises: Competing Logics of Risk, Uncertainty, and Security
Michael FaureShifts in Compensating Victims of Disasters after Katrina
Tabula rasa: Urbanism and Architecture
Christine BoyerKatrina Effect: The Ruination of New Orleans and the Planners of Injustice
William M. TaylorArchitecture after Katrina: Lessons from the Past or Designs for Someone Else's Future?
Jeffry DiefendorfHistoric Urban Catastrophes: Learning for the Future from Wartime Destruction
Memory: forgetfulness and commemoration
Craig ColtenHistoric City with a Poor Memory
David SimpsonNatural and Man-Made: Memorializing Complex Causes