An Economic Development Architecture for New Orleans

By Kevin F. McCarthy | Go to book overview

Preface
In response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent levee failures on New Orleans and its economy, the Horizon Initiative, a private-sector organization, was formed in 2006 to expedite the city’s recovery with a particular focus on economic recovery. Horizon, in collaboration with the New Orleans City Council, has been evaluating alternative organizational structures and strategies to revitalize the city’s economy. To assist in this effort, Horizon contracted with the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute (RGSPI) to provide recommendations as to the most effective organizational and strategic approaches to accomplish Horizon’s objective. This report was produced in response to that challenge and aims to provide an organizational architecture for New Orleans’s economic revitalization. As such, it specifically addresses three questions:
What strategies should the effort employ?
How should the effort be organized?
How should priorities be assigned, and how should the approach be implemented?

This report is not a detailed redevelopment plan. The content and approach of a specific economic plan or strategy are essential for putting it into action, and such issues are beyond the scope of this report. What this research does is provide guidelines for evaluating both alternative organizational structures and the many economic development proposals being put forward for New Orleans’s economic recovery.

In discussing the revitalization of New Orleans, this report draws a distinction between economic development and urban redevelopment programs. Economic development programs are designed to stimulate the economy by increasing the growth of employment and income of the city and the region as a whole. Urban redevelopment programs, on the other hand, are designed to improve the physical, social, and economic status of neighborhoods within the city. Although both sets of efforts are important (and at times related, since urban redevelopment is often an important component of increasing an area’s attractiveness to new employers and residents), they have distinct goals and methods. Moreover, given the decline in New Orleans’s economy prior to Katrina, simply restoring the region’s economy to its prestorm condition will not serve the region’s long-term economic needs. Indeed, without a healthy economy, the region’s neighborhoods will all suffer. Much of the planning effort that has been undertaken in New Orleans since Katrina has focused more on urban redevelopment rather than economic development.

-iii-

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An Economic Development Architecture for New Orleans
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figure and Tables vii
  • Summary ix
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - Review of Economic Development Efforts 5
  • Chapter Three - Economic Development in New Orleans 15
  • Chapter Four - Summary of Key Findings and Recommendations 33
  • Appendix A - Development Agencies Researched 39
  • Appendix B - Alphabetical List of Interviewees 45
  • Bibliography 47
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