BusinessWeek takes a look at what the city might look like, what is recoverable and what is not, some ideas about how rebuilding could stack up.
….It will be one of the biggest redevelopment projects in American history. Lawmakers are estimating that federal spending could total $150 billion to $200 billion over several years.
Risk Management Solutions of Newark, Calif., estimates that insurance companies may pay out from $40 to $60 billion in claims, the most ever. Businesses and homeowners will spend many billions more in uncompensated reconstruction expenses.
…The French Quarter, the Garden District, and other tourist attractions are on high ground and were largely spared from flooding, so they will be little changed.
….Also to be preserved, certainly, are the port facilities, which are
critical to shipping on the Mississippi. Restoring them to full operation is a top priority for farmers as well as importers and exporters throughout the nation’s heartland.
….Many urban planners say it doesn’t make sense to rebuild anew on the same ground, given the massive contamination problems and the dangers of more flooding. They say New Orleans should go back to being what it was in the 19th century, a “crescent city,” occupying only the high ground along the sinuous Mississippi.