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Neighbourhoods in the Lead: Grassroots planning for social transformation in post-Katrina New Orleans?
Planning Practice and Research (2007)
  • Clara Irazabal, Columbia University
  • Jason Neville
The article offers insights about the potential for broader democratic transformation in post-Katrina New Orleans vis-a`-vis its autonomous grassroots planning process, surveying some of these neighbourhoodbased processes (to the extent possible, considering their ongoing nature). Our point of departure is the acknowledgement that, in the absence of an effective governing coalition capable of creating stability and a political mandate for effective planning, the onus of planning has, to a great extent, been relegated to, or taken over by, the communities themselves. In this context, the widespread ‘taste’ of autonomous democratic place-making could trigger a wider sociopolitical transformation, resulting in a paradigm shift at other levels of the political process including grassroots activism, electoral reform, regional governance, sustainable economic development and equity planning. That is, residents working to create a community-based participatory planning process might – intentionally or otherwise – parlay that sense of empowerment into a movement to create a community-based participatory political culture that transcends the reconstruction efforts altogether. We contend that the restoration of the social networks of New Orleans is a critical factor in allowing the grassroots planning to continue, expand, and develop a resilient and community-based planning culture that serves the purpose of recovery and beyond.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Clara Irazabal and Jason Neville. "Neighbourhoods in the Lead: Grassroots planning for social transformation in post-Katrina New Orleans?" Planning Practice and Research Vol. 22 Iss. 2 (2007)
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