History vs. Homogeneity in New Orleans Housing Fight

Another sure-to-be-circulated article from NYT’s architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff.  I just got it off the activist listserv this morning.  Ourossoff talks about the inequities in HUD’s approach to public housing redevelopment so far:

  • a refusal to investigate viable alternatives to demolition (with a reference to John Fernandez again.  Love MIT celebrity!);
  • ignoring the input from preservationists and other experts;
  • threatening the architectural and urban fabric of the city with cookie-cutter suburban design proposals;
  • using design “concerns” as a foil for larger social policy problems.

This article is published as the Congressional hearings kick off today.  Tours of the public housing developments are underway as I type.  Difference sources tell me it’s been a mysterious process getting these tours set up, worthy of Deep Throat.  A call received a half hour before you’re supposed to meet Maxine Waters at Lafitte; times for tours etc. changed at a moment’s notice.  Etc. etc.  Stay tuned at the RP for coverage of the hearings as they unfold.



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