Quiz for every Torontonian: who is this? Saw city as a complex adaptive system--an ecology. Cautioned me: what are we going to do about New Orleans…..? Bureaucrat. New Orleans will do something about New Orleans. Complex mix of factors: not just the levees breaking.
Organic: growing in an interconnected way….and can evolve depending on diverse variable --flexibly depending on the feedback….dependent connective tissue that links the overal system
Or breaking down ---In a connected way --cities mimic natural systems---- they evolve, grow, and decay in an organic way. New Orleans --like every city --is a living city AND a dying city ----
Those were isolated examples but in any ecosystem these overlay--- many. And we can construct systems in a way that also have the organic capacity to adapt --what is this?
Great challenge of NOLA: LIVING WITH WATER. Previous reliance in engineered solutions: levees. Coastal erosion etc.
80 % of the city, 180,000 housing units. ‘Natural’ Disaster? WHAT FLOODED : River or Lake? Sea level, Rich or poor, White or black. Old or new. Federal highways. Sprawl.
I set out to LISTEN and WATCH AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT EMERGED
Becomes a ‘blogger’ -starts a visual record of the destruction of the architectural and domestic diversity/vernacular of the city. Social media revolution in New Orleans: first-hand ‘anecdotal evidence’, on the scene reporting national main stream media realize more reliable source. BLOGGERS and Social Media become very dynamic --but not just about sitting at a computer….
Karen Gadbois. Evacuated on the floor of her van mid course chemotherapy. Dogs. Comes back and starts to see houses beng slated for demolition.
What if we stopped treating symptoms of disconnection and instead focused our resources on catalyzing connections ?
Systems/Capital in a City Financial Social Bonding Bridging Spiritual Natural Cultural
How prophetic before <ul><li>Disconnected from the local </li></ul><ul><li>Public policies/investments driven by distant priorities/decision-makers </li></ul><ul><li>Degraded natural assets </li></ul><ul><li>Disrupted neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>Structurally supported divisions by race, ethnicity, and class </li></ul><ul><li>Export economy extractive and exploitive: oil/gas, fisheries, tourism and gambling) </li></ul><ul><li>Chronic disinvestment in infrastructure </li></ul>
After: the ‘perverse opportunity’ <ul><li>Self organization emerges: education, economy, environment, neighborhoods, </li></ul><ul><li>Communities form ‘hubs’ and ‘links’ </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate ‘connective tissue’ </li></ul><ul><li>No single solution, no simple answers, no outside experts with a magic bullet, scarce resources bred improvisation to create indigenous resilience to absorb the next shock…. </li></ul>