Over the past 2 years we have faced a tidal wave of demolition. The ongoing issue of demolition and neighborhood preservation is “still very much operating in crisis mode.”:http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/council_puzzles_over_raze_proc.html

Many urban centers across the United States face these same issues without a flood to blame it on. The scrappers that inflict damage on our City inflict pain on Cities such as “Detroit”:http://www.sweet-juniper.com/2008/07/deconstruction.html as well. The “Brick rustlers”:http://builtstlouis.blogspot.com/ in St. Louis seem to be “on the City payroll.”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRgFEkWUmms&feature=related

Attempting to become proactive in a solution to the disinvestment in our Neighborhood will, in large part be dictated by “NORA”:http://www.noraworks.org/ but what good will that do if NORA does not have a comprehensive plan and the property falls into the hands of Developers who may or may not have the best interest of the community they are investing in.

This “video”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOKtIaGmpN8&feature=related illustrates the unusual relationship between preservation advocates and anti-gentrification and housing advocates.

As we continue to fight the destruction and destabilization of our Neighborhoods we are not doing so because we are trying to fend off progress. We are doing so because we have no idea what that progress is. Will our neighborhood be a sea of vacant lots with garbage, tires and stolen junk cars? Until someone can answer the questions I see no reason to allow them to continue to destroy homes which could be a catalyst to recovery.

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...