This chapter deals with contradictions between recovery planning and urban master planning in the case of Hurricane Katrina and the resulting urban mega-disaster in New Orleans. Socio-spatial perspectives in urban studies and disaster research provide a theoretical basis for research on planning in the context of both cities and disaster, and also their relation to social and demographic aspects. The concept of vulnerability can serve to explore the interrelations between the social and institutional dimensions of disaster. Planning can be described as an activity that has the capacity 'to predict the consequences of its actions' and to adapt 'to changes in the city and region, which in turn are transformed by planning and politics'. The pre-existing spatial and social contexts of the city constitute a significant influence on recovery planning and urban master planning alike, its aims, and its institutional aspects in relation to the time required for implementation.