chapter  4
16 Pages

Urban Design and Civil Society in New Orleans: Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies in the Post-Flood Design Moment

WithJason Neville & Geoff Coats

ABSTRACT Two planners from New Orleans discuss the relationship between civil

society and urban design in pre-and post-flood New Orleans.


Public spaces in New Orleans have often been venues of festive resistance.

From slave gatherings in Congo Square to Super Sunday jamborees along Bayou

St. John to the carnivalesque political satire of neighbourhoodMardi Gras krewes,

civil society is inextricably woven into public space in New Orleans-and vice

versa. Because of the intimate relationship between public space and civil society,

the ‘moment’ of post-Federal Flood New Orleans is not simply a moment for

urban design, but a moment for public space, for cultural continuity, for civil

society, and for broader democratic transformation.