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New Orleans in the Far Future

This project details the futures of more than 100 cities and towns across the globe as they fight to overcome all the grave environmental challenges of the 21st century. As part of this process, we highlight the future of the American city of New Orleans.

New Orleans is one of those lowland coastal cities vulnerable to the various dangers and risks of climate change and sea-level rise. Some say that bigger stronger barriers are needed to fend off ever-larger storm surges coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. However, in this scenario of New Orleans' future, barriers are foregone in favor of permeable networks of built-up bridges and the redevelopment of urban wetlands. Rather than fighting against sea-level rise, the city is restructured to tolerate it. As part of this strategy, the city's architecture grows upwards, to keep its citizens dry during growing floods and rising tides.

New Orleans in the future

New Orleans, Early Next Century

(by the Urban Futures team)


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