About the Project

MJL 2012 Headshot 1The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast and the subsequent failure of the federal levee system in New Orleans comprised the costliest disaster in U.S. history. Nearly 80 percent of the city was flooded, and over 1,800 lives were lost. It was a tragedy we will never forget. However, with the tragedy also came change.  In the planning efforts that came after the storm, the people of New Orleans began to enunciate a desire to build back better than before the storm in order to make New Orleans a stronger, more resilient city. The magnitude of the destruction—both to physical structures and major systems—provided an opportunity, out of necessity, to transform our city.

The New Orleans region has now returned to approximately 95 percent of its pre-Katrina population, major rebuilding projects have been completed or are underway, and the region has received major accolades in the areas of criminal justice reform, K-12 education reform, economic development and entrepreneurship, and neighborhood revitalization. New Orleans has become this nation’s—and in many instances, this world’s—most immediate laboratory for innovation and change.  Now, the opportunity is to position New Orleans as a global leader on resilience.

New Orleans has come a long way. It’s safe to say this is America’s best comeback story. But it also true that we have got a lot more work to do to tackle some longstanding, generational challenges around crime, education, income inequality and infrastructure.

On this 10th anniversary, we will reflect on the loss and celebrate the progress made, as well honor those around the world how have helped our region recover. And we will focus on the road we have ahead of us together. With the city’s 300th anniversary approaching in 2018, we have the opportunity to celebrate the hard work of generations of New Orleanians, from all backgrounds, who have made us one of the world’s most authentic and beloved cities in the world. It will also provide an opportunity to remember the fullness, richness and diversity of our history as it should have always been remembered.

Join us in this journey as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and move New Orleans forward.


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Mitchell J. Landrieu, Mayor

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