Posted by R. Neal

Chris had a great post yesterday on Seven Points for Rebuilding the Gulf Coast. As a follow up to that, here's an op-ed from the Boston Globe (free registration required):

PRESIDENT BUSH has acknowledged the tragic consequences of residential segregation and poverty concentration exposed by Hurricane Katrina and pledged that the new New Orleans will not repeat the mistakes of the past. But that promise could easily get lost in the scramble to make investment dollars flow and to win contracts.

Planners have to get much more specific about both the ends and the means of rebuilding to ensure the equitable redevelopment of poor communities. Many observers have raised the prospect that a rebuilt New Orleans will resemble a Las Vegas or Disneyland on the Gulf, dominated by the entertainment and tourism industry, favoring luxury housing, and planned by a group that even The Wall Street Journal labeled ''the power elite." Clearly, that is an outcome to be avoided.

By equitable redevelopment, we mean something much more specific, however, including housing affordable to families at a wide range of income levels, measurably better public transportation and other job links, schools that are on track to succeed, healthcare access, a smart retail mix, business linkages to the regional economy, a viable tax base, and more mixed-income communities that reflect how urban America can and should function.

Read the whole thing.