Here's a NYT editorial comparing the housing situation in New Orleans to NYC urban decay circa 1970. The conclusion:
Just as in New York, New Orleans residents can defy official prescriptions. As I saw on a recent visit, New Orleanians feel abandoned by everyone and cheated by insurance companies. But instead of quietly accepting the government's declarations that their houses are unsalvageable, they're cleaning out flooded homes and learning how to rebuild. Their outcry against the mayoral commission's recommendation that the city impose a moratorium on reconstruction in flooded areas effectively killed that idea.
It is those kinds of efforts that will bring New Orleans back. Organic urban neighborhoods are self-generated, not developer-built. The family enclaves, extensive social networks, well-attended churches, historic attachment to property and fierce dedication to local culture and place make New Orleans unique. If that authentic energy is stifled by misguided strategies, neighborhoods will die.
It's an interesting commentary on lessons learned by New Yorkers rebuilding their own neighborhoods and how those lessons might apply for New Orleans.