New Orleans is a ragged city. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this metropolis has rebounded in fits and starts, with the gap-toothed development of new housing flanking broken buildings, and swaths of activity ringing large vacant sections of the city. While Frederick Jackson Turner asserted in the 1890’s that the “frontier has gone,” and Joel Garreau declared Edge Cities “the final frontier,” the shrinking city of New Orleans offers up a fresh model of untested territory. In New Orleans, the last frontier may actually be found in the resurrection of urban wilderness.
Carey Clouse is an architect and educator working to resurrect the city of New Orleans.