Tulane advises New Orleans: move above sea level

December 4, 2008
Tulane University professors worried about global warming’s effect on New Orleans have advice for their co-citizens — don’t build new shopping malls below sea level.

Still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, Nola, as it is affectionately called, is a city built on a swamp. In fact, it is urban sprawl built on a swamp. Large parts are below sea level.

An early post-Katrina plan to restrict rebuilding to the parts above sea level was scrapped due to popular pressure, but professors Torbjörn E. Törnqvist and Douglas J. Meffert say New Orleans needs to think unconventionally.

“New Orleans could accommodate more than 300,000 residents above sea level, which by U.S. Census Bureau estimates is approximately the current population of the entire city,” they say in a Nature Geoscience article, arguing for greater population density.
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