Mayor Mitch Landrieu: Katrina and the Third New Orleans Renaissance

[ 0 ] March 3, 2014 |

Mardi Gras is Tuesday, March 4! What better time to focus on the Big Easy and the transformation the city has undergone since Hurricane Katrina. Watch as New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu talks about Katrina the Third New Orleans Renaissance…

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu loves his home. After Hurricane Katrina, many Americans were impressed with the city’s resilience and the residents’ willingness to help reconstruct their home, but Mayor Landrieu thinks it’s something that anyone would do.

“If your entire life and the house that you grew up in, the hospital you went to, the school you went to got destroyed, you would not walk away,” he said. But since then, the growth of New Orleans after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina has been astounding.

Watch as New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu talks to genConnect about the ongoing post-Katrina resurgence in his city at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival:

WATCH: Food Drives Big Easy’s Big Rebirth, Restaurateurs Say

Forbes has called The Big Easy the fastest growing city in America for two consecutive years; the city’s unemployment rate is lower than the national unemployment rate, and it has completely revamped its school system.

The rejuvenation of the New Orleans economy can be attributed to a conscious shift from a natural resource-based economy, to one based on knowledge and technology. New Orleans now has a “idea village,” which is, Landrieu says, “a hub for entrepreneurs to come and really start thinking about how to grow businesses, how to create something and add value out of nothing or add value to a big idea.”

New Orleans is experiencing an expansion of high-technology jobs, including jobs in digital media, numerous start-ups, and a movie industry that is the third largest in the United States. Landrieu says that in order to advance and become competitive with larger cities, it’s necessary to, “build access to capital, build technology to the extent that you can. You want to build incubators, and we’re beginning to do that in New Orleans and we’re beginning to see results.”


New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (left) and genConnect’s Baruch Shemtov

Landrieu claims that the revival of New Orleans has been going so well because they knew their problems were pre-existent and not just caused by natural disasters. But in the wake of disaster, the city felt obligated to “build the city we always wanted to be,” he said.

Landrieu says that city now has an air of optimism that had not been present for a long stretch of time, calling it the “third New Orleans Renaissance.” This renaissance has been driven by the fusion of the creative economy that they have been building and the preexisting cultural economy.

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2013, Views on the News

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About Mitch Landrieu: Mitchell J. Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans on May 3, 2010 with a clear mandate to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the people of [...]
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