jump to navigation

Recovery and Elevation

When investigating Comerio’s hypothesis, a mutually beneficial recovery relationship was found between the % of businesses (specifically commercial) able to initially return and the % of households able to initially return (correlated at .919). Looking into the factors that support this mutually beneficial recovery relationship reveals an interesting storyline for recovery in New Orleans. The only other variables with a positive covariation between both commercial and household recovery are the % of homeowners moved 1 year or less and 10 years or less (excluding water level and damage measures). The percent of homeowners whom moved 1 year or less and 10 years or less (“non-rooted populations”) share many positive relationships to form and type characteristics of the built environment and tenure and use characteristics of populations that were measured in this research. By looking at “where” these populations were living and the characteristics of that situation prior to Hurricane Katrina we can begin to understand what factors supported initial return afterward.

Specifically, “non-rooted populations” are positively correlated with higher percentages of renter occupied housing units (.727 for 1 year or less, .666 10 years), buildings of mid to high density (.680 and .688), commutes no more than 15 minutes, units built prior to 1939 (.653 and .578) and commercial business establishments per sq. mile (.817 and .736; see table below). All of these characteristics point toward older construction near downtown New Orleans.

Carrelations of Non Rooted Populations

Correlations of Non Rooted Populations

Literature concerning the urbanization of the New Orleans metropolitan area identifies 1950 as the turning point for suburban growth which then exploded into recently drained swampland. Yet, because no relationship is found with the % of units built before 1950 but rather the % of units built before 1939 and “non-rooted populations,” an ArcGIS map of the % of units built prior to 1939 helps to bring into perspective the importance of the unmeasured (in this study) elevation of different areas of the city (ie. older portions of the city were built on land of higher elevations).

% of Units Built 1939 or Earlier

% of Units Built 1939 or Earlier

GNOC Elevation Map

GNOC Elevation Map

One way elevation can be removed from the equation is to control for water level. When doing so, and utilizing % of damage to housing value, identified earlier as a measure for the degree of destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, a positive relationship is found with higher percentages of long rooted home owners (25 or more years) and a negative relationship with higher median home values.

Controlling for Water

Controlling for Water

We believe this relationship with long time residents whom may also be in low valued homes supports other research which identified that low income citizens of New Orleans and poorer areas of the city had a more difficult time recovering after the disaster.

FEMA Trailer Household

FEMA Trailer Household

<<<Back to Findings

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: