September 10, 2005

What is Sustainable in Destination Development?

NOAA photo.jpg

Debate on the proper approach to city & regional planning will flourish in these months following Katrina. Cathy Parsons, CEO of the sustainable tourism organization Green Globe 21 offers these thoughts:

The recent disaster in New Orleans has once again brought the issue of sustainable development to the fore. According to Klaus Jacob, research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to New York’s Columbia University, New Orleans was considered to be a perfect example of the unsustainable city. As a result of the development of a complicated system of levees, which enabled the city to expand, the delta subsided and the city got lower as the water around it built up. This increased the coast’s exposure to floods and storms. As well as the impact on individuals’ lives the city will suffer a huge economic loss. Tourism was a major industry with 8.5million tourists contributing US$4.5billion in 2003 to the local economy. The industry will take a long time to recover, assuming New Orleans is rebuilt.


GREEN GLOBE 21 - Newsletter No. 29, August, 2005

Alongside the environmental question is the human one. To what degree will the design of the rebuilt New Orleans sustain the full social participation of all its citizens and tourists? To what degree will the region adopt Universal Design as a strategy for sustainable development as laid out in the Rio Charter for Sustainable and Inclusive Development?

Further Reading on Sustainability and the New Orleans region:

"Washing Away," special section in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, 2002.

Craig Colton, Unnatural Metropolis (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005). See as well the interview with Colton in Wednesday's New York Times article "After Centuries of 'Controlling' Land, Gulf Learns Who's the Boss."

Mark Fischetti, "Drowning New Orleans," Scientific American, Oct 2001.

Todd Shallat, "In the Wake of Hurricane Betsy," in Craig Colton, ed.,
Transforming New Orleans and Its Environs (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000).

(This resource list originally appeared at Edu-Tourism Jamaica )

"The Man Who Saw It Coming" by Erika Check,, September 9, 2005

Posted by rollingrains at September 10, 2005 05:58 AM