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Following the 2005 environmental disaster event of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the surrounding cities of the Gulf Coast were forced to implement plans of recovery and reconstruction within their communities. Hurricane Katrina is known as one of the deadliest natural disaster events to occur in the United States. This research intends to show the relationship between cultural, economic and ethnic groups and the rate at which communities rebuild following a natural disaster. Do ethnic, economic, and cultural characteristics impact the rate at which a neighborhood redevelops following a natural disaster event? New Orleans provides a community with preexisting racial tensions and ethnic groups that exhibit a deep contrast in cultural communities and regions. Prior research conducted by Christina Finch and Susan Cutter has concluded that the rate of reconstruction is dependent on the “social vulnerability” of an area which is the “resilience of communities when confronted by external stresses on human health, stresses such as natural or human-caused disasters, or disease outbreaks.” ( This research will expand on this theory by also analyzing the ethnic and cultural characteristics of a region compared to the rebuilding of New Orleans. By using census and neighborhood data acquired from the Data Center Research Organization of New Orleans, the data will be cross-analyzed to find areas that have recovered which is defined based on its returned population, vacancy rates, and business continuity. This research expects to demonstrate through data analytics that there are slower patterns of recovery in historically ethnic locations.

Presentation Date



Washington DC


reconstruction, natural disaster, recovery, socioeconomic, New Orleans, Louisiana


Geography | Physical and Environmental Geography


Poster originally presented at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting.

Analyzing the Rate of Reconstruction and the Socioeconomic/ Cultural Regions in Post-Katrina New Orleans