Delta Urbanism: New Orleans

By Richard Campanella

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This volume of APA's Delta Urbanism series traces the development of New Orleans from precolonial times to post-Katrina realities, in the context of the deltaic plain on which it lies. The book describes the underlying physical terrain and covers the various transformations humans have made to it: site selection, settlement, urbanization, population, expansion, drainage, protection, exploitation, devastation, and recovery.

What New Orleans has experienced foretells what similar cities will be tackling in years to come.

Winner: 2011 Bronze Medal, Independent Publisher Book Awards, Science

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
April 15, 2010
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents




Chapter 1
Delta Formation

Chapter 2
Delta Topography

Chapter 3
Settling the Delta
Time Line, 1718–1720s

Chapter 4
Urbanizing the Delta

Chapter 5
Why There?
Time Line, 1720s–1760s

Chapter 6
Colonial-Era Flood Control
Time Line, 1750s–1800s

Chapter 7
A Radical Change of Destiny
Time Line, 1800s–1820

Chapter 8
Unwritten Rules of Urban Expansion
Time Line, 1820s–1830s

Chapter 9
The Unplanned Street Plan
Time Line, 1830s–1840s

Chapter 10
Antebellum Flood Control
Time Line, 1840s–1850s

Chapter 11
Populating the Antebellum City
Time Line, 1850–65

Chapter 12
Populating the Postbellum City
Time Line, 1865–1880s

Chapter 13
Draining the Deltaic City
Time Line, 1880s–1900

Chapter 14
Turn-of-the-Century Flood Control
Time Line, 1900–1920s

Chapter 15
Buffering the Deltaic City
Time Line, 1920s–1940

Chapter 16
Twentieth-Century Delta Urbanism
Time Line, 1940s–1970s

Chapter 17
Perceiving the Delta City
Time Line, 1970s–1990

Chapter 18
Environmental Consequences of Delta Urbanism
Time Line, 1990–2005

Chapter 19
Devastating the Deltaic City
Time Line, September–October 2005

Chapter 20
Time Line, 2006–2007

Chapter 21
Repopulating the Deltaic City
Time Line, 2007–Present

Chapter 22
Delta Urbanism: Lessons from New Orleans





"Richard Campanella's detailed works on New Orleans geography have been instant classics, and this book continues that trend. Campanella understands that New Orleans's unique culture — our cuisine, music, architecture, funeral traditions, and literature — have everything to do with our position on the Mississippi River's delta, as do many of our vulnerabilities.

There are lessons for all deltaic cities in this must-read."

—James Carville

The Design Observer Group review: "Delta Urbanism and New Orleans: Before"