Short Term
Long Term
Setting a Precedent


Following the Jobs
Written by Debarshi Chaudhuri

As the city of New Orleans is slowly depopulated, the economic situation of the area will change drastically.  As port companies and other businesses realize that the city of New Orleans is slowly sinking and cannot subsist at its present size, they will make an effort to move to the nearest location that will be economically profitable.  The Port of South Louisiana and the Port of Baton Rouge are relatively close to New Orleans and provide a place for port companies to go.  As of now, the Port of South Louisiana has space for more companies to set up (Port of South Louisiana).  In order to accommodate these businesses, it is necessary to strengthen the infrastructure of the two ports.  Currently, the Union Pacific Railroad transports goods from the port to the western U.S.  The Kansas City Southern Railroad and the Canadian National Railroad connect the port to Canada, Mexico, and the rest of the United States (Port of South Louisiana).  While these railroads are adequate now, if the Ports of South Louisiana and Baton Rouge are to eventually take over most of the functions of the port of New Orleans, then additional railways and roads are needed to connect these ports with the rest of Louisiana and the United States.

A combination of factors will affect the willingness of businesses to move to Baton Rouge.  First of all, there is the fact that the city is sinking and businesses must move in order to keep functioning.  Furthermore, the pending movement of people from New Orleans to Baton Rouge will inspire businesses to shift upriver.  In addition, we propose additional incentives to make Baton Rouge more desirable to businesses.  We propose zoning that makes it easy for businesses to come to Baton Rouge and set up shop.  It would be necessary to add C level commercial districts, especially C5 (Business) districts and CW (Commercial Warehousing) districts, which would allow the city to adjust to the influx of port companies (Baton Rouge 1).   

Since the city of New Orleans is being downsized, that means that not as many people are going to be living in the area, although the area is going to be much smaller.  This offers advantages for the city, because this leaves the government with less area to protect with levees.  Also, the number of people living in danger zones for a hurricane such as Katrina will decrease dramatically.  For the areas that are being kept, we suggest the creation of mixed-income housing districts in some of New Orleans in order to give people who live below the poverty level a chance to stay in New Orleans and not have to relocate.  Before Hurricane Katrina hit, approximately 28 percent of the population lived in poverty (GNOCDC).  We propose the creation of mixed-income housing with a set level of 30 percent affordable housing, allowing those who lived in poverty in New Orleans the chance to live in quality housing.  Additionally, we propose that the historical areas of New Orleans are kept and restored so that the tourism industry can boom, and New Orleans can use this industry as a source of income and economic growth.  This also helps New Orleans keep its character and the culture that has made it famous, hopefully inspiring some residents to stay in the city.