Identifying Spatial Patterns of Recovery and Abandonment in the Post-Katrina Holy Cross Neighborhood of New Orleans

Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Volume 37, Number 1, January 2010 , pp. 45-56(12)

Curtis, Andrew; Duval-Diop, Dominique; Novak, Jenny

“The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina is still being felt by many neighborhoods of New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. As these communities struggle to recover, academia has been forced to acknowledge that there is little known or theorized about the spatial processes of recovery, especially at the fine scale. As a result this paper will investigate how post-disaster landscape characteristics can be extracted from spatial video data for neighborhoods of New Orleans. These will be turned into a statistical surface using analytical approaches more commonly applied in spatial epidemiology. Spatial patterns of abandonment and recovery will be identified that can be used as a basis for a next round of causative investigation. The paper finds that by using the spatial overlap of four different analyses involving two different data input locations and two filter sizes, the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans does indeed reveal areas with higher rates of recovery, and continuing abandonment. However, even within these areas, spatial heterogeneity can be found. This paper uses Google Street View to mirror spatial video data collected in participatory collaborations with New Orleans community groups so that readers can replicate the methods presented here for other neighborhoods of New Orleans.”