A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans by Ari Kelman

By Ari Kelman

This enticing environmental heritage explores the increase, fall, and rebirth of 1 of the nation's most crucial city public landscapes, and extra considerably, the position public areas play in shaping people's relationships with the flora and fauna. Ari Kelman specializes in the battles fought over New Orleans's waterfront, analyzing the hyperlink among a river and its urban and monitoring the clash among private and non-private keep watch over of the river. He describes the influence of floods, disorder, and altering applied sciences on New Orleans's interactions with the Mississippi. contemplating how the town grew distant—culturally and spatially—from the river, this publication argues that city components supply a wealthy resource for realizing people's connections with nature, and in flip, nature's effect on human history.

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The so-called freeway fighters founded their resistance on the contention that the river and city were fundamentally linked along the waterfront. This episode completes the book’s arc, because after their victory, the coalition members convinced city officials to reopen the disputed portion of the waterfront as a multiuse, public space. Finally, in writing this book I discovered that not only have nature and public space always been a part of the urban fabric in New Orleans—indeed, they still are—but also that, along the city’s waterfront, these two slippery concepts and material entities are inextricably intertwined.

Predictably, there have been unanticipated consequences. Sometimes property law has caused or exacerbated environmental problems, and occasionally, new technologies, designed to render life easier and more predictable, have made surprising demands on the city’s residents. This book also explores how the process of rationalizing the riverfront has altered that space’s public character. Unregulated spaces typically are less orderly than locations subject to centralized authority. As a result, while many New Orleanians have fought throughout the city’s history to keep the waterfront open and public, others, particularly commercial elites, have wanted to consolidate power over that space with an eye toward regimenting it.

36 In the days following, westerners again threatened secession if the federal government could not guarantee them use of the Mississippi and its banks. 37 With the news that Spain had agreed to retrocede Louisiana 36 Chapter 1 to France, Jefferson shifted diplomatic energies from Madrid to his minister in Paris, Robert Livingston. In January 1803, Jefferson, under pressure from the inflamed West, reinforced Livingston by sending James Monroe to Paris. 38 For over twenty years, Jefferson had spent countless hours studying the Mississippi Valley’s landscape from afar and the vagaries of riparian law, while musing on the will of Nature.

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