Your e-mails: Rebuild New Orleans?
Some CNN.com readers say yes, but differently
Karen Farley took this photo of flood damage in her New Orleans house.
(CNN) -- New Orleans faces tough questions after the devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina.
Should the city be rebuilt? If so, how?
CNN.com posed those questions to readers, who sent in a range of opinions by e-mail. Some answered that the city should definitely rebuild; others argued against it; still others offered solutions for building New Orleans into a different, perhaps better, city.
Below is a sampling of responses from those who said the city should be rebuilt, but not the same as it was before the hurricane. Use the links at the bottom of the page to read some of the other opinions. Some e-mails have been edited for style, clarity and length.
I think we should turn New Orleans into a Venice-style city. Everyone will travel by boat, after they knock those levees down and completely flood the city. Everything should be built above sea level as it will become the United States' first city built on a giant body of water.
There is an unimaginable amount of debris from these two hurricanes, and there are questions about what to do with all of it. Why can't it be sent to New Orleans to "fill the bowl"? It could be done section by section of the city. Cover the debris with earth, grass, paved roads, and New Orleans would no longer be below sea level. We would have found a place to put all of the wreckage, and the city would no longer be, as I said, below sea level. I guess some people would say it is a naive idea, but if it were filled neighborhood by neighborhood, I think it could be done. ... I know we can't tear down the French Quarter and raze it because of the historical importance, but why not the rest of the city?
Turn the lowest areas into parkland that will serve as a natural drain during flooding. I understand the emotion behind those who say rebuild, but it is pure emotion, not logic. I think the government could start a new town immediately nearby and build a train to transport people into the city for work. To rebuild in the same place is just crazy, and a terrible waste of all our tax money, not that they care about that these days.
Not until every levee is rebuilt to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, period! If they can't keep the water out, why rebuild it?
Of course, it should. Living in the hurricane zone myself, I believe it is not practical to abandon the entire Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Did we abandon Miami after Hurricane Andrew? As a nation we have a tremendous opportunity to rebuild New Orleans as a great, modern metropolis. The question is, do we have the foresight and leadership to improve and not just replace the city on the cheap? Unfortunately, I doubt it.
Clean the surface of the 9th Ward and other sections of New Orleans that are 5 to 8 feet below sea level. Begin digging dirt from those areas and create a lake approximately 200 feet deep. Use the dirt that is removed to build other sections of the city above sea level. Spending astronomical amounts of taxpayer money to rebuild levees to salvage living areas for one of most destitute segments of our society is the most senseless and ridiculous proposals that can be made. That money could be used to educate and relocate the people affected by Katrina, which would improve their lives and society in general.
New Orleans should not be rebuilt the way it was, as a city. It should be built as a park. Restore the oldest part of the city only. The people who want to work in the ports and oil industry can build their own city farther inland where it will be safer. Do not waste our tax dollars on this.
I think maybe some parts -- definitely not the Superdome, too many bad memories. I mean, you could never look at any event held there the same. I also think it would be disrespectful to try to cover it up; it would be like trying to forget 9/11.
I would like my tax dollars spent only once rebuilding New Orleans. Therefore, the city should be raised above sea level before being rebuilt. Disassemble the most historic buildings and reconstruct them at higher ground. I am opposed to building a better bathtub.
Neglect of the levees, not a hurricane was responsible for the increased damage to New Orleans. So, it should be rebuilt with an upgraded and regularly maintained levee system.
No. Would you build a city on the edge of a volcano? How many times do I, as a taxpayer in Minnesota, have to pay because people want to build a great city in a stupid place? Build a great city in a great place -- above sea level.
Where there is "high ground," rebuild ... where there is not, make it a park wetland area. Stop making everyone else pay for rebuilding in hazardous zones. Make any residents bear the full cost, then let's see who wants rebuilding.
I believe the city should be rebuilt with a few caveats. I think the debris from this disaster should be left right where it is. I think the people should be invited back to get what they can and then the city should be buried under 10 feet of dirt. No demolishing, no places to put refuse. Just bury it and start over. That way the city would be higher than the levees and not be subjected to flooding in the future.
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