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Your e-mails: 'City of the future'

CNN.com users on New Orleans' rebuilding

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Reader Karen Farley sent in the following images of her flood-damaged house in New Orleans.

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Should New Orleans be rebuilt?
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(CNN) -- Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed devastated many homes, buildings and, in some cases, entire neighborhoods, leaving residents and government officials to decide whether -- and how -- to rebuild.

CNN.com asked readers for their suggestions on how the city should rebuild and how it could take advantage of reconstruction to improve. Here is a sampling of those responses, some of which have been edited:

This is the opportunity for part of New Orleans to become a city of the future. Half of the town will be old, revered architecture and half will be a gleaming new jewel. Construct buildings of hurricane proof material and shapes. Use the latest technologies like wind and solar for water and power. Everyone and every business will be in geodesic domes on stilts that are impervious to water so that from the air the new part of town will look like bubbles. Roads and walkways on the same level as homes, with mass transit everywhere. Put cables in conduits under the roadways. Any areas that flood can be turned into parks with the domes above them. New Orleans will become known as Old Town and New Town. Train the jobless in the new construction methods and they can help build efficient, safe buildings all around the world.
J. Russell, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Don't fight nature. Break the levy and let the water flow naturally. Find the high ground and rebuild the city there. It make no sense to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Sam, Boston, Massachusetts

Let's face it, it's basically over for New Orleans. While what's left of it, the old parts built on a bluff, that didn't flood, this time, is beautiful, it will, sooner or later. Why not rebuild New Orleans a little further north ... on higher ground. The state of Louisiana is foolish to do otherwise. You can not fight God and win.

The mayor of New Orleans, I honestly don't think he cares about his former citizens. If he did, [he] would not be trying to fool them into coming back knowing full well New Orleans will flood again ... It's a "health hazard" down there right now. Remember the toxic soup, it's still there. It's really simple to understand: no people, no revenue.
Jay Herrod, Clinton, Louisiana

I agree that the "bowl will refill," so why not just leave it as is? Residents who can produce deed of ownership could then sell the parcel to the state (granted, it may be pennies on the dollar, but it would beat what the evacuees have now which is no home and little money). The lake could be named in memoriam, perhaps a park built around it as a memorial.
Jeff Overstreet, Orlando, Florida

Think free enterprise! Designate 80 percent of it with a unique 100-year foreign country status. Perhaps one can consider how China/Hong Hong worked or didn't work. A new way of government with rules attractive for businesses that need to outsource. The remaining 20 percent gets auctioned off on eBay. Some will be classified as a nature reserve and other areas for oil exploration. This is American land and part of a unique investment fund. The revenue generated is used for rebuilding the levee system and other services that the foreign country side will need. Since businesses with their foreign country status will be paying for U.S. government services, the 20 percent owned by American investors will grow in value.
Maetzold, Shawnee, Kansas

Level everything that is below sea level, fill in the land with enough dirt to raise it at least 50 to 60 feet above sea level. Then try to restore everything that was good about New Orleans before the hurricane, it will just be at a higher level. And another important issue, use American labor, especially those who have lost their jobs and their workplaces because of the hurricane. Never use illegal immigrants at a time like this or any other time. Americans need the jobs.
Judy Campanella, Matewan, West Virginia

The city should be rebuilt but with all the best technology and know-how for the problems it has. Build a levee system that will withstand a [Category] 6 hurricane, if that was possible. Create a new type of architecture that will be modern yet New Orleans. At the same time, don't leave [it] for only the rich and greedy developers. The city belongs to the whole spectrum of peoples; from the very rich to the poor. The mix is what gave it life. If you make it a city for the rich then you will be ripping its soul out.
Rich Corona, Stratford, Connecticut

New Orleans must certainly be rebuilt and in some form which retains the city's unique history, culture and architecture. At the same time, I fear that the gross incompetence of the local, parish, state and federal authorities in this case has emotionalized this issue to the point that economically unjustifiable and purely political decisions will be made in doing so. The saying about the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result comes to mind. Significant parts of the city may need to be converted to parkland or some other use appropriately suited for a flood plain. Doing so and deferring to the recommendations of the world's best civil engineers would be far better for all long term than allowing Bush and Chertoff, Blanco and Nagin to make their political calls.
David Behrmann, Grapevine,
Texas

It's to soon to think about rebuilding. We should send environmental survey teams to take soil samples, dig test wells and such. Until we know the long term impact of living in the flooded areas, we can't put people back.
Stephen P. Marino, Yukon, Oklahoma

I think the levees should be destroyed to let the water settle where it will go. Nothing should be built below sea level. The damage and destroyed buildings could be used as landfill, but a 100-year flood line should be maintained and there should be nothing rebuilt that could flood without draining in the next storm.
Ken Peterson, Mount Dora, Florida

Start the rebuilding with new larger dikes and make sure to create some wetlands outside the dikes for flood control. You could even use dikes as a base to reconstruct the highway system. Imagine driving down a highway with beautiful wetlands on one side and a beautiful city on the other. You all have our prayers. New Orleans is a place I have wanted to visit for years. Rebuild it and I will come and spend my tourism dollars to see the success.
David, Greeley, Colorado

Islands have and are being created over ocean areas in the Persian Gulf as we speak. Suitable sand pumped from the bottom of the ocean is sprayed over the ocean until islands are created. I propose that New Orleans be razed and all the concrete (including the Superdome concrete) be spread out to form a solid base of rubble where possible. Then, sand from nearby ocean bottoms could be pumped over this rubble base, and waste product from coal burning power plants called fly ash (which hydrates into a hard waterproofed cement), could be shipped to New Orleans by the ton load. The fly ash mixed with water would be pumped or sprayed over the entire city area over the rubble base as a thick slurry. This slurry mixed with sand and silt brought from the ocean bottoms, would be placed in layers until the New Orleans area would be raised above sea level. Once the slurry mixed subgrade hydrates, a hard, waterproof ground could be ready for a new city to be built. Regular soil could be placed over the cured slurry and buildings, roads, parks, etc. could be rebuilt.
Serge Bellassai, Kansas City, Missouri

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