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Your e-mails: Thoughts on rebuilding

CNN.com users on reviving the spirit of New Orleans

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SPECIAL REPORT

• Rebuilding: Vital signs
• Gallery: Landmarks over time
• Storm & Flood: Making history
• I-Report: Share your photos

(CNN) -- The tragedy of Katrina has left New Orleans with a unique opportunity to remake a city many wonder: What will the new New Orleans be like?

CNN.com asked readers whether New Orleans will ever be the same and what would need to be saved or rebuilt to maintain the spirit of the city. Here is a sampling of those responses, some of which have been edited:

With American ingenuity New Orleans can be rebuilt and can be the same. However, it will still be precariously situated below sea level in a geographic region prone to hurricanes. The hurricane season cycle is supposedly going to get worse before it gets better. Foresight is needed to consider spending billions to rebuild only to experience a Category 5 direct hit in the foreseeable future. Would anyone consider rebuilding again?
Philip M. Osanic, Kingston, Ontario

Natural disasters have plagued nations around the world for decades. It has been through the tenacity of the residents and decisive assistance from governments which supported rebuilding efforts. I believe the question is not so much if "Can New Orleans ever be the same"? but rather can a restored New Orleans have a future of its own? Its obvious many aspects of the city may or may not have the same ambience as before. As a city rebuilding planner, I would concentrate on the restoration of historical structures first to keep the legacy of its forefathers alive. Then, take a look at a logical, cost effective method to revive businesses, facilities and homes.
Jay Simmons, San Antonio, Texas

No. At least I sincerely hope not. I hope it can be rebuilt to respect the natural geography and human safety. The spirit of the city relies most on the people who carry it forth. The high and dry areas could be preserved or rebuilt. Study was done of the area by scientists/geologists/civil engineers, for years. Public agencies that allow building in such hazardous areas should be held accountable for any future damage.
Susan Sherod, Venice, California

Areas where New Orleans was hit hard will never be the same. The federal government needs to assign a special risk management team to analyze, assess, and mitigate the losses for the damaged areas (it is critical that this assessment be focused on the needs of the people of New Orleans; not the buildings, not the business lost, or even the land). Human capital, human resource management, and human spirituality desperately needs repairing. In the meantime, the bowl should be filled with dirt; lots of dirt; dirt high enough to create a mountain a top way above sea level.
Nyoka June Lee, San Mateo, California

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