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Your e-mails: Revitalizing New Orleans

CNN.com readers on starting over in the Crescent City

SPECIAL REPORT

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

(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 how they would like to see New Orleans rebuilt.

Here is a sampling of their responses, some of which have been edited:

A) Any and all homes rebuilt should have to meet strict guidelines as to construction using mainly steel and concrete. B) 9th Ward sea level area should be raised to at least "sea level." C) Levees should be brought up to date concerning construction. New pump stations capable of pumping water at greater rate.
Lee Strange, Shelby, North Carolina

Build it all on pillars/columns. Raise the entire city structures to 25 feet above sea level. Construct an underground (underwater) subway system and an overhead monorail system. Make it a worldwide center for 21st century electronics and mechanics. Allow international [investors] and philanthropists to donate funds guaranteed by New Orleans reconstruction bonds. Include people-movers, conveyor belt-driven walkways. No roads within the city limits. Transportation to be by water taxis and ferries from the city's borders. Once city is rebuilt, tear down the levees allowing the waters to fill the "bowl." A modern Venice.
Steve Martinez, Houston, Texas

Nobody in their right mind rebuilds a city on the coast below sea level. Find a place and rebuild it farther up the Mississippi somewhere. My tax dollars shouldn't have to go to rebuild the same city over and over again. Nature can reclaim that land and we can use it for a national park.
Pam, Burtonsville, Maryland

I love the wonderful city of New Orleans. The history and beauty of the area is wonderful. I would like to see it rebuilt just as it was. The low-income areas should get assistance from the state, local and federal governments. I hope that we can put race and income levels aside and just rebuild the city I love as quickly as possible. I am ready to visit again!
Alison Williams, San Antonio, Texas

First reconstruct the Mardi Gras parade routes. New Orleans is Mardi Gras! The Saints must remain in the Crescent City! The Superdome is their home field. The city cannot be itself without these two leading items on the rebuild agenda. The city will rebuild based upon these priorities. Since the French Quarter was largely intact, encourage the Quarter to be the French Quarter that visitors (party veterans) long for. Also, straighten up the NOPD!!
James Sinclair, Columbia, Mississippi

I would love to see a light rail system. I would love to see a brand new school board that is strictly run by either the state government or outside management. I believe that would lead to the return of Fortune 500 companies to New Orleans. I would like to see areas most affected by the flooding rebuilt. But, rebuilt in a fashion as the government subsidized housing near the new Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas. I would like more money to be invested into other enterprise besides hospitality. It makes up [more than] 80 percent of the workforce in NOLA. People need other marketable skills besides dish washing and parking cars.
Sallie DuPont, Washington, D.C.

New Orleans can never be rebuilt and be the way it was. Its historical beauty is lost forever. I am truly sorry that I never got a chance to visit New Orleans. Thank God for books that have pictures and tell the stories of that beautiful city.
Debbie Cooke, Ceres, California

General Henry M. Robert had the right idea when asked to rebuild Galveston after the 1900 hurricane: Jack up the city and pump sand underneath it. It worked for Galveston, and there's no reason the same approach won't work in New Orleans.
Jay Maynard, Fairmont, Minnesota

I think they should fill the entire bowl section at least 9-12 feet -- and then rebuild. Don't waste money on removing the damaged area. Just bury it very deep -- then rebuild with it on an even level. I want to see it come back. New Orleans we do love you!
Susan, El Paso, Texas

With much confusion about FEMA plan of action during the aftermath of Katrina, I think more should now be focused on how to get this city back up and running. For instance, what most former NO residents fear is that once NO is rebuilt, will it be affordable for the vast majority of low-income residents? This issue should definitely be addressed: Once NO is rebuilt, make sure it's affordable for the people that truly make up the city. Also another issue is rebuilding the city with a better strategy that reflects the weather and the region. So rebuild using the Army Corps of Engineers on hand, to make sure all of the infrastructures are secure and durable for severe weather.
Betty Booker, Birmingham, Alabama

It would only make sense, since the town is practically destroyed, to move the location before rebuilding. Let the swamp area be that and rebuild the town on land that won't be so devastated in the next hurricane.
Nancy Grinnell, Deming, New Mexico

New Orleans should take advantage of its elevation in the rebuilding process to create a new city unique to America that captures the New Orleans Old World charm while securing its place for the future. ... I'm thinking Venetian: canals, gondolas, etc. Perhaps accomplished using the Dutch floating city technology.
Gary Moore, Dayton, Ohio

I think that nothing should be allowed to be built below water level. To invest the amounts of money they are talking about and then to repeat the mistakes of the past is the worst type of waste and idiocy. All of the land below water level should be turned into wetland parks, or be used for some type of aquaculture.
Elizabeth Redington, Bellingham, Washington

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