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

By Ari Kelman

This enticing environmental historical past explores the increase, fall, and rebirth of 1 of the nation's most vital city public landscapes, and extra considerably, the function public areas play in shaping people's relationships with the flora and fauna. Ari Kelman makes a speciality of 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 effect of floods, affliction, 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 booklet argues that city parts supply a wealthy resource for figuring out people's connections with nature, and in flip, nature's influence on human history.

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Extra resources for A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans

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At first glance, this may seem like another retelling of the tragic tale running through many environmental and urban histories—the degradation of the natural environment and the enclosure of public space at the hands of economic elites. And yet, New Orleans’s reciprocal relationship with the Mississippi adds complexity to these well-worn sto- 16 Prologue ries. By examining episodes in which non-elite residents of the city have succeeded in maintaining the waterfront’s status as a mixed-use, public space, I highlight the role that common people have played in shaping that landscape.

The artificial levees and warehouses lining the waterfront formed a physical barrier between New Orleans and the Mississippi, while the conflation of the riverfront’s public character with commercial endeavors further alienated many people from that space. In short, by the mid-twentieth century, sepia-toned images of the river flowing by the city were little more than vestiges of public memory lingering from the antebellum era. At first glance, this may seem like another retelling of the tragic tale running through many environmental and urban histories—the degradation of the natural environment and the enclosure of public space at the hands of economic elites.

After a short wait, the court’s decision was likely evident in Livingston’s barely concealed glee and the fury that Moreau-Lislet and Derbigny struggled to contain. The three presiding judges ruled unanimously: Jean Gravier’s title to the batture— defined as the part of the Mississippi’s banks remaining covered in times of high water and uncovered during low—fronting the Faubourg (false city or suburb) St. 1 Perhaps the justices believed that such an unwavering verdict would silence controversy surrounding what was becoming known as the batture case.

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