New Orleans greenery post-Katrina reflects social demographics more than hurricane impact

(Ecological Society of America) Popular portrayals of “nature reclaiming civilization” in flood-damaged New Orleans neighborhoods romanticize an urban ecology shaped by policy-driven socioecological disparities in redevelopment investment, ecologists argue in a new paper in ESA’s open access journal Ecosphere. Studying plant life across the city, they found that demographic factors of wealth, race, housing recovery, and land abandonment were better predictors of vegetation patterns than the degree of intensity of flooding and wind during 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.