The Rebuilding of New Orleans
The rebuilding of New Orleans presents a formidable challenge. There
are social, safety, cultural and historical considerations that will need to be addressed. The cultural identity of neighborhoods
will have to be preserved, the history and architectural setting will have to be maintained and the cities environmental system
will have to be revitalized. In this upcoming series, the focus will be on the problems and solutions required for the
rebuilding of New Orleans.
Specifically, the focus is on today's city planning issues.
Will New Orleans become the first Green city in America? Will the city devise the best disaster relief infrastructure?
What comes to mind as a publisher of technology news, is how the
latest technology will be applied to solving New Orleans problems and how to apply the technology, while maintaining the historical
and cultural setting, as well as the identity of the city.
In this first issue, we briefly look at how to address New Orleans'
immediate rebuilding challenge – these include purifying the environment and dealing with the millions of tons of debris
that must be removed. With the advent of biofuel conversion technology, it is apparent that renewable energy companies will
see the debris left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a very large source of renewable energy. Companies like Green Resources
and Global Environmental Energy Corp. through its Biosphere Development Corp, and Covanta Energy Corporation could become
central to the conversion of the debris to millions of megawatts of clean electricity. It is indeed likely that the cost of
removing the debris will be less than the revenues generated from the clean electricity produced from the disaster. It would
indeed be a tragedy if the vital source of energy that Katrina created were simply burned into the air. Although, one would
not consider this likely, in a recent press release dated June 10, 2005, from Green Energy Resources, the company stated that,
“in 2004 (the company) offered to buy over 1 million tons of storm damaged debris from Florida to help residents recover
and recoup clean up costs. The offer was ignored by FEMA and state officials.”
The problem of water purification is another issue. Companies such
as JMAR Technologies and new nanotechnology purification technologies could see a large market for their products to purify
the water and even extract minerals and other valuable chemicals for resale. On September 7th, 2005, Interface Sciences Corporation
reported that in response to the New Orleans’ disaster it would launch its proprietary oil remediation and recovery
application. The company indicated that it has developed a material that can absorb 40 times its weight in oil, as well as
can recover the oil for reuse. Interface’s oil cleanup technology is referred to as Self-Assembled Monolayer technology.