Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban and Regional Planning


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Marla Nelson

Second Advisor

David Gladstone

Third Advisor

Steve Vilavasso


Recovery from a natural disaster is difficult, expensive, and can take ten years or more. Many contend that recovery planning can be ordered, knowable, and predictable and that the destruction of buildings and displacement of the population provide an opportunity to build back better. This thesis examines the complexity of recovery through the lens of land use planning. Land use planning serves as the central focus because land provides an individual or family their livelihood and its use underlies the economy. The thesis considers two planning models -- rational comprehensive and incremental. The thesis concludes that incremental planning is more appropriate for recovery planning, but that even during recovery the community needs post recovery goals and objectives to provide context to their day-to-day decisions. A more comprehensive planning process is better suited for developing and articulating post recovery goals and objectives.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.