Issues in Social Design
It has just past the one-year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and I believe there could have been many things done in housing design that could have saved many lives. the first problem was that the Army Core of Engineers knew for a long time that the levees in New Orleans weren't built deep enough to accomodate the recommended the depth of 17ft, but they didn't do anything about it. maybe that extra 3ft could have been enough to prevent the levees from breaching. Levees breached in approximately 20 places flooding 80% of the city.
When rebuilding the city, they could make houses on stilts to prevent damage from minor floods. For example, most houses in the country side of Hawaii along the shoreline are built on stilts so that incase the seawater washes overshore, the water will cause no damage to the actual building it self. If rebuilding was to occur in New Orleans, they could make cheap houses using that technique. The house that I saw in Hawaii didn't seen like they were very costly. They were like a box on top of columns that supported it up. Kind of like a mini version of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoie.
Another thing they could do is to build the highway above sea level so that even if a disaster like this occurs again, there would at least be a way to transport people in and out of the affected areas.
if we would have thought of simple things like building houses off the ground and roads above the sea level earlier when planning the development of the city, many lives could have been saved.