New Orleans, Louisiana | Wikipedia audio article

October 5, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs

New Orleans (, locally ; French: La Nouvelle-Orléans
[la nuvɛlɔʁleɑ̃] (listen)) is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi
River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 391,006 in
2018, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. A major port, New Orleans is considered an
economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States. New Orleans is world-renowned for its distinct
music, Creole cuisine, unique dialect, and its annual celebrations and festivals, most
notably Mardi Gras. The historic heart of the city is the French
Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife
along Bourbon Street. The city has been described as the “most unique”
in the United States, owing in large part to its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. Founded in 1718 by French colonists, New Orleans
was once the territorial capital of French Louisiana before being traded to the United
States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. New Orleans in 1840 was the third-most populous
city in the United States, and it was the largest city in the American South from the
Antebellum era until after World War II. The city’s location and flat elevation have
historically made it very vulnerable to flooding. State and federal authorities have installed
a complex system of levees and drainage pumps in an effort to protect the city.New Orleans
was severely affected by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, which resulted in flooding
more than 80% of the city, thousands of deaths, and so much displacement because of damaged
communities and lost housing as to cause a population decline of over 50%. Since Katrina, major redevelopment efforts
have led to a rebound in the city’s population. Concerns about gentrification, new residents
buying property in formerly closely knit communities, and displacement of longtime residents have
been expressed.The city and Orleans Parish (French: paroisse d’Orléans) are coterminous. As of 2017, Orleans Parish is the third most-populous
parish in Louisiana, behind East Baton Rouge Parish and neighboring Jefferson Parish. The city and parish are bounded by St. Tammany
Parish and Lake Pontchartrain to the north, St. Bernard Parish and Lake Borgne to the
east, Plaquemines Parish to the south, and Jefferson Parish to the south and west. The city anchors the larger New Orleans metropolitan
area, which had an estimated population of 1,275,762 in 2017. It is the most populous metropolitan area
in Louisiana and the 46th-most populous MSA in the United States.==Names==The city is named after the Duke of Orleans,
who reigned as Regent for Louis XV from 1715 to 1723. It has many illustrative nicknames: Crescent City alludes to the course of the
Lower Mississippi River around and through the city. The Big Easy was possibly a reference by musicians
in the early 20th century to the relative ease of finding work there. It may have originated in the Prohibition
era, when the city was considered one big speakeasy due to the government’s inability
to control alcohol sales, in open violation of the 18th Amendment. The City that Care Forgot has been used since
at least 1938, and refers to the outwardly easy-going, carefree nature of the residents.==History=====
Beginnings===La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans) was founded
in the spring of 1718 (May 7 has become the traditional date to mark the anniversary,
but the actual day is unknown) by the French Mississippi Company, under the direction of
Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, on land inhabited by the Chitimacha. It was named for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans,
who was Regent of the Kingdom of France at the time. His title came from the French city of Orléans. The French colony was ceded to the Spanish
Empire in the Treaty of Paris (1763), following France’s defeat by Great Britain in the Seven
Years’ War. During the American Revolutionary War, New
Orleans was an important port for smuggling aid to the rebels, and transporting military
equipment and supplies up the Mississippi River. Beginning in the 1760s, Filipinos began to
settle in and around New Orleans. Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez
successfully launched a southern campaign against the British from the city in 1779. Nueva Orleans (the name of New Orleans in
Spanish) remained under Spanish control until 1803, when it reverted briefly to French rule. Nearly all of the surviving 18th-century architecture
of the Vieux Carré (French Quarter) dates from the Spanish period, notably excepting
the Old Ursuline Convent.===Native Americans and French Louisiana
===As a French colony, Louisiana faced struggles
with numerous Native American nations. One of which was the Natchez in Southern Mississippi. In the 1720s trouble developed between the
French and the Natchez Indians that would be called the Natchez War or Natchez Revolt. 230 colonists were killed and the fort and
homes were burned to the ground. The conflict between the two parties was a
direct result of Lieutenant d’Etcheparre (more commonly known as Sieur de Chépart),
the commandant at the settlement near the Natchez, decided in 1729 that the Natchez
Indians should surrender both their cultivated crop lands and their town of White Apple to
the French. The Natchez pretended to surrender and actually
worked for the French in the hunting game, but as soon as they were weaponized, they
struck back and killed several men. Resulting in the colonist fleeing upriver
to New Orleans. The fleeing colonist sought protection from
what they feared might be a colony-wide Indian uprising. The Natchez, however, did not to press on
after their surprise attack, leaving them vulnerable enough for King Louis XV’s appointed
governor Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville to reclaim the settlement. Relations with Louisiana’s Indians, a problem
inherited from Bienville, remained a concern for the next governor, Marquis de Vaudreuil. In the early 1740s traders from the British
colonies of the Atlantic coast crossed into the Appalachian Mountains. The Native nations in between the French colonials
and British colonials would now operate dependent on which of the two colonies would most benefit
them. Several of these tribes and especially the
Chicksaw and Choctaw would trade goods and gifts for their loyalty.The economic problems
under Vaudreuil would not allow the French to outcompete the British and resulted in
many of Louisiana’s Native American revolts. In 1747 and 1748 the Chicksaw would raid along
the east bank of the Mississippi all the way south to Baton Rouge. These actions supported by the British colonials
would force residents of French Louisiana to take refuge in New Orleans. The economic problems under Vaudreuil would
not allow the French to outcompete the British and resulted in many of Louisiana’s Native
American revolts. In 1747 and 1748 the Chickasaw would raid
along the east bank of the Mississippi all the way south to Baton Rouge. These actions supported by the British colonials
would force residents of French Louisiana to take refuge in New Orleans.===Slavery in French Louisiana===
Inability to find labor was the most pressing issue in the early French colony. Colonist turned to African slavery to make
their investments in Louisiana profitable. In the late 1710s the international slave
trade imported enslaved Africans. Leading to the biggest shipment in 1716 where
several trading ships appeared with slaves as cargo to local residents in a one-year
span. By 1724, the large number of blacks in Louisiana
prompted the institutionalizing of laws governing slavery within the colony. These laws included slaves needed to be baptized
in the Roman Catholic faith, slaves must be married in the Church, and slaves had no legal
rights. The slave law formed in the 1720s is known
as the Code Noir, which would bleed into the antebellum period of the American South as
well. Louisiana slave culture had its own distinct
Afro-Creole society that called on past cultures and the situation for slaves in the New World. Afro-Creole was present in religious beliefs
and the Louisiana Creole dialect. The religion most associated with this period
for slaves started in New Orleans called Voodoo.===Religion and architecture from across
the world===In the city of New Orleans an inspiring mixture
of foreign influences created a melting pot of culture that is still celebrated today. By the end of French colonization in Louisiana,
New Orleans was recognized commercially in the Atlantic world. Its inhabitants traded across the French commercial
system. New Orleans was this hub for trade both physically
and culturally because it served as the exit point to the rest of the globe for the interior
of the North American continent. In one instance the French government established
a chapter house of sisters in New Orleans. The Ursuline sisters after being sponsored
by the Company of the Indies, founded a covenant in the city in 1727. At the end of the colonial era, the Ursuline
Academy maintained a house of seventy boarding and one hundred day students. Today numerous schools in New Orleans can
trace their lineage from this academy. Another is the architecture still distinguishing
New Orleans. French Louisiana had early architects in the
province who were trained as military engineers and were now assigned to design government
buildings. Pierre Le Blond de Tour and Adrien de Pauger,
for example, planned many early fortifications, along with the street plan for the city of
New Orleans. After them in the 1740s, Ignace François
Broutin, as engineer-in-chief of Louisiana, reworked the architecture of New Orleans with
an extensive public works program. French policy-makers in Paris attempted to
set political and economic norms for the New Orleans, it acted autonomously in much of
its cultural and physical aspects, but also stayed centralized to the foreign trends as
well.===Post-Treaty of Paris===
After the French relinquished West Louisiana to the Spanish, New Orleans merchants attempted
to ignore Spanish rule and even re-institute French control on the colony. The citizens of New Orleans held a series
of public meetings during 1765 to keep the populace in opposition of the establishment
of Spanish rule. Anti-Spanish passions in New Orleans, reached
its highest level after two years of Spanish administration in Louisiana. On October 27, 1768, a mob of local residents,
spiked the guns guarding New Orleans and took control of the city from the Spanish. The rebellion organized a group to sail for
Paris, where it met with officials of the French government. This group brought with them a long memorial
to summarize the abuses the colony had endured from the Spanish. King Louis XV and his ministers reaffirmed
Spain’s sovereignty over Louisiana.===United States territory===
Napoleon sold Louisiana (New France) to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in
1803. Thereafter, the city grew rapidly with influxes
of Americans, French, Creoles and Africans. Later immigrants were Irish, Germans, Poles
and Italians. Major commodity crops of sugar and cotton
were cultivated with slave labor on nearby large plantations. Thousands of refugees from the 1804 Haitian
Revolution, both whites and free people of color (affranchis or gens de couleur libres),
arrived in New Orleans; a number brought their slaves with them, many of whom were native
Africans or of full-blood descent. While Governor Claiborne and other officials
wanted to keep out additional free black people, the French Creoles wanted to increase the
French-speaking population. As more refugees were allowed into the Territory
of Orleans, Haitian émigrés who had first gone to Cuba also arrived. Many of the white Francophones had been deported
by officials in Cuba in retaliation for Bonapartist schemes.Nearly 90 percent of these immigrants
settled in New Orleans. The 1809 migration brought 2,731 whites, 3,102
free people of color (of mixed-race European and African descent), and 3,226 slaves of
primarily African descent, doubling the city’s population. The city became 63 percent black, a greater
proportion than Charleston, South Carolina’s 53 percent.===Battle of New Orleans===During the final campaign of the War of 1812,
the British sent a force of 11,000 in an attempt to capture New Orleans. Despite great challenges, General Andrew Jackson,
with support from the U.S. Navy, successfully cobbled together a force of militia from Louisiana
and Mississippi, including free men of color, U.S. Army regulars, a large contingent of
Tennessee state militia, Kentucky riflemen, Choctaw fighters, and local privateers (the
latter led by the pirate Jean Lafitte), to decisively defeat the British troops, led
by Sir Edward Pakenham, in the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. The armies had not learned of the Treaty of
Ghent, which had been signed on December 24, 1814 (however, the treaty did not call for
cessation of hostilities until after both governments had ratified it. The U.S. government ratified it on February
16, 1815). The fighting in Louisiana had begun in December
1814 and did not end until late January, after the Americans held off the British Navy during
a ten-day siege of Fort St. Philip (the Royal Navy went on to capture Fort Bowyer near Mobile,
before the commanders received news of the peace treaty).===Port===As a port, New Orleans played a major role
during the antebellum era in the Atlantic slave trade. The port handled commodities for export from
the interior and imported goods from other countries, which were warehoused and transferred
in New Orleans to smaller vessels and distributed along the Mississippi River watershed. The river was filled with steamboats, flatboats
and sailing ships. Despite its role in the slave trade, New Orleans
at the time also had the largest and most prosperous community of free persons of color
in the nation, who were often educated, middle-class property owners.===Slavery and immigration===
Dwarfing the other cities in the antebellum South, New Orleans had the nation’s largest
slave market. The market expanded after the U.S. ended the
international trade in 1808. Two-thirds of the more than one million slaves
brought to the Deep South arrived via forced migration in the domestic slave trade. The money generated by the sale of slaves
in the Upper South has been estimated at 15 percent of the value of the staple crop economy. The slaves were collectively valued at half
a billion dollars. The trade spawned an ancillary economy—transportation,
housing and clothing, fees, etc., estimated at 13.5% of the price per person, amounting
to tens of billions of dollars (2005 dollars, adjusted for inflation) during the antebellum
period, with New Orleans as a prime beneficiary.According to historian Paul Lachance, the addition of white immigrants [from Saint-Domingue]
to the white creole population enabled French-speakers to remain a majority of the white population
until almost 1830. If a substantial proportion of free persons
of color and slaves had not also spoken French, however, the Gallic community would have become
a minority of the total population as early as 1820. After the Louisiana Purchase, numerous Anglo-Americans
migrated to the city. The population doubled in the 1830s and by
1840, New Orleans had become the nation’s wealthiest and the third-most populous city,
after New York and Baltimore. German and Irish immigrants began arriving
in the 1840s, working as port laborers. In this period, the state legislature passed
more restrictions on manumissions of slaves and virtually ended it in 1852.In the 1850s,
white Francophones remained an intact and vibrant community in New Orleans. They maintained instruction in French in two
of the city’s four school districts (all served white students). In 1860, the city had 13,000 free people of
color (gens de couleur libres), the class of free, mostly mixed-race people that expanded
in number during French and Spanish rule. They set up some private schools for their
children. The census recorded 81 percent of the free
people of color as mulatto, a term used to cover all degrees of mixed race. Mostly part of the Francophone group, they
constituted the artisan, educated and professional class of African Americans. The mass of blacks were still enslaved, working
at the port, in domestic service, in crafts, and mostly on the many large, surrounding
sugarcane plantations. After growing by 45 percent in the 1850s,
by 1860, the city had nearly 170,000 people. It had grown in wealth, with a “per capita
income [that] was second in the nation and the highest in the South.” The city had a role as the “primary commercial
gateway for the nation’s booming midsection.” The port was the nation’s third largest in
terms of tonnage of imported goods, after Boston and New York, handling 659,000 tons
in 1859.===Civil War===As the Creole elite feared, the Civil War
changed their world. In 1862, following the occupation by the Navy
after the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, led by Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, a
respected state lawyer of the Massachusetts militia, Northern forces occupied the city. Later New Orleans residents nicknamed him
“Beast” Butler, because of a military order he issued. After his troops had been assaulted and harassed
in the streets by Southern women, his order warned that such future occurrences would
result in his men treating such “ladies” as those “plying their avocation in the streets”,
implying that they would treat the women like prostitutes. Accounts of this spread widely. He also came to be called “Spoons” Butler
because of the alleged looting that his troops did while occupying the city.Butler abolished
French language instruction in city schools. Statewide measures in 1864 and, after the
war, 1868 further strengthened the English-only policy imposed by federal representatives. With the predominance of English speakers,
that language had already become dominant in business and government. By the end of the 19th century, French usage
had faded. It was also under pressure from Irish, Italian
and German immigrants. However, as late as 1902 “one-fourth of the
population of the city spoke French in ordinary daily intercourse, while another two-fourths
was able to understand the language perfectly,” and as late as 1945, many elderly Creole women
spoke no English. The last major French language newspaper,
L’Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans Bee), ceased publication on December 27, 1923,
after ninety-six years. According to some sources, Le Courrier de
la Nouvelle Orleans continued until 1955.As the city was captured and occupied early in
the war, it was spared the destruction through warfare suffered by many other cities of the
American South. The Union Army eventually extended its control
north along the Mississippi River and along the coastal areas. As a result, most of the southern portion
of Louisiana was originally exempted from the liberating provisions of the 1863 “Emancipation
Proclamation” issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Large numbers of rural ex-slaves and some
free people of color from the city volunteered for the first regiments of Black troops in
the War. Led by Brigadier General Daniel Ullman (1810–1892),
of the 78th Regiment of New York State Volunteers Militia, they were known as the “Corps d’Afrique.” While that name had been used by a militia
before the war, that group was composed of free people of color. The new group was made up mostly of former
slaves. They were supplemented in the last two years
of the War by newly organized United States Colored Troops, who played an increasingly
important part in the war.===Reconstruction===
Violence throughout the South, especially the Memphis Riots of 1866 followed by the
New Orleans Riot in the same year, led Congress to pass the Reconstruction Act and the Fourteenth
Amendment, extending the protections of full citizenship to freedmen and free people of
color. Louisiana and Texas were put under the authority
of the “Fifth Military District” of the United States during Reconstruction. Louisiana was readmitted to the Union in 1868. Its Constitution of 1868 granted universal
male suffrage and established universal public education. Both blacks and whites were elected to local
and state offices. In 1872, lieutenant governor P.B.S. Pinchback, who was of mixed race, succeeded
Henry Clay Warmouth for a brief period as Republican governor of Louisiana, becoming
the first governor of African descent of an American state (the next African American
to serve as governor of an American state was Douglas Wilder, elected in Virginia in
1989). New Orleans operated a racially integrated
public school system during this period. Wartime damage to levees and cities along
the Mississippi River adversely affected southern crops and trade. The federal government contributed to restoring
infrastructure. The nationwide financial recession and Panic
of 1873 adversely affected businesses and slowed economic recovery. From 1868, elections in Louisiana were marked
by violence, as white insurgents tried to suppress black voting and disrupt Republican
Party gatherings. The disputed 1872 gubernatorial election resulted
in conflicts that ran for years. The “White League”, an insurgent paramilitary
group that supported the Democratic Party, was organized in 1874 and operated in the
open, violently suppressing the black vote and running off Republican officeholders. In 1874, in the Battle of Liberty Place, 5,000
members of the White League fought with city police to take over the state offices for
the Democratic candidate for governor, holding them for three days. By 1876, such tactics resulted in the white
Democrats, the so-called Redeemers, regaining political control of the state legislature. The federal government gave up and withdrew
its troops in 1877, ending Reconstruction.===Jim Crow era===
White Democrats passed Jim Crow laws, establishing racial segregation in public facilities. In 1889, the legislature passed a constitutional
amendment incorporating a “grandfather clause” that effectively disfranchised freedmen as
well as the propertied people of color manumitted before the war. Unable to vote, African Americans could not
serve on juries or in local office, and were closed out of formal politics for generations. The South was ruled by a white Democratic
Party. Public schools were racially segregated and
remained so until 1960. New Orleans’ large community of well-educated,
often French-speaking free persons of color (gens de couleur libres), who had been free
prior to the Civil War, fought against Jim Crow. They organized the Comité des Citoyens (Citizens
Committee) to work for civil rights. As part of their legal campaign, they recruited
one of their own, Homer Plessy, to test whether Louisiana’s newly enacted Separate Car Act
was constitutional. Plessy boarded a commuter train departing
New Orleans for Covington, Louisiana, sat in the car reserved for whites only, and was
arrested. The case resulting from this incident, Plessy
v. Ferguson, was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896. The court ruled that “separate but equal”
accommodations were constitutional, effectively upholding Jim Crow measures. In practice, African-American public schools
and facilities were underfunded across the South. The Supreme Court ruling contributed to this
period as the nadir of race relations in the United States. The rate of lynchings of black men was high
across the South, as other states also disfranchised blacks and sought to impose Jim Crow. Nativist prejudices also surfaced. Anti-Italian sentiment in 1891 contributed
to the lynchings of 11 Italians, some of whom had been acquitted of the murder of the police
chief. Some were shot and killed in the jail where
they were detained. It was the largest mass lynching in U.S. history. In July 1900 the city was swept by white mobs
rioting after Robert Charles, a young African American, killed a policeman and temporarily
escaped. The mob killed him and an estimated 20 other
blacks; seven whites died in the days-long conflict, until a state militia suppressed
it. Throughout New Orleans’ history, until the
early 20th Century when medical and scientific advances ameliorated the situation, the city
suffered repeated epidemics of yellow fever and other tropical and infectious diseases.===20th century===New Orleans’ economic and population zenith
in relation to other American cities occurred in the antebellum period. It was the nation’s fifth-largest city in
1860 (after New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore) and was significantly larger
than all other southern cities. From the mid-19th century onward rapid economic
growth shifted to other areas, while New Orleans’ relative importance steadily declined. The growth of railways and highways decreased
river traffic, diverting goods to other transportation corridors and markets. Thousands of the most ambitious people of
color left the state in the Great Migration around World War II and after, many for West
Coast destinations. From the late 1800s, most censuses recorded
New Orleans slipping down the ranks in the list of largest American cities (New Orleans’
population still continued to increase throughout the period, but at a slower rate than before
the Civil War). By the mid-20th Century, New Orleanians recognized
that their city was no longer the leading urban area in the South. By 1950, Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta exceeded
New Orleans in size, and in 1960 Miami eclipsed New Orleans, even as the latter’s population
reached its historic peak. As with other older American cities, highway
construction and suburban development drew residents from the center city to newer housing
outside. The 1970 census recorded the first absolute
decline in population since the city became part of the United States in 1803. The New Orleans metropolitan area continued
expanding in population, albeit more slowly than other major Sun Belt cities. While the port remained one of the nation’s
largest, automation and containerization cost many jobs. The city’s former role as banker to the South
was supplanted by larger peer cities. New Orleans’ economy had always been based
more on trade and financial services than on manufacturing, but the city’s relatively
small manufacturing sector also shrank after World War II. Despite some economic development successes
under the administrations of DeLesseps “Chep” Morrison (1946–1961) and Victor “Vic” Schiro
(1961–1970), metropolitan New Orleans’ growth rate consistently lagged behind more vigorous
cities.====Civil Rights Movement====
During the later years of Morrison’s administration, and for the entirety of Schiro’s, the city
was a center of the Civil Rights Movement. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference
was founded in New Orleans, and lunch counter sit-ins were held in Canal Street department
stores. A prominent and violent series of confrontations
occurred in 1960 when the city attempted school desegregation, following the Supreme Court
ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). When six-year-old Ruby Bridges integrated
William Frantz Elementary School in the Ninth Ward, she was the first child of color to
attend a previously all-white school in the South. The Civil Rights Movement’s success in gaining
federal passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 renewed
constitutional rights, including voting for blacks. Together, these resulted in the most far-reaching
changes in New Orleans’ 20th century history. Though legal and civil equality were re-established
by the end of the 1960s, a large gap in income levels and educational attainment persisted
between the city’s White and African-American communities. As the middle class and wealthier members
of both races left the center city, its population’s income level dropped, and it became proportionately
more African American. From 1980, the African-American majority elected
primarily officials from its own community. They struggled to narrow the gap by creating
conditions conducive to the economic uplift of the African-American community. New Orleans became increasingly dependent
on tourism as an economic mainstay during the administrations of Sidney Barthelemy (1986–1994)
and Marc Morial (1994–2002). Relatively low levels of educational attainment,
high rates of household poverty, and rising crime threatened the city’s prosperity in
the later decades of the century. The negative effects of these socioeconomic
conditions aligned poorly with the changes in the late-20th century to the economy of
the United States, which reflected a post-industrial, knowledge-based paradigm in which mental skills
and education were more important to advancement than manual skills.====Drainage and flood control====In the 20th century, New Orleans’ government
and business leaders believed they needed to drain and develop outlying areas to provide
for the city’s expansion. The most ambitious development during this
period was a drainage plan devised by engineer and inventor A. Baldwin Wood, designed to
break the surrounding swamp’s stranglehold on the city’s geographic expansion. Until then, urban development in New Orleans
was largely limited to higher ground along the natural river levees and bayous. Wood’s pump system allowed the city to drain
huge tracts of swamp and marshland and expand into low-lying areas. Over the 20th century, rapid subsidence, both
natural and human-induced, resulted in these newly populated areas subsiding to several
feet below sea level.New Orleans was vulnerable to flooding even before the city’s footprint
departed from the natural high ground near the Mississippi River. In the late 20th century, however, scientists
and New Orleans residents gradually became aware of the city’s increased vulnerability. In 1965, flooding from Hurricane Betsy killed
dozens of residents, although the majority of the city remained dry. The rain-induced flood of May 8, 1995, demonstrated
the weakness of the pumping system. After that event, measures were undertaken
to dramatically upgrade pumping capacity. By the 1980s and 1990s, scientists observed
that extensive, rapid, and ongoing erosion of the marshlands and swamp surrounding New
Orleans, especially that related to the Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet Canal, had the unintended
result of leaving the city more vulnerable than before to hurricane-induced catastrophic
storm surges.===21st century=======
Hurricane Katrina====New Orleans was catastrophically affected
by what Raymond B. Seed called “the worst engineering disaster in the world since Chernobyl”,
when the Federal levee system failed during Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. By the time the hurricane approached the city
on August 29, 2005, most residents had evacuated. As the hurricane passed through the Gulf Coast
region, the city’s federal flood protection system failed, resulting in the worst civil
engineering disaster in American history. Floodwalls and levees constructed by the United
States Army Corps of Engineers failed below design specifications and 80% of the city
flooded. Tens of thousands of residents who had remained
were rescued or otherwise made their way to shelters of last resort at the Louisiana Superdome
or the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. More than 1,500 people were recorded as having
died in Louisiana, most in New Orleans, while others remain unaccounted for. Before Hurricane Katrina, the city called
for the first mandatory evacuation in its history, to be followed by another mandatory
evacuation three years later with Hurricane Gustav.====Hurricane Rita====The city was declared off-limits to residents
while efforts to clean up after Hurricane Katrina began. The approach of Hurricane Rita in September
2005 caused repopulation efforts to be postponed, and the Lower Ninth Ward was reflooded by
Rita’s storm surge.====Post-disaster recovery====Because of the scale of damage, many people
resettled permanently outside the area. Federal, state, and local efforts supported
recovery and rebuilding in severely damaged neighborhoods. The Census Bureau in July 2006 estimated the
population to be 223,000; a subsequent study estimated that 32,000 additional residents
had moved to the city as of March 2007, bringing the estimated population to 255,000, approximately
56% of the pre-Katrina population level. Another estimate, based on utility usage from
July 2007, estimated the population to be approximately 274,000 or 60% of the pre-Katrina
population. These estimates are somewhat smaller to a
third estimate, based on mail delivery records, from the Greater New Orleans Community Data
Center in June 2007, which indicated that the city had regained approximately two-thirds
of its pre-Katrina population. In 2008, the Census Bureau revised its population
estimate for the city upward, to 336,644. Most recently, by July 2015, the population
was back up to 386,617—80% of what it was in 2000.Several major tourist events and other
forms of revenue for the city have returned. Large conventions returned. College bowl games returned for the 2006–2007
season. The New Orleans Saints returned that season. The New Orleans Hornets (now named the Pelicans)
returned to the city for the 2007–2008 season. New Orleans hosted the 2008 NBA All-Star Game. Additionally, the city hosted Super Bowl XLVII. Major annual events such as Mardi Gras, Voodoo
Experience, and the Jazz & Heritage Festival were never displaced or canceled. A new annual festival, “The Running of the
Bulls New Orleans”, was created in 2007.On February 7, 2017, a large EF3 wedge tornado
hit parts of the eastern side of the city, damaging homes and other buildings, as well
as destroying a mobile home park. At least 25 people were left injured by the
event.==Geography==New Orleans is located in the Mississippi
River Delta, south of Lake Pontchartrain, on the banks of the Mississippi River, approximately
105 miles (169 km) upriver from the Gulf of Mexico. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city’s
area is 350 square miles (910 km2), of which 169 square miles (440 km2) is land and 181
square miles (470 km2) (52%) is water. Orleans Parish is the smallest parish by land
area in Louisiana. The area along the river is characterized
by ridges and hollows.===Elevation===New Orleans was originally settled on the
river’s natural levees or high ground. After the Flood Control Act of 1965, the US
Army Corps of Engineers built floodwalls and man-made levees around a much larger geographic
footprint that included previous marshland and swamp. Over time, pumping of water from marshland
allowed for development into lower elevation areas. Today, half of the city is at or below local
mean sea level, while the other half is slightly above sea level. Evidence suggests that portions of the city
may be dropping in elevation due to subsidence.A 2007 study by Tulane and Xavier University
suggested that “51%… of the contiguous urbanized portions of Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard
parishes lie at or above sea level,” with the more densely populated areas generally
on higher ground. The average elevation of the city is currently
between 1 foot (0.30 m) and 2 feet (0.61 m) below sea level, with some portions of the
city as high as 20 feet (6 m) at the base of the river levee in Uptown and others as
low as 7 feet (2 m) below sea level in the farthest reaches of Eastern New Orleans. A study published by the ASCE Journal of Hydrologic
Engineering in 2016, however, stated: …most of New Orleans proper – about 65%
– is at or below mean sea level, as defined by the average elevation of Lake Pontchartrain
The magnitude of subsidence potentially caused by the draining of natural marsh in the New
Orleans area and southeast Louisiana is a topic of debate. A study published in Geology in 2006 by an
associate professor at Tulane University claims: While erosion and wetland loss are huge problems
along Louisiana’s coast, the basement 30 feet (9.1 m) to 50 feet (15 m) beneath much of
the Mississippi Delta has been highly stable for the past 8,000 years with negligible subsidence
rates. The study noted, however, that the results
did not necessarily apply to the Mississippi River Delta, nor the New Orleans Metropolitan
area proper. On the other hand, a report by the American
Society of Civil Engineers claims that “New Orleans is subsiding (sinking)”:
Large portions of Orleans, St. Bernard, and Jefferson parishes are currently below sea
level—and continue to sink. New Orleans is built on thousands of feet
of soft sand, silt, and clay. Subsidence, or settling of the ground surface,
occurs naturally due to the consolidation and oxidation of organic soils (called “marsh”
in New Orleans) and local groundwater pumping. In the past, flooding and deposition of sediments
from the Mississippi River counterbalanced the natural subsidence, leaving southeast
Louisiana at or above sea level. However, due to major flood control structures
being built upstream on the Mississippi River and levees being built around New Orleans,
fresh layers of sediment are not replenishing the ground lost by subsidence. In May 2016, NASA published a study which
suggested that most areas were, in fact, experiencing subsidence at a “highly variable rate” which
was “generally consistent with, but somewhat higher than, previous studies.”===
Cityscape===The Central Business District is located immediately
north and west of the Mississippi and was historically called the “American Quarter”
or “American Sector.” It was developed after the heart of French
and Spanish settlement. It includes Lafayette Square. Most streets in this area fan out from a central
point. Major streets include Canal Street, Poydras
Street, Tulane Avenue and Loyola Avenue. Canal Street divides the traditional “downtown”
area from the “uptown” area. Every street crossing Canal Street between
the Mississippi River and Rampart Street, which is the northern edge of the French Quarter,
has a different name for the “uptown” and “downtown” portions. For example, St. Charles Avenue, known for
its street car line, is called Royal Street below Canal Street, though where it traverses
the Central Business District between Canal and Lee Circle, it is properly called St.
Charles Street. Elsewhere in the city, Canal Street serves
as the dividing point between the “South” and “North” portions of various streets. In the local parlance downtown means “downriver
from Canal Street”, while uptown means “upriver from Canal Street”. Downtown neighborhoods include the French
Quarter, Tremé, the 7th Ward, Faubourg Marigny, Bywater (the Upper Ninth Ward), and the Lower
Ninth Ward. Uptown neighborhoods include the Warehouse
District, the Lower Garden District, the Garden District, the Irish Channel, the University
District, Carrollton, Gert Town, Fontainebleau and Broadmoor. However, the Warehouse and the Central Business
District are frequently called “Downtown” as a specific region, as in the Downtown Development
District. Other major districts within the city include
Bayou St. John, Mid-City, Gentilly, Lakeview, Lakefront, New Orleans East and Algiers.====Historic and residential architecture
====New Orleans is world-famous for its abundance
of architectural styles that reflect the city’s multicultural heritage. Though New Orleans possesses numerous structures
of national architectural significance, it is equally, if not more, revered for its enormous,
largely intact (even post-Katrina) historic built environment. Twenty National Register Historic Districts
have been established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in preservation. Thirteen of the districts are administered
by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French
Quarter—is administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both the National Park Service,
via the National Register of Historic Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings,
many of which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts.Housing styles
include the shotgun house and the bungalow style. Creole cottages and townhouses, notable for
their large courtyards and intricate iron balconies, line the streets of the French
Quarter. American townhouses, double-gallery houses,
and Raised Center-Hall Cottages are notable. St. Charles Avenue is famed for its large
antebellum homes. Its mansions are in various styles, such as
Greek Revival, American Colonial and the Victorian styles of Queen Anne and Italianate architecture. New Orleans is also noted for its large, European-style
Catholic cemeteries.====Tallest buildings====For much of its history, New Orleans’ skyline
displayed only low- and mid- rise structures. The soft soils are susceptible to subsidence,
and there was doubt about the feasibility of constructing high rises. Developments in engineering throughout the
twentieth century eventually made it possible to build sturdy foundations in the foundations
that underlie the structures. In the 1960s, the World Trade Center New Orleans
and Plaza Tower demonstrated skyscrapers’ viability. One Shell Square became the city’s tallest
building in 1972. The oil boom of the 1970s and early 1980s
redefined New Orleans’ skyline with the development of the Poydras Street corridor. Most are clustered along Canal Street and
Poydras Street in the Central Business District.===Climate===The climate is humid subtropical (Köppen:
Cfa), with short, generally mild winters and hot, humid summers; most suburbs and parts
of Wards 9 and 15 fall in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9a, while the city’s other 15 wards are
rated 9b in whole. The monthly daily average temperature ranges
from 53.4 °F (11.9 °C) in January to 83.3 °F (28.5 °C) in July and August. Officially, as measured at New Orleans International
Airport, temperature records range from 11 to 102 °F (−12 to 39 °C) on December 23,
1989 and August 22, 1980, respectively; Audubon Park has recorded temperatures ranging from
6 °F (−14 °C) on February 13, 1899 up to 104 °F (40 °C) on June 24, 2009. Dewpoints in the summer months (June–August)
are relatively high, ranging from 71.1 to 73.4 °F (21.7 to 23.0 °C). The average precipitation is 62.5 inches (1,590
mm) annually; the summer months are the wettest, while October is the driest month. Precipitation in winter usually accompanies
the passing of a cold front. On average, there are 77 days of 90 °F (32
°C)+ highs, 8.1 days per winter where the high does not exceed 50 °F (10 °C), and
8.0 nights with freezing lows annually. It is rare for the temperature to reach 20
or 100 °F (−7 or 38 °C), with the last occurrence of each being February 5, 1996
and June 26, 2016, respectively.New Orleans experiences snowfall only on rare occasions. A small amount of snow fell during the 2004
Christmas Eve Snowstorm and again on Christmas (December 25) when a combination of rain,
sleet, and snow fell on the city, leaving some bridges icy. The New Year’s Eve 1963 snowstorm affected
New Orleans and brought 4.5 inches (11 cm). Snow fell again on December 22, 1989, when
most of the city received 1–2 inches (2.5–5.1 cm). The last significant snowfall in New Orleans
was on the morning of December 11, 2008.===Threat from tropical cyclones===Hurricanes pose a severe threat to the area,
and the city is particularly at risk because of its low elevation, because it is surrounded
by water from the north, east, and south and because of Louisiana’s sinking coast. According to the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, New Orleans is the nation’s most vulnerable city to hurricanes. Indeed, portions of Greater New Orleans have
been flooded by the Grand Isle Hurricane of 1909, the New Orleans Hurricane of 1915, 1947
Fort Lauderdale Hurricane, Hurricane Flossy in 1956, Hurricane Betsy in 1965, Hurricane
Georges in 1998, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and Hurricane Gustav in 2008, with
the flooding in Betsy being significant and in a few neighborhoods severe, and that in
Katrina being disastrous in the majority of the city.On August 29, 2005, storm surge from
Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic failure of the federally designed and built levees,
flooding 80% of the city. A report by the American Society of Civil
Engineers says that “had the levees and floodwalls not failed and had the pump stations operated,
nearly two-thirds of the deaths would not have occurred”.New Orleans has always had
to consider the risk of hurricanes, but the risks are dramatically greater today due to
coastal erosion from human interference. Since the beginning of the 20th century, it
has been estimated that Louisiana has lost 2,000 square miles (5,000 km2) of coast (including
many of its barrier islands), which once protected New Orleans against storm surge. Following Hurricane Katrina, the Army Corps
of Engineers has instituted massive levee repair and hurricane protection measures to
protect the city. In 2006, Louisiana voters overwhelmingly adopted
an amendment to the state’s constitution to dedicate all revenues from off-shore drilling
to restore Louisiana’s eroding coast line. Congress has allocated $7 billion to bolster
New Orleans’ flood protection.According to a study by the National Academy of Engineering
and the National Research Council, levees and floodwalls surrounding New Orleans—no
matter how large or sturdy—cannot provide absolute protection against overtopping or
failure in extreme events. Levees and floodwalls should be viewed as
a way to reduce risks from hurricanes and storm surges, not as measures that completely
eliminate risk. For structures in hazardous areas and residents
who do not relocate, the committee recommended major floodproofing measures—such as elevating
the first floor of buildings to at least the 100-year flood level.==Demographics==According to the 2010 Census, 343,829 people
and 189,896 households lived in New Orleans. Its racial and ethnic makeup was 60.2% African
American, 33.0% White, 2.9% Asian (1.7% Vietnamese, 0.3% Indian, 0.3% Chinese, 0.1% Filipino,
0.1% Korean), 0.0% Pacific Islander, and 1.7% were people of two or more races. People of Hispanic or Latino origin made up
5.3% of the population; 1.3% is Mexican, 1.3% Honduran, 0.4% Cuban, 0.3% Puerto Rican, and
0.3% Nicaraguan.The last population estimate before Hurricane Katrina was 454,865, as of
July 1, 2005. A population analysis released in August 2007
estimated the population to be 273,000, 60% of the pre-Katrina population and an increase
of about 50,000 since July 2006. A September 2007 report by The Greater New
Orleans Community Data Center, which tracks population based on U.S. Postal Service figures,
found that in August 2007, just over 137,000 households received mail. That compares with about 198,000 households
in July 2005, representing about 70% of pre-Katrina population. More recently, the Census Bureau revised upward
its 2008 population estimate for the city, to 336,644 inhabitants. In 2010, estimates showed that neighborhoods
that did not flood were near or even greater than 100% of their pre-Katrina populations.A
2006 study by researchers at Tulane University and the University of California, Berkeley
determined that as many as 10,000 to 14,000 undocumented immigrants, many from Mexico,
resided in New Orleans. The New Orleans Police Department began a
new policy to “no longer cooperate with federal immigration enforcement” beginning on February
28, 2016. Janet Murguía, president and chief executive
officer of the National Council of La Raza, stated that up to 120,000 Hispanic workers
lived in New Orleans. In June 2007, one study stated that the Hispanic
population had risen from 15,000, pre-Katrina, to over 50,000.As of 2010, 90.31% of residents
age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 4.84% spoke Spanish,
1.87% Vietnamese, and 1.05% spoke French. In total, 9.69% population age 5 and older
spoke a mother language other than English.===Religion===New Orleans’ colonial history of French and
Spanish settlement generated a strong Roman Catholic tradition. Catholic missions ministered to slaves and
free people of color and established schools for them. In addition, many late 19th and early 20th
century European immigrants, such as the Irish, some Germans, and Italians were Catholic. Within the Archdiocese of New Orleans (which
includes not only the city but the surrounding parishes as well), 35.9% percent of the population
is Roman Catholic. Catholicism is reflected in French and Spanish
cultural traditions, including its many parochial schools, street names, architecture and festivals,
including Mardi Gras. Influenced by the Bible Belt’s prominent Protestant
population, New Orleans has a sizable non-Catholic demographic. 12.2% of the population are Baptist, followed
by 5.1% from another Christian faith including Orthodox Christianity or Oriental Orthodoxy,
3.1% Methodist, 1.8% Episcopalian, 0.9% Presbyterian, 0.8% Lutheran, 0.8% Latter-Day Saint, and
0.6% Pentecostal.New Orleans displays a distinctive variety of Louisiana Voodoo, due in part to
syncretism with African and Afro-Caribbean Roman Catholic beliefs. The fame of voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau
contributed to this, as did New Orleans’ Caribbean cultural influences. Although the tourism industry strongly associated
Voodoo with the city, only a small number of people are serious adherents. Jewish settlers, primarily Sephardim, settled
in New Orleans from the early nineteenth century. Some migrated from the communities established
in the colonial years in Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. The merchant Abraham Cohen Labatt helped found
the first Jewish congregation in New Orleans in the 1830s, which became known as the Portuguese
Jewish Nefutzot Yehudah congregation (he and some other members were Sephardic Jews, whose
ancestors had lived in Portugal and Spain). Ashkenazi Jews from eastern Europe immigrated
in the late 19th and 20th centuries. By the 21st century, 10,000 Jews lived in
New Orleans. This number dropped to 7,000 after Hurricane
Katrina, but rose again after efforts to incentivize the community’s growth resulted in the arrival
of about an additional 2,000 Jews. New Orleans synagogues lost members, but most
re-opened in their original locations. The exception was Congregation Beth Israel,
the oldest and most prominent Orthodox synagogue in the New Orleans region. Beth Israel’s building in Lakeview was destroyed
by flooding. After seven years of holding services in temporary
quarters, the congregation consecrated a new synagogue on land purchased from the Reform
Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie.===Ethnic groups===The earliest Filipino Americans to live within
the city arrived in the early 1800s.As of 2011 the Hispanic population had grown in
the New Orleans area, including in Kenner, central Metairie, and Terrytown in Jefferson
Parish and eastern New Orleans and Mid-City in New Orleans proper.After Katrina the small
Brazilian-American population expanded. Portuguese speakers were the second most numerous
group to take English as a second language classes in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese,
after Spanish speakers. Many Brazilians worked in skilled trades such
as tile and flooring, although fewer worked as day laborers than did Latinos. Many had moved from Brazilian communities
in the Northeastern United States, particularly Florida and Georgia. Brazilians settled throughout the metropolitan
area. Most were undocumented. In January 2008 the New Orleans Brazilian
population had a mid-range estimate of 3,000. By 2008 Brazilians had opened many small churches,
shops and restaurants catering to their community.===Changes in population===
Beginning in 1960, the population decreased due to factors such as the cycles of oil production
and tourism, and as suburbanization increased (as with many cities), and jobs migrated to
surrounding parishes. This economic and population decline resulted
in high levels of poverty in the city; in 1960 it had the fifth-highest poverty rate
of all US cities, and was almost twice the national average in 2005, at 24.5%. New Orleans experienced an increase in residential
segregation from 1900 to 1980, leaving the disproportionately African-American poor in
older, low-lying locations. These areas were especially susceptible to
flood and storm damage.Katrina displaced 800,000 people, contributing significantly to the
decline. African Americans, renters, the elderly, and
people with low income were disproportionately affected by Katrina, compared to affluent
and white residents. In Katrina’s aftermath, city government commissioned
groups such as Bring New Orleans Back Commission, the New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilding Plan,
the Unified New Orleans Plan, and the Office of Recovery Management to contribute to plans
addressing depopulation. Their ideas included shrinking the city’s
footprint from before the storm, incorporating community voices into development plans, and
creating green spaces, some of which incited controversy.From 2010 to 2014 the city grew
by 12%, adding an average of more than 10,000 new residents each year following the 2010
Census.==Economy==New Orleans operates one of the world’s largest
and busiest ports and metropolitan New Orleans is a center of maritime industry. The region accounts for a significant portion
of the nation’s oil refining and petrochemical production, and serves as a white-collar corporate
base for onshore and offshore petroleum and natural gas production. New Orleans is also a center for higher learning,
with over 50,000 students enrolled in the region’s eleven two- and four-year degree-granting
institutions. Tulane University, a top-50 research university,
is located in Uptown. Metropolitan New Orleans is a major regional
hub for the health care industry and boasts a small, globally competitive manufacturing
sector. The center city possesses a rapidly growing,
entrepreneurial creative industries sector and is renowned for its cultural tourism. Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) acts as the first point-of-contact
for regional economic development, coordinating between Louisiana’s Department of Economic
Development and the various business development agencies.===Port===
New Orleans began as a strategically located trading entrepôt and it remains, above all,
a crucial transportation hub and distribution center for waterborne commerce. The Port of New Orleans is the fifth-largest
in the United States based on cargo volume, and second-largest in the state after the
Port of South Louisiana. It is the twelfth-largest in the U.S. based
on cargo value. The Port of South Louisiana, also located
in the New Orleans area, is the world’s busiest in terms of bulk tonnage. When combined with Port of New Orleans, it
forms the 4th-largest port system in volume. Many shipbuilding, shipping, logistics, freight
forwarding and commodity brokerage firms either are based in metropolitan New Orleans or maintain
a local presence. Examples include Intermarine, Bisso Towboat,
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Trinity Yachts, Expeditors International, Bollinger Shipyards,
IMTT, International Coffee Corp, Boasso America, Transoceanic Shipping, Transportation Consultants
Inc., Dupuy Storage & Forwarding and Silocaf. The largest coffee-roasting plant in the world,
operated by Folgers, is located in New Orleans East. New Orleans is located near to the Gulf of
Mexico and its many oil rigs. Louisiana ranks fifth among states in oil
production and eighth in reserves. It has two of the four Strategic Petroleum
Reserve (SPR) storage facilities: West Hackberry in Cameron Parish and Bayou Choctaw in Iberville
Parish. The area hosts 17 petroleum refineries, with
a combined crude oil distillation capacity of nearly 2.8 million barrels per day (450,000
m3/d), the second highest after Texas. Louisiana’s numerous ports include the Louisiana
Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), which is capable of receiving the largest oil tankers. Given the quantity of oil imports, Louisiana
is home to many major pipelines: Crude Oil (Exxon, Chevron, BP, Texaco, Shell, Scurloch-Permian,
Mid-Valley, Calumet, Conoco, Koch Industries, Unocal, U.S. Dept. of Energy, Locap); Product
(TEPPCO Partners, Colonial, Plantation, Explorer, Texaco, Collins); and Liquefied Petroleum
Gas (Dixie, TEPPCO, Black Lake, Koch, Chevron, Dynegy, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Dow
Chemical Company, Bridgeline, FMP, Tejas, Texaco, UTP). Several energy companies have regional headquarters
in the area, including Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Chevron. Other energy producers and oilfield services
companies are headquartered in the city or region, and the sector supports a large professional
services base of specialized engineering and design firms, as well as a term office for
the federal government’s Minerals Management Service.===Business===The city is the home to a single Fortune 500
company: Entergy, a power generation utility and nuclear power plant operations specialist. After Katrina, the city lost its other Fortune
500 company, Freeport-McMoRan, when it merged its copper and gold exploration unit with
an Arizona company and relocated that division to Phoenix. Its McMoRan Exploration affiliate remains
headquartered in New Orleans. Companies with significant operations or headquarters
in New Orleans include: Pan American Life Insurance, Pool Corp, Rolls-Royce, Newpark
Resources, AT&T, TurboSquid, iSeatz, IBM, Navtech, Superior Energy Services, Textron
Marine & Land Systems, McDermott International, Pellerin Milnor, Lockheed Martin, Imperial
Trading, Laitram, Harrah’s Entertainment, Stewart Enterprises, Edison Chouest Offshore,
Zatarain’s, Waldemar S. Nelson & Co., Whitney National Bank, Capital One, Tidewater Marine,
Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Parsons Brinckerhoff, MWH Global, CH2M HILL, Energy Partners Ltd,
The Receivables Exchange, GE Capital and Smoothie King.===Tourist and convention business===
Tourism is a staple of the city’s economy. Perhaps more visible than any other sector,
New Orleans’ tourist and convention industry is a $5.5 billion industry that accounts for
40 percent of city tax revenues. In 2004, the hospitality industry employed
85,000 people, making it the city’s top economic sector as measured by employment. New Orleans also hosts the World Cultural
Economic Forum (WCEF). The forum, held annually at the New Orleans
Morial Convention Center, is directed toward promoting cultural and economic development
opportunities through the strategic convening of cultural ambassadors and leaders from around
the world. The first WCEF took place in October 2008.===Other===
Federal agencies and the Armed forces operate significant facilities there. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals operates
at the US Courthouse downtown. NASA’s Michoud rocket factory is located in
New Orleans East and is operated by Lockheed Martin. It is a huge manufacturing facility that produced
the external fuel tanks for the Space Shuttles and is now used for the construction of NASA’s
Space Launch System. The rocket factory lies within the enormous
New Orleans Regional Business Park, also home to the National Finance Center, operated by
the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Crescent Crown distribution
center. Other large governmental installations include
the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Command, located within the University
of New Orleans Research and Technology Park in Gentilly, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve
Base New Orleans; and the headquarters for the Marine Force Reserves in Federal City
in Algiers.==Culture and contemporary life=====
Tourism===New Orleans has many visitor attractions,
from the world-renowned French Quarter to St. Charles Avenue, (home of Tulane and Loyola
Universities, the historic Pontchartrain Hotel and many 19th-century mansions) to Magazine
Street with its boutique stores and antique shops. According to current travel guides, New Orleans
is one of the top ten most-visited cities in the United States; 10.1 million visitors
came to New Orleans in 2004. Prior to Katrina, 265 hotels with 38,338 rooms
operated in the Greater New Orleans Area. In May 2007, that had declined to some 140
hotels and motels with over 31,000 rooms.A 2009 Travel + Leisure poll of “America’s Favorite
Cities” ranked New Orleans first in ten categories, the most first-place rankings of the 30 cities
included. According to the poll, New Orleans was the
best U.S. city as a spring break destination and for “wild weekends”, stylish boutique
hotels, cocktail hours, singles/bar scenes, live music/concerts and bands, antique and
vintage shops, cafés/coffee bars, neighborhood restaurants, and people watching. The city ranked second for: friendliness (behind
Charleston, South Carolina), gay-friendliness (behind San Francisco), bed and breakfast
hotels/inns, and ethnic food. However, the city placed near the bottom in
cleanliness, safety and as a family destination.The French Quarter (known locally as “the Quarter”
or Vieux Carré), which was the colonial-era city and is bounded by the Mississippi River,
Rampart Street, Canal Street, and Esplanade Avenue, contains popular hotels, bars and
nightclubs. Notable tourist attractions in the Quarter
include Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Market (including
Café du Monde, famous for café au lait and beignets) and Preservation Hall. Also in the French Quarter is the old New
Orleans Mint, a former branch of the United States Mint which now operates as a museum,
and The Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum and research center housing art and
artifacts relating to the history and the Gulf South. Close to the Quarter is the Tremé community,
which contains the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and the New Orleans African
American Museum — a site which is listed on the Louisiana African American Heritage
Trail. The Natchez is an authentic steamboat with
a calliope that cruises the length of the city twice daily. Unlike most other places in the United States,
New Orleans has become widely known for its elegant decay. The city’s historic cemeteries and their distinct
above-ground tombs are attractions in themselves, the oldest and most famous of which, Saint
Louis Cemetery, greatly resembles Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. The National WWII Museum offers a multi-building
odyssey through the history of the Pacific and European theaters. Nearby, Confederate Memorial Hall Museum,
the oldest continually operating museum in Louisiana (although under renovation since
Hurricane Katrina), contains the second-largest collection of Confederate memorabilia. Art museums include the Contemporary Arts
Center, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) in City Park, and the Ogden Museum of Southern
Art. New Orleans is home to the Audubon Nature
Institute (which consists of Audubon Park, the Audubon Zoo, the Aquarium of the Americas
and the Audubon Insectarium), and home to gardens which include Longue Vue House and
Gardens and the New Orleans Botanical Garden. City Park, one of the country’s most expansive
and visited urban parks, has one of the largest stands of oak trees in the world. Other points of interest can be found in the
surrounding areas. Many wetlands are found nearby, including
Honey Island Swamp and Barataria Preserve. Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery,
located just south of the city, is the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. In 2009, New Orleans ranked No. 7 on Newsmax
magazine’s list of the “Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns”. The piece cited the city’s post-Katrina rebuilding
effort as well as its efforts to become eco-friendly.===Entertainment and performing arts===The New Orleans area is home to numerous annual
celebrations. The most well known is Carnival, or Mardi
Gras. Carnival officially begins on the Feast of
the Epiphany, also known in some Christian traditions as the “Twelfth Night” of Christams. Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”), the
final and grandest day of traditional Catholic festivities, is the last Tuesday before the
Christian liturgical season of Lent, which commences on Ash Wednesday. The largest of the city’s many music festivals
is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Commonly referred to simply as “Jazz Fest”,
it is one of the nation’s largest music festivals. The festival features a variety of music,
including both native Louisiana and international artists. Along with Jazz Fest, New Orleans’ Voodoo
Experience (“Voodoo Fest”) and the Essence Music Festival also feature local and international
artists. Other major festivals include Southern Decadence,
the French Quarter Festival, and the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. The American playwright lived and wrote in
New Orleans early in his career, and set his play, Streetcar Named Desire, here. In 2002, Louisiana began offering tax incentives
for film and television production. This has resulted in a substantial increase
in activity and brought the nickname of “Hollywood South” for New Orleans. Films produced in and around the city include
Ray, Runaway Jury, The Pelican Brief, Glory Road, All the King’s Men, Déjà Vu, Last
Holiday, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 12 Years a Slave. In 2006, work began on the Louisiana Film
& Television studio complex, based in the Tremé neighborhood. Louisiana began to offer similar tax incentives
for music and theater productions in 2007, and some commentators began to refer to New
Orleans as “Broadway South.” The first theatre in New Orleans was the French-language
Theatre de la Rue Saint Pierre, which opened in 1792. The first opera in New Orleans was performed
there in 1796. In the nineteenth century, the city was the
home of two of America’s most important venues for French opera, the Théâtre d’Orléans
and later the French Opera House. Today, opera is performed by the New Orleans
Opera. The Marigny Opera House is home to the Marigny
Opera Ballet and also hosts opera, jazz, and classical music performances. New Orleans has long been a significant center
for music, showcasing its intertwined European, African and Latin American cultures. The city’s unique musical heritage was born
in its colonial and early American days from a unique blending of European musical instruments
with African rhythms. As the only North American city to have allowed
slaves to gather in public and play their native music (largely in Congo Square, now
located within Louis Armstrong Park), New Orleans gave birth in the early 20th century
to an epochal indigenous music: jazz. Soon, African-American brass bands formed,
beginning a century-long tradition. The Louis Armstrong Park area, near the French
Quarter in Tremé, contains the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. The city’s music was later also significantly
influenced by Acadiana, home of Cajun and Zydeco music, and by Delta blues. New Orleans’ unique musical culture is on
display in its traditional funerals. A spin on military funerals, New Orleans’
traditional funerals feature sad music (mostly dirges and hymns) in processions on the way
to the cemetery and happier music (hot jazz) on the way back. Until the 1990s, most locals preferred to
call these “funerals with music.” Visitors to the city have long dubbed them
“jazz funerals.” Much later in its musical development, New
Orleans was home to a distinctive brand of rhythm and blues that contributed greatly
to the growth of rock and roll. An example of the New Orleans’ sound in the
1960s is the #1 US hit “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie Cups, a song which knocked the Beatles
out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. New Orleans became a hotbed for funk music
in the 1960s and 1970s, and by the late 1980s, it had developed its own localized variant
of hip hop, called bounce music. While not commercially successful outside
of the Deep South, bounce music was immensely popular in poorer neighborhoods throughout
the 1990s. A cousin of bounce, New Orleans hip hop achieved
commercial success locally and internationally, producing Lil Wayne, Master P, Birdman, Juvenile,
Cash Money Records and No Limit Records. Additionally, the popularity of cowpunk, a
fast form of southern rock, originated with the help of several local bands, such as The
Radiators, Better Than Ezra, Cowboy Mouth and Dash Rip Rock. Throughout the 1990s, many sludge metal bands
started. New Orleans’ heavy metal bands such as Eyehategod,
Soilent Green, Crowbar, and Down incorporated styles such as hardcore punk, doom metal,
and southern rock to create an original and heady brew of swampy and aggravated metal
that has largely avoided standardization.New Orleans is the southern terminus of the famed
Highway 61, made musically famous by musician Bob Dylan in his song, “Highway 61 Revisited”.===Food===New Orleans is world-famous for its food. The indigenous cuisine is distinctive and
influential. New Orleans food combined local Creole, haute
Creole and New Orleans French cuisines. Local ingredients, French, Spanish, Italian,
African, Native American, Cajun, Chinese, and a hint of Cuban traditions combine to
produce a truly unique and easily recognizable New Orleans flavor. New Orleans is known for specialties including
beignets (locally pronounced like “ben-yays”), square-shaped fried dough that could be called
“French doughnuts” (served with café au lait made with a blend of coffee and chicory rather
than only coffee); and po’ boy and Italian muffuletta sandwiches; Gulf oysters on the
half-shell, fried oysters, boiled crawfish and other seafood; étouffée, jambalaya,
gumbo and other Creole dishes; and the Monday favorite of red beans and rice (Louis Armstrong
often signed his letters, “Red beans and ricely yours”). Another New Orleans specialty is the praline
locally , a candy made with brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream, butter, and pecans. The city offers notable street food including
the Asian inspired beef Yaka mein.===Dialect===New Orleans developed a distinctive local
dialect that is neither Cajun nor the stereotypical Southern accent that is often misportrayed
by film and television actors. Like earlier Southern Englishes, feature frequent
deletion of the pre-consonantal “r”. This dialect is quite similar to New York
City area accents such as “Brooklynese”, to people unfamiliar with either. No consensus describes how it came to be,
but it likely resulted from New Orleans’ geographic isolation by water and the fact that the city
was a major immigration port throughout the 19th century. As a result, many of the ethnic groups who
reside in Brooklyn also reside in New Orleans, such as the Irish, Italians (especially Sicilians),
Germans and a Jewish community.One of the strongest varieties of the New Orleans accent
is sometimes identified as the Yat dialect, from the greeting “Where y’at?” This distinctive accent is dying out in the
city, but remains strong in the surrounding parishes. Less visibly, various ethnic groups throughout
the area have retained distinct language traditions. Although rare, languages still spoken include
Cajun, the Kreyol Lwiziyen spoken by the Creoles and an archaic Louisiana-Canarian Spanish
dialect spoken by the Isleño people and older members of the population.===Voodoo===
Reliable documentation of Voodoo does not exist because of the definitive claim that
it is secretive. Voodoo existed in New Orleans-in some of its
facets it probably still exists in the modern-day. The likelihood that the slave-developed religion
possessed many white followers alongside its black participants is high. Voodoo as described by the distinguished novelist
George Washington Cable is “the name of an imaginary being of vast supernatural powers
residing in the form of a harmless snake”. Followers to these powers are known as the
voodoos.===History and Origins===Multiple origins come from around the world
and converge in pre-antebellum and antebellum New Orleans. Vodu as used by the Ewes of West Africa means
fear of the gods. Vodun in Dahomy, West Africa, is a name for
all deities. In French Vaudis referred to a witch. Throughout its history in New Orleans, Voodoo
and Southern Negro shared folklore, superstitions, language and customs, and had their counterparts
in West Africa. Scholars have the noted the use of Roman Catholic
saints and liturgies in voodoo worship including black cats, serpents and the color red. These European and African motifs signify
evil, the devil, blood, sin, sacrifice, harlotry. After existing in New Orleans for decades,
in 1800 when Haitian and West Indian blacks were forced to Louisiana the hexes and secret
revenges were incorporated into the system of slavery. White southerners thought Voodoo to be primarily
African in origin, and they fitted the practice of it into their beliefs that black men were
primitive and inferior. In reality the Voodoo religion/culture is
a mixture of African, Caribbean, and European influences. For further information St. John’s Eve has
had an important relationship to Voodoo in its openness during celebrations.==Sports==New Orleans’ professional sports teams include
the 2009 Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints (NFL) and the New Orleans Pelicans
(NBA). It is also home to the Big Easy Rollergirls,
an all-female flat track roller derby team, and the New Orleans Blaze, a women’s football
team. New Orleans is also home to two NCAA Division
I athletic programs, the Tulane Green Wave of the American Athletic Conference and the
UNO Privateers of the Southland Conference. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is the home of
the Saints, the Sugar Bowl, and other prominent events. It has hosted the Super Bowl a record seven
times (1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002, and 2013). The Smoothie King Center is the home of the
Pelicans, VooDoo, and many events that are not large enough to need the Superdome. New Orleans is also home to the Fair Grounds
Race Course, the nation’s third-oldest thoroughbred track. The city’s Lakefront Arena has also been home
to sporting events. Each year New Orleans plays host to the Sugar
Bowl, the New Orleans Bowl and the Zurich Classic, a golf tournament on the PGA Tour. In addition, it has often hosted major sporting
events that have no permanent home, such as the Super Bowl, ArenaBowl, NBA All-Star Game,
BCS National Championship Game, and the NCAA Final Four. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon and
the Crescent City Classic are two annual road running events.==National protected areas==
Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and
Preserve (part) New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Vieux Carre Historic District==
Government==The city is a political subdivision of the
state of Louisiana. It has a mayor-council government, following
a Home Rule Charter adopted in 1954, as later amended. The city council consists of seven members,
who are elected by single-member districts and two members elected at-large, that is,
across the city-parish. LaToya Cantrell assumed the mayor’s office
in 2018. Cantrell is the first female mayor of New
Orleans. The Orleans Parish Civil Sheriff’s Office
serves papers involving lawsuits and provides security for the Civil District Court and
Juvenile Courts. The criminal sheriff, Marlin Gusman, maintains
the parish prison system, provides security for the Criminal District Court, and provides
backup for the New Orleans Police Department on an as-needed basis. An ordinance in 2006 established an Office
of Inspector General to review city government activities. The city and the parish of Orleans operate
as a merged city-parish government. The original city was composed of what are
now the 1st through 9th wards. The city of Lafayette (including the Garden
District) was added in 1852 as the 10th and 11th wards. In 1870, Jefferson City, including Faubourg
Bouligny and much of the Audubon and University areas, was annexed as the 12th, 13th, and
14th wards. Algiers, on the west bank of the Mississippi,
was also annexed in 1870, becoming the 15th ward. New Orleans’ government is largely centralized
in the city council and mayor’s office, but it maintains earlier systems from when various
sections of the city managed their affairs separately. For example, New Orleans had seven elected
tax assessors, each with their own staff, representing various districts of the city,
rather than one centralized office. A constitutional amendment passed on November
7, 2006 consolidated the seven assessors into one in 2010. The New Orleans government operates both a
fire department and the New Orleans Emergency Medical Services.==Crime=====
Murder capital===Crime is an ongoing problem in New Orleans. As in comparable US cities, the incidence
of homicide and other violent crimes is highly concentrated in certain impoverished neighborhoods. The murder rate for the city has been historically
high and consistently among the highest rates nationwide. From 1994-2013, New Orleans was the nation’s
“Murder Capital”, averaging over 250+ murders yearly. The first record was broken in 1979 when the
city reached 242 homicides. The record was broken again reaching 250 by
1989 to 345 by the end of 1991. By 1993 New Orleans had 395 murders: 79.5
for every 100,000 residents.1994 was the year the city was officially named the “Murder
Capital of America”, hitting a historic peak at 424. The murder count surpassed that of such cities
as Gary, Indiana, Washington D.C., Chicago, Baltimore and Miami.In 2003 the New Orleans
homicide rate was nearly eight times the national average and the city had the highest per capita
city murder rate of any city in the United States, with 274 homicides, up from the previous
year. According to the local officials, New Orleans
retained its status as the nation’s murder capital for the second time since 1994. In 2006, with nearly half the population gone
and widespread disruption and dislocation because of deaths and refugee relocations
from Hurricane Katrina, the city hit another record of homicides. It was ranked as the most dangerous city in
the country.By 2009, there was a 17% decrease in violent crime, a decrease seen in other
cities across the country. But the homicide rate remained among the highest
in the United States, at between 55 and 64 per 100,000 residents. In 2010, New Orleans’ homicide rate dropped
to 49.1 per 100,000, but increased again in 2012, to 53.2. This was the highest rate among cities of
250,000 population or larger. Arrested offenders in New Orleans are almost
exclusively black males: 97% were black and 95% were male, and many of their victims are
black.The violent crime rate was a key issue in the 2010 mayoral race. In January 2007, several thousand New Orleans
residents marched to City Hall for a rally demanding police and city leaders tackle the
crime problem. Then-Mayor Ray Nagin said he was “totally
and solely focused” on addressing the problem. Later, the city implemented checkpoints during
late night hours in problem areas. The murder rate climbed 14% in 2011 to 57.88
per 100,000 rising to #21 in the world. In 2016, according to annual crime statistics
released by the New Orleans Police Department, 176 were murdered. In 2017, New Orleans had the highest rate
of gun violence surpassing the larger populated Chicago and Detroit.==Education=====
Colleges and universities===New Orleans has the highest concentration
of colleges and universities in Louisiana and one of the highest in the southern United
States. Colleges and universities based within the
city include: Tulane University, a private, major research
university founded in 1834. Loyola University New Orleans, a Jesuit university
founded in 1912. University of New Orleans, a public, urban
research university. Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically
black Catholic university in the United States. Southern University at New Orleans, a public,
historically black university in the Southern University System. Dillard University, a private, historically
black liberal arts college founded in 1869. Louisiana State University Health Sciences
Center University of Holy Cross, a Catholic liberal
arts college founded in 1916. Notre Dame Seminary
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Delgado Community College, founded in 1921. William Carey College School of Nursing
Herzing College New Orleans Culinary Institute===
Primary and secondary schools===New Orleans Public Schools (NOPS) is the city’s
public school system. Katrina was a watershed moment for the school
system. Pre-Katrina, NOPS was one of the area’s largest
systems (along with the Jefferson Parish public school system). It was also the lowest-performing school district
in Louisiana. According to researchers Carl L. Bankston
and Stephen J. Caldas, only 12 of the 103 public schools within the city limits showed
reasonably good performance.Following Hurricane Katrina, the state of Louisiana took over
most of the schools within the system (all schools that matched a nominal “worst-performing”
metric). Many of these schools (and others) were subsequently
granted operating charters giving them administrative independence from the Orleans Parish School
Board, the Recovery School District and/or the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary
Education (BESE). At the start of the 2014 school year, all
public school students in the NOPS system attended these independent public charter
schools, the nation’s first to do so.The charter schools made significant and sustained gains
in student achievement, led by outside operators such as KIPP, the Algiers Charter School Network,
and the Capital One – University of New Orleans Charter School Network. An October 2009 assessment demonstrated continued
growth in the academic performance of public schools. Considering the scores of all public schools
in New Orleans gives an overall school district performance score of 70.6. This score represents a 24% improvement over
an equivalent pre-Katrina (2004) metric, when a district score of 56.9 was posted. Notably, this score of 70.6 approaches the
score (78.4) posted in 2009 by the adjacent, suburban Jefferson Parish public school system,
though that system’s performance score is itself below the state average of 91.One particular
change was that parents could choose which school to enroll their children in, rather
than attending the school nearest them.===Libraries===
Academic and public libraries as well as archives in New Orleans include Monroe Library at Loyola
University, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University, the Law Library of Louisiana,
and the Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans.The New Orleans Public Library
operates in 13 locations. The main library includes a Louisiana Division
that houses city archives and special collections.Other research archives are located at the Historic
New Orleans Collection and the Old U.S. Mint.An independently operated lending library called
Iron Rail Book Collective specializes in radical and hard-to-find books. The library contains over 8,000 titles and
is open to the public. The Louisiana Historical Association was founded
in New Orleans in 1889. It operated first at Howard Memorial Library. A separate Memorial Hall for it was later
added to Howard Library, designed by New Orleans architect Thomas Sully.==Media==Historically, the major newspaper in the area
was The Times-Picayune. The paper made headlines of its own in 2012
when owner Advance Publications cut its print schedule to three days each week, instead
focusing its efforts on its website, That action briefly made New Orleans the largest
city in the country without a daily newspaper, until the Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate
began a New Orleans edition in September 2012. In June 2013, the Times-Picayune resumed daily
printing with a condensed newsstand tabloid edition, nicknamed TP Street, which is published
on the three days each week that its namesake broadsheet edition is not printed (the Picayune
has not returned to daily delivery). With the resumption of daily print editions
from the Times-Picayune and the launch of the New Orleans edition of The Advocate, now
The New Orleans Advocate, the city had two daily newspapers for the first time since
the afternoon States-Item ceased publication on May 31, 1980. In 2019, the papers merged to form The Times-Picayune
| The New Orleans Advocate. In addition to the daily newspaper, weekly
publications include The Louisiana Weekly and Gambit Weekly. Also, in wide circulation is the Clarion Herald,
the newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. Greater New Orleans is the 54th largest Designated
Market Area (DMA) in the U.S., serving 566,960 homes. Major television network affiliates serving
the area include: WWOZ, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station,
broadcasts modern and traditional jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, brass band, gospel, cajun,
zydeco, Caribbean, Latin, Brazilian, African and bluegrass 24 hours per day. WTUL, is the Tulane University radio station. Its programming includes 20th century classical,
reggae, jazz, showtunes, indie rock, electronic music, soul/funk, goth, punk, hip hop, New
Orleans music, opera, folk, hardcore, Americana, country, blues, Latin, cheese, techno, local,
world, ska, swing and big band, kids shows, and news programming. WTUL is listener supported and non-commercial. The disc jockeys are volunteers, many of them
college students. Louisiana’s film and television tax credits
spurred growth in the television industry, although to a lesser degree than in the film
industry. Many films and advertisements were set there,
along with television programs such as The Real World: New Orleans in 2000, The Real
World: Back to New Orleans in 2009 and 2010 and Bad Girls Club: New Orleans in 2011.Two
radio stations that were influential in promoting New Orleans-based bands and singers were 50,000-watt
WNOE-AM (1060) and 10,000-watt WTIX (690 AM). These two stations competed head-to-head from
the late 1950s to the late 1970s.==Transportation=====
Public transportation===Hurricane Katrina devastated transit service
in 2005. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
(RTA) was quicker to restore the streetcars to service, while bus service had only been
restored to 35% of pre-Katrina levels as recently as the end of 2013. During the same period, streetcars arrived
at an average of once every seventeen minutes, compared to bus frequencies of once every
thirty-eight minutes. The same priority was demonstrated in RTA’s
spending, increasing the proportion of its budget devoted to streetcars to more than
three times compared to its pre-Katrina budget. Through the end of 2017, counting both streetcar
and bus trips, only 51% of service had been restored to pre-Katrina levels.In 2017, the
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority began operation on the extension of the Rampart–St.
Claude streetcar line. Another change to transit service that year
was the re-routing of the 15 Freret and 28 Martin Luther King bus routes to Canal Street. These increased the number of jobs accessible
by a thirty-minute walk or transit ride: from 83,722 in 2016 to 89,216 in 2017. This resulted in a regional increase in such
job access by more than a full percentage point.====Streetcars====New Orleans has four active streetcar lines: The St. Charles Streetcar Line is the oldest
continuously operating streetcar line in America. The line first operated as local rail service
in 1835 between Carrollton and downtown New Orleans. Operated by the Carrollton & New Orleans R.R.
Co., the locomotives were then powered by steam engines, and a one-way fare cost 25
cents. Each car is a historic landmark. It runs from Canal Street to the other end
of St. Charles Avenue, then turns right into South Carrollton Avenue to its terminal at
Carrollton and Claiborne. The Riverfront Streetcar Line runs parallel
to the river from Esplanade Street through the French Quarter to Canal Street to the
Convention Center above Julia Street in the Arts District. The Canal Streetcar Line uses the Riverfront
line tracks from the intersection of Canal Street and Poydras Street, down Canal Street,
then branches off and ends at the cemeteries at City Park Avenue, with a spur running from
the intersection of Canal and Carrollton Avenue to the entrance of City Park at Esplanade,
near the entrance to the New Orleans Museum of Art. The Rampart–St. Claude Streetcar Line opened
on January 28, 2013 as the Loyola-UPT Line running along Loyola Avenue from New Orleans
Union Passenger Terminal to Canal Street, then continuing along Canal Street to the
river, and on weekends on the Riverfront line tracks to French Market. The French Quarter Rail Expansion extended
the line from the Loyola Avenue/Canal Street intersection along Rampart Street and St.
Claude Avenue to Elysian Fields Avenue. It no longer runs along Canal Street to the
river, or on weekends on the Riverfront line tracks to French Market.The city’s streetcars
were featured in the Tennessee Williams play, A Streetcar Named Desire. The streetcar line to Desire Street became
a bus line in 1948.====Buses====
Public transportation is operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (“RTA”). Many bus routes connect the city and suburban
areas. The RTA lost 200+ buses in the flood. Some of the replacement buses operate on biodiesel. The Jefferson Parish Department of Transit
Administration operates Jefferson Transit, which provides service between the city and
its suburbs.====Ferries====New Orleans has had continuous ferry service
since 1827, operating three routes as of 2017. The Canal Street Ferry (or Algiers Ferry)
connects downtown New Orleans at the foot of Canal Street with the National Historic
Landmark District of Algiers Point across the Mississippi (“West Bank” in local parlance). It services passenger vehicles, bicycles and
pedestrians. This same terminal also serves the Canal Street/Gretna
Ferry, connecting Gretna, Louisiana for pedestrians and bicyclists only. A third auto/bicycle/pedestrian connects Chalmette,
Louisiana and Lower Algiers.===Bicycling===
The city’s flat landscape, simple street grid and mild winters facilitate bicycle ridership,
helping to make New Orleans eighth among U.S. cities in its rate of bicycle and pedestrian
transportation as of 2010, and sixth in terms of the percentage of bicycling commuters. New Orleans is located at the start of the
Mississippi River Trail, a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) bicycle path that stretches from the city’s
Audubon Park to Minnesota. Since Katrina the city has actively sought
to promote bicycling by constructing a $1.5 million bike trail from Mid-City to Lake Pontchartrain,
and by adding over 37 miles (60 km) of bicycle lanes to various streets, including St. Charles
Avenue. In 2009, Tulane University contributed to
these efforts by converting the main street through its Uptown campus, McAlister Place,
into a pedestrian mall open to bicycle traffic. A 3.1-mile (5.0 km) bicycle corridor stretches
from the French Quarter to Lakeview, and 14 miles (23 km) of additional bike lanes on
existing streets. New Orleans has been recognized for its abundance
of uniquely decorated and uniquely designed bicycles.===Roads===New Orleans is served by Interstate 10, Interstate
610 and Interstate 510. I-10 travels east–west through the city
as the Pontchartrain Expressway. In New Orleans East it is known as the Eastern
Expressway. I-610 provides a direct shortcut for traffic
passing through New Orleans via I-10, allowing that traffic to bypass I-10’s southward curve. In addition to the interstates, U.S. 90 travels
through the city, while U.S. 61 terminates downtown. In addition, U.S. 11 terminates in the eastern
portion of the city. New Orleans is home to many bridges; Crescent
City Connection is perhaps the most notable. It serves as New Orleans’ major bridge across
the Mississippi, providing a connection between the city’s downtown on the eastbank and its
westbank suburbs. Other Mississippi crossings are the Huey P.
Long Bridge, carrying U.S. 90 and the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge, carrying Interstate
310. The Twin Span Bridge, a five-mile (8 km) causeway
in eastern New Orleans, carries I-10 across Lake Pontchartrain. Also in eastern New Orleans, Interstate 510/LA
47 travels across the Intracoastal Waterway/Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal via the Paris Road
Bridge, connecting New Orleans East and suburban Chalmette. The tolled Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, consisting
of two parallel bridges are, at 24 miles (39 km) long, the longest bridges in the world. Built in the 1950s (southbound span) and 1960s
(northbound span), the bridges connect New Orleans with its suburbs on the north shore
of Lake Pontchartrain via Metairie.===Airports===
The metropolitan area is served by the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport,
located in the suburb of Kenner. Regional airports include the Lakefront Airport,
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans (Callender Field) in the suburb of Belle Chasse
and Southern Seaplane Airport, also located in Belle Chasse. Southern Seaplane has a 3,200-foot (980 m)
runway for wheeled planes and a 5,000-foot (1,500 m) water runway for seaplanes. Armstrong International is the busiest airport
in Louisiana and the only to handle scheduled international passenger flights. As of 2018, more than 13 million passengers
passed through Armstrong, on nonstops flights from more than 57 destinations, including
foreign nonstops from the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican
The city is served by Amtrak. The New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal is
the central rail depot and is served by the Crescent, operating between New Orleans and
New York City; the City of New Orleans, operating between New Orleans and Chicago and the Sunset
Limited, operating between New Orleans and Los Angeles. Up until August 2005 (when Hurricane Katrina
struck), the Sunset Limited’s route continued east to Orlando. With the strategic benefits of both the port
and its double-track Mississippi River crossings, the city attracted six of the seven Class
I railroads in North America: Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway,
Kansas City Southern Railway, CSX Transportation and Canadian National Railway. The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad provides
interchange services between the railroads.===Modal characteristics===
According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 67.4% of working city of New Orleans residents
commuted by driving alone, 9.7% carpooled, 7.3% used public transportation, and 4.9%
walked. About 5% used all other forms of transportation,
including taxicab, motorcycle, and bicycle. About 5.7% of working New Orleans residents
worked at home.Many city of New Orleans households own no personal automobiles. In 2015, 18.8% of New Orleans households were
without a car, which increased to 20.2% in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. New Orleans averaged 1.26 cars per household
in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8 per household.New Orleans ranks high among
cities in terms of the percentage of working residents who commute by walking or bicycling. In 2013, 5% of working people from New Orleans
commuted by walking and 2.8% commuted by cycling. During the same period, New Orleans ranked
thirteenth for percentage of workers who commuted by walking or biking among cities not included
within the fifty most populous cities. Only nine of the most fifty most populous
cities had a higher percentage of commuters who walked or biked than did New Orleans in
2013.==Notable people====Sister cities==
New Orleans has eleven sister cities: Caracas, Venezuela
Durban, South Africa Innsbruck, Austria
Juan-les-Pins, France Maracaibo, Venezuela
Matsue, Shimane, Japan Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
Orléans, France Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo
San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina Tegucigalpa, Honduras===Twinnings and partnerships===
Batumi, Georgia==See also====Notes