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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 7, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 33
New Orleans Recovery Czar Looks at Challenges Facing City

Edward J. Blakely

Garrett Lecture on Urban Issues with Edward Blakely Presented by IPS, Evergreen

By Heather Egan Stalfort
Historic Houses

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies and the university's Evergreen House will this week present the second part of their Rebuilding America's Cities lecture series. Edward J. Blakely, executive director for Recovery Management for the City of New Orleans, will examine that city's symbolically important and politically charged urban rebuilding efforts in a talk titled "New Orleans: The Challenge of Rebuilding."

A year and a half after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the city's future remains shrouded in uncertainty. Less than half the pre-storm population of 480,000 has returned, many businesses remain shuttered, and the fate of entire neighborhoods has yet to be determined. In March, city officials unveiled the Unified New Orleans Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for recovery that targets 17 redevelopment zones as the anchors of a $1.1 billion effort to stabilize city neighborhoods and spark an economic resurgence.

Blakely, appointed by Mayor Ray Nagin to lead the recovery effort, will provide insights into the enormous challenges and opportunities that the rebuilding process entails.

A distinguished educator and researcher on urban issues and the chair of Urban and Regional Planning and Policy at the University of Sydney in Australia, Blakely is nationally and internationally recognized for his extensive experience in the design of recovery strategies for cities across the United States. The California native played roles in at least four other reconstruction projects, including San Francisco after the 1989 earthquake and Oakland, Calif., after the 1991 wildfires. The author of four books and more than 100 scholarly articles, he was co-recipient of the Paul Davidoff Award in 1993 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994.

Before joining the University of Sydney, Blakely was dean of the Milano Graduate School at the New School University in New York, Lusk Professor of Economic Development at the University of Southern California, and professor and chair of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also co-director of the Institute for Urban and Regional Development.

The Rebuilding America's Cities lecture series is part of Evergreen's annual Garrett Lecture on Urban Issues, which commemorates the interests of the philanthropic Garrett family, who owned Evergreen, in recreation and urban planning issues.

The series is made possible through the generous support of the Evergreen House Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Provost's Office and media sponsor WYPR 88.1 FM.

The inaugural lecture was given in 2006 by Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger, whose talk was titled "After the World Trade Center and Katrina: The Struggle to Repair the Broken City."

Blakely's talk is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, in the Evergreen Carriage House. The lecture is free, but seating is limited and an RSVP required. To respond, or for more information, call Evergreen House at 410-516-0341 or e-mail


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