After the storm

In partnership with the Penn Institute for Urban Research (IUR), Provost Ronald Daniels has organized a conference on urban rebuilding to follow up on his well-attended post-Katrina symposium on risk and disaster” in D.C. last month. This second conference, to be held Feb. 2-3, will take place on campus and will feature a panel of leading national experts including scholars from Penn.

Former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial will give the keynote address on Feb. 2, followed by a panel discussion featuring Penn faculty and alumni who took an active role in the recovery effort. These include the Vet School’s Cynthia Otto, who tended to Katrina’s animal victims, Eileen Sullivan Marx, who mobilized Penn’s nursing response and Penn Design alum Lee Farmer who helped rebuild schools in Jefferson Parish.

An all-day symposium on Feb. 3 will tackle some of the major challenges facing New Orleans and the Gulf area.
We’re looking forward to hearing Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Bob Giegengack talk about the legacy of environmental mismanagement of the Mississippi Watershed, and getting City and Regional Planning Professor Randall Mason’s take on using culture to frame problems of rebuilding. Other Penn participants include Gary Hack, Richard Gelles, Eli Anderson, Brian Strom, Vivian Gladsden, Michael Eric Dyson, Jonathan Barnett, Anuradha Mathur and Witold Rybczynski, with opening remarks by President Amy Gutmann, Provost Ronald Daniels and co-directors of IUR Eugenie Birch and Susan Wachter.

Off-campus experts include a panel of faculty and senior administrators from Tulane University who will talk about the role of the university as a key leader in an urban place.

The second afternoon session will be devoted to a conversation with Nick Spitzer—folklorist and producer of NPR’s “American Routes”—New Orleans pianist Eddie Bo and Earl Barthe, a sixth-generation Creole plasterer and NEA National Heritage fellow.

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Originally published on January 26, 2006