Renewing the Urban Sphere. New Orleans in Transition is a photobook that deals with urban renewal
as it is practiced in many US cities today. In New Orleans renewal processes are sped up and more
profound than elsewhere as destructions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 allowed the
city to declare a status of clean slate and enforce measures that would have been impossible to
implement under other circumstances.
In eighteen chapters the book casts a perspective on specific aspects of urban renewal found in New Orleans: the rehabilitation of historic houses by new city dwellers, neighborhoods in the wake of gentrification, urban gardens and newly developed public green spaces, commercial corridors, cultural capital such as second line and Mardi Gras parades, volunteer work, former public housing projects now converted into mixed-income neighborhoods, and Charity Hospital as an example for a specific post-Katrina issue.
The photographs are accompanied by short texts that provide contextual information on the topics. The book foregoes the well known imagery of the French Quarter and of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.
The material was photographed in the winter of 2014/2015.