Blog #7, HI-5



In 2005, an extremely destructive and deadly hurricane, Katrina, hit the Gulf Coast of the United States. It became a terrible disaster from Florida to Texas. Subsequently, the hurricane destroyed the flood banks of the city New Orleans, and the whole city became overwhelmed with flood waters. The hurricane Katrina is known as Category 5 which means destructive and devastating. According to the information reported by NHC(National Hurricane Center), there were at least 1832 people who died during the period of time when the hurricane came. The economic loss could be 125 billion US dollars due to the effects of hurricane Katrina.


  1. Communications

Article 1: New York Times: Hurricane Katrina Slams Into Gulf Coast; Dozens Are Dead

August 30th, 2005

This article was published a few days after Hurricane Katrina hit land. From the title, we can tell that the article is describing the Hurricane in a disastrous way. The writers make it very apparent that many people had died from the impacts of the hurricane. They detail Hurricane Katrina with how disastrous the winds and storms are. Roads are described as impassable and flooded with water; other description includes the destruction of homes and buildings, power outages, and over $9 billion in damages. Overall, this article is detailing the damages of the hurricane on housing, roads, other infrastructure, and human death toll.

Article 2: New York Times: Don’t Repeat the Mistakes of the Katrina Recovery

September 14th, 2017

“Don’t Repeat the Mistakes of the Katrina Recovery” was published nearly twelve years after the hurricane-impacted southern states. This article focuses more on those extremely impacted by the hurricane. Andy Horowitz, the author, writes “wind and rain alone do not define the shape of our modern disasters.” What he means is that the impacts of natural disasters do not compare to those impacts on a more social level. Hurricane Katrina was one of the most disastrous hurricanes in history; the fact articles are still published to this day speaks a big deal on how the aftermath and recovery processes were handled. The article pulls focus from the disastrous impacts of natural disasters to the impacts from federal and state government policies. From Hurricane Katrina, policies were put in place that furthered inequality of disadvantaged communities. Survivors from these communities never mentioned the storm, but the difficulty of evacuating and surviving. As a whole, this article highlights Hurricane Katrina as a disaster of inequality and vulnerability of low-income/ disadvantaged neighborhoods, rather than natural impacts.

Article one and two were published around twelve years apart. Article one highlights Hurricane Katrina’s disastrous impacts on infrastructure and affected communities. Compared to the second article, article one is more frightening than the second in terms of how the hurricane was described. The second article is more of a reflection on how communities were treated after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. People are still impacted by the hurricane today, which is really the biggest disaster from Katrina. Policies formed by federal and state governments definitely impacted disadvantaged communities. What we can gather from the second article is that all communities should be treated equally in recovery efforts when dealing with any kind of disaster. Hurricane Katrina’s impact is still lasting today, maybe not necessarily from wind and rain, but on a community level. Decisions must be put in place that protects all communities, this is the biggest thing we can learn from natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

  1. Vulnerability

In the documentary, When the Levees Broke, there were a few vulnerabilities that were stated that created risks for the people residing in Louisiana. One vulnerability was the lack of people who actually owned their own method of transportation. While there were bus lines and streetcars available prior to Katrina, the actual method of leaving the city of New Orleans could have only been available to those who owned cars and were capable of evacuating the city themselves without the help of public transportation. Another vulnerability that was spoken of in the documentary was the city’s sea level and structural integrity of most buildings. The city of New Orleans is a staggering 6ft. below sea level. Knowing this, the entirety of the city was very prone to flooding, and with buildings that lacked structural integrity to fight back winds of about 70-140 mph, the risks speak for itself. The city of New Orleans was nowhere near ready to take on a storm such as Katrina with the vulnerabilities listed here.

  1. Future Improvements 

1) Improvements to transportation plan for evacuation:  Transportation was a huge reason so many people didn’t leave the city of NOLA. During the storm streetcars, Amtrak, the airport, and rails began shutting down the transit from the city. On top of all that, the traffic on the lower Mississippi River was at a stop. Basically, people were left stranded in the city of New Orleans with no way out.  The city needs to have better evacuation services before the storm. An emergency transit out of the city would be the best way to combat this issue and many people could take it, and the highways wouldn’t be so full.

2) Improvements to levee structures:  Another issue the city had, was the level of sea level it was at. NO sits at around 6-8 ft below sea level. The dams they had in place to hold back the floods were not built to withstand that kind of water pressure causing them to fail. The city and Army Corp of Engineers should have better prepared for this type of weather. And the nation should have invested more money in the safety of the city walls. Providing better upkeep and preservation to ease the loss of Katrina.

3) Community education campaign: The whole community of New Orleans was not prepared for the strength and devastation of Katrina. This storm was a learning experience for the nation. You need to be prepared for your home and everything you own to be gone and to be able to survive that. But with this storm, in particular, there was not much you could have done other than fleeing the area. The flood waters were too high and strong.  Yet many people felt comfortable staying because of prior experiences. Education about how and why to evacuate prior to Katrina would have helped and education in the future will ensure more people leave sooner.


  1. Implementation of strategies

To implement these three strategies requires both city and regional planning.  Regional planners should work to outline a transportation plan for evacuating coastal areas where the most vulnerable people live.  High volume vehicles (primarily buses) should be deployed from other cities once the weather service has determined that evacuation is imminent.  Those buses should be used to begin evacuating people from the most vulnerable areas first and those neighborhoods where residents are most likely to have less access to personal transport to safer areas inland.  A strategy for temporarily sheltering large numbers of people should be set up in advance of another catastrophic event in coordination with other cities in the region. Once this plan is in place, educational materials regarding risks of weather events and how to respond should be put into community facilities, groceries, other public service areas and anywhere that the most vulnerable families might receive the message.  



HI-5, Blog #5

1. Goals and Objectives:

The University District Plan’s main objective is to improve the form and function of the community. According to the plan, this is done by addressing future land use, urban design, and capital improvements. The goal is to guide the neighborhood’s future development and investments. Land use is a very important aspect for neighborhood plans. Currently, there are twelve neighborhoods agglomerated in the University District. The two main uses of land within this district are residential and institutional. Residential uses range to up to 48.6% of the district, while institutional ranges up to 38.5%. Other land uses, such as parks and recreation or commercial, are low in percent compared to residential and institutional land uses. This is mainly due to Ohio State’s growing student population and academic buildings. To plan for future land uses, one must address issues currently at hand. The University District Plan addresses development patterns, including the impacts of student housing and parking. The plan suggests utilizing floor area ratios for development. The plan outlines how development should occur at a higher rate around Institutional and Mixed-Use areas, then decrease development intensity going into more residential areas. In Table 3.1, the plan outlines floor area ratios, building height, landscape areas, and parking for low to high residential areas, neighborhood mixed uses, and regional mixed uses. We can examine these patterns today. For example, the increase of apartment buildings and chain businesses on High Street. Do you agree with the current land uses of the University District? What do you think can be improved?

2. The goals presented in the ‘land use’ section of this recommendations booklet go from improving not only the lives of students in the University District but the overall structural well-being of the district’s nature. The district’s nature is known to be a lively part of the Columbus due to a rather younger population, at large, taking to the streets. Whether that be for commuting to class, social occasions, or just for a stroll around the campus, the amount of traffic the district faces is rather intense. To lessen this, the plan distinctly adheres to the idea of balancing the auto traffic, allowing for more parking and safer roads, and a structural rehaul of the infrastructure for safer bike lanes and parking garages. As a student and a commuter, I believe this specific goal will greatly benefit not only myself but those who live in the area as well. The parking for ‘non-residential’ use is vital when considering the nature of Ohio State. People do not only just live around campus, but come from all corners of Columbus, or further. It is imperative that these goals are reached to allow for safer transportation methods and proper parking situations.

3. The consistency of the planning shown within this packet has definitely been apparent on the field. The land use plan details how residential, from low to high, should divide up their land use. Parking specifically, as pointed at from the 2nd question, is important. The medium to higher intensity residential plots allows for double to a triple stacking of parking on the plot. This is clearly seen in the lots behind housing units of Lane Ave. The lots here are considered to be called ‘overflow’ lots, as shown in the picture below. The housing units do not entirely take up space in the rear end of their plots. For better use, they were turned into parking lots for not only the residents of the housing units but for commuters as well.

4. As far as I think about the plan of land use in the university, they have done a great job incorporating the use of mixed-use buildings. The layout and the distribution just make the high street a great place for people to walk around and live. The residential area combined with the comprehension of 3 types of density gives a reliable concept for planners to balance the residents and the land use in Columbus. However, the city still has the issue to work on. As the plan says, the lack of probability and the accessibility to the public transportation makes many people annoying. Planners should work on the transportation and in order to combine the whole community together. The economic and the citizens would be both glad to have it and raise the sense of happiness in Columbus.

5. In the Natural Resources section of the Land Use category, it states that ‘the stream buffer shown on the Land Use Plan is intended to recognize the property owner’s right to develop the property in a manner consistent with the existing regulatory framework and recommended land use, but ensures that an appropriate stream buffer is provided’. Understanding what is stated, I feel that allowing for current land owner’s, who on most occasions may be college students, to develop the property should be taken carefully. This is a natural resource, a waterway to be exact. And as fragile as they are, there should be more caution for these waterways. I believe the planners should tighten up the idea of who can develop and who cannot develop the areas around waters. There should be stricter rules implemented to ensure the safety of such natural resources and the preservation of nature all around. This is where I feel that the planners lacked in their entirety with regards to their recommendations.

HI-5, Blog 4

The Ohio Stater, Arts Implementation Proposal

The location of The Ohio Stater along High Street between Woodruff and Frambes could be better utilized to serve The Ohio State community.  Currently, the residential building is set back from High street and has very few architectural details or visual interest. It is essentially a tan box with a parking lot in front.  There is a parking lot in front of the residential portion of the building that increases traffic and pedestrian/vehicle interactions in the middle of a busy portion of High Street. The portion of the residential building that runs along High Street is a large blank expanse with a few windows high up and otherwise, adds little to the appeal along High Street.  The retaining wall that runs along the parking lot from the lot entrance to the opening of the Ohio Stater Mall is in disrepair and adds little appeal. Because this property is set back from the newer buildings along High street it offers space that could incorporate art installations and other features that would add visual interest to this dead zone and also invite more people to utilize the mall.  Art features installed here would liven up this visually dead space on High Street as well as improve the appeal of the businesses that operate out of the basement mall at this location.

The wall and sidewalk in front of the Ohio Stater are crumbling at our feet and are in dire need of some TLC. We thought of some things that we would like to see happen which includes, the use of neon paint and lights to brighten up a dull part of High street. We also thought that this space could benefit from greenery and water. The use of trees and shrubs along the wall could help the city space becoming less hard and more inviting.  The idea of covering bad patches of sidewalks with an easily resealable, recycled plastic would be a great way to use our own trash to build a better and more pretty city.

Another thought that can improve the surrounding vitality is by creating an open area for students to offer different ideas and art works that can be shown in front of the hotel’s gate. The students can promote their thinking and make it into a art exhibition that would develop a great artistic atmosphere around the campus. The walls could be also painted as a graffiti art that connect to the theme of that time period like Christmas or something else. The hotel owner could determine the orientation by the certain festival in order develop the sense of belonging and warmth.

Arts and cultural planning is an increasingly important option for revitalizing urban areas. In particular, public arts have the potential to bring communities together by communicating artistic values and ideas. The Ohio Stater is passed by many students and Columbus residents every day. From general observations, this area lacks aesthetic, color, and space. Arts revitalization can impact this area by making it more aesthetically pleasing. This can be achieved by adding green space, or environmental aesthetic concepts, such as trees and vines. It can also utilize public art space by using some sort of projector. The projector can circulate different art pieces by students, residents, or global artists. These two simple options for arts revitalization can draw more people to this area by utilizing public art

HI-5, Blog 3

19th Avenue and Street Safety

This road is one of the most unsafe roads on North Campus. Between Woodruff and 18th, 19th Ave separates chemistry lab and classroom buildings. Compared to it’s neighboring streets, 19th lacks pedestrian pathways with either a light or sign. The traffic flow can get pretty congested, mainly because of inadequate parking or pick-up spaces, traffic lights, and accessibility for students. The use of buildings on this road is really good for chemistry students because their labs and classrooms usually agglomerate in this area


The Oval and Accessibility Issues

Due to construction of the Oval, some paths are blocked by fences. The main row attaches many smaller pathways to each other. The Oval is like the crossroads campus, so many students walk through this area everyday. It is important to keep areas like this accessible to accommodate for pedestrian transportation.

John H. Herrick Drive and Accessibility/Sidewalk use

The walking path that snakes along John H. Herrick in the eastern direction just suddenly stops. If continued down the road, it could connect to bus stop, but the park takes out that space. You have to cross a busy road two times to get to a major bus stop. This creates a accessibility issue and poor sidewalk planning.

John H. Herrick Drive and Traffic Flow issues

While there was an issue with accessibility in the previous example, there is also traffic issues. The EMS entrance to the hospital is located right next to a bus stop AND a major parking garage. This creates a lot of traffic, whether that be emergency vehicles, normal pedestrian cars, pedestrians crossings, and buses.

Woody Hayes Drive and Accessibility Issues

The use of stairs here is great for pedestrians to access the top of this gradual incline. Although, if you are handicapped, there is no other way for you to access this higher point and reach the sidewalk if need be. There are no ramps or smooth surfaces to allow for wheelchairs or anything of the like.


HI-5, Blog 2

Contempt, A feeling that struck us in this photo was the feeling of disregard. The particular circulation layout in the photo portrays a story of a contemptuous decision to the typical pedestrian. In other words, lacking those adequate necessities to create a form of comfort within this deep urban environment.

Wonder, We choose to pick this picture connecting with the emotion “wonder”. The picture shows the technique of perspective drawing which gives a sense of curiosity to the people. The overlapped pillars create a vision like mirror, and mirror has strong feelings with uncertainty and unknown. Therefore, people would link these feelings with the emotion of wonder.

Anxiety, Building up fences and walls make it a place is anxiety and being stuck. Building too many of these in a community separates people and causes a locked in anxious feeling.

Desire, At the intersection of 15th Ave and High Street, this map tile design was created in 1987. Most details are recognizable, yet there are current developments not reflected on the map. We chose this picture because of a planner’s desire to improve urban or regional areas through development and design over time.

Hope, This is a volunteer tomato plant growing up from the asphalt in the alley beside Mama’s Pasta and Brew and the buildings recently torn down at 15th and high. It represents both hope and wonder to me. Despite all our planning and structure and paving, life will find a way to grow in the spaces in between. Nature has a power that we can’t always plan for.