Blog 7: Disaster Planning, CRP4A

Hurricane Katrina




Katrina was a deadly category 5 hurricane that devastated the US in August 2005. Katrina is also among the top 5 deadliest hurricanes to ever hit the US. Deaths caused by the devastating disaster totaled 1,833. The estimated cost of Katrina is around $108 billion. Hurricane Katrina is known for being the costliest hurricane ever hitting the US.




One of the areas most affected by Katrina was New Orleans 9th Ward. The reason that this area suffered some of the worst aftermaths of the hurricane is because many of the residents living here were low-income people who lacked insurance. It is also argued that many of the damages caused by the storm were due to human engineering mistakes. New Orleans has a levee and a floodwall system to protect the city. However, these structures were poorly designed and maintained.




In a 2005 report from the National Weather Service titled “Extremely Powerful Hurricane Katrina Leaves a Historic Mark on the Northern Gulf Coast,” Hurricane Katrina was described as “the costliest hurricane to ever hit the United States.” They also wrote that it was in the top five deadliest hurricanes ever to hit the United States. They estimated about 1,833 deaths and $108 billion in damages. They also reported that the highest wind speeds reached up to 140 mph and 9 tornadoes spawned as a result of the hurricane. More recent articles have slightly higher numbers than the initial reports from the National Weather Service. In Weather Nation’s 2018 article titled “13 Years Later: Looking back at Hurricane Katrina,” the estimates are at 2000 deaths and over $150 billion in damage. In general, the numbers are pretty consistent with their initial reports. Every article portrays Hurricane Katrina as one of the deadliest and most severe hurricanes ever to touch the United States with devastating impacts on the region it went over. It is interesting to note that there are some articles such as one published in 2015 titled “We Still Don’t Know How Many People Died Because of Katrina,” that claim there is a degree of inconsistency in the numbers. The article claims that many of the death numbers reported by individual states were changed at later dates and that many states, such as Louisiana, eventually just stopped counting the dead. The article claims that the estimates and coverage for deaths did not receive as much attention as something like the 9/11 terrorist attacks did and so coming to a clear consensus on the numbers may be difficult.


Future Improvements

Disaster preparedness Plan for the City – The local government would set the plan and ensure that everyone is aware so that there is not chaos. The plan would include specifics like where food for those living in shelters will come from, how sanitation will be maintained through the disaster and what medical services will be provided.

Shelters – Special buildings for hurricane shelters are a common practice in developing countries but it is a much less common practice in the US. Having engineers design shelters specific to a city’s “common” disasters would be beneficial in the long term. If an area typically experiences flooding the engineers could come up with a design for a shelter that can withstand high levels of flooding.

Disaster Preparedness in Schools – If we really want to see a change in how people view disaster preparedness I think it will have to start at  a young age. There should be greater focus on teaching kids about survival kits and the impacts of disaster. Children living near coastal areas should know the importance of knowing how to swim. As the kids grow up hopefully they will make disaster preparedness more of a priority.



Disaster preparedness Plan for the City – Some potential barriers for implementing a Disaster Preparedness Plan for the city would be ensuring it was accessible to all members of the municipality. It would be necessary to educate the citizens on the information available within the Plan, and reaching that wide an audience could pose some problems. Additionally, actually having the funds to implement the Plan, such as creating shelters and having food stores would also be a potential barrier. In order to combat these, the city could use multiple forms of communication to get across the information– texts, signage, and posters in public places such as grocery stores, parks, libraries, and schools could be used to make sure it reaches the most people.

Shelters – Much like many strategies, a large barrier for implementing shelters would be cost. Additionally, space for these shelters, if they need to be new structures, could pose a problem. Hiring people to adapt existing buildings that are accessible and have high capacities could be a potential solution to these problems.

Disaster Preparedness in Schools – A potential barrier for implementing Disaster Preparedness in schools would be that it is time-consuming, and some kids may not be present on the day(s) that the disaster prep takes place. In addition to having time set aside to teaching the kids about how to handle disaster situations, much like the disaster preparedness for the city, posters could be placed around the school to make kids aware of things in case they missed the day when it was talked about in class.

Blog 6: Affordable Housing (CRP4A)


Property: Commons at Third

Owner/Manager: National Church Residences (Nation’s Largest Affordable Housing Community)

Funding: LIHTC

Population Served: ⅗ homeless and disability, and other

Year Built: 2011

Number of Buildings: 1

Number of Units: 100

Land Use Classification: Manufacturing

Square Footage: 61,200 square feet

Total Assessed Value: $4,841,870, $1,050 per month


The property matches the styles of the surrounding apartment complexes. It is the same height as the nearby apartment complexes and looks to be an attractive building. All surrounding apartments including The Commons were built with a more modern aesthetic on the exterior.


The complex seems to be very well maintained. There is landscaping all around the outside and the outside of the property was clean and welcoming. The outside has a large space for parking. There is no graffiti or litter outside the building.
Nearby Businesses and Type: The complex is surrounded by residential apartments. The nearby apartments are mainly luxury apartments ranging from $1,000-$3,000 monthly rent. On the perpendicular streets  there are lots of commercial businesses, mainly restaurants.
Transit: Nearest bus stop is 300 ft from the complex on 3rd Ave, approximately a 1 minute walk. This bus stop is serviced by the #3 route, which travels from Grove City to Upper Arlington, passing through Franklinton as well as downtown. Just down the road at the intersection of 3rd Ave and Edgehill Rd. there are bus stops which are serviced by the #22 route as well as the #3. The #22 route travels from Grandview all the way down to the airport. It travels up through Ohio State’s campus and through Olde Towne East and Obetz. Because the #3 route runs on the west side of the city and the #22 runs on the east side, residents of Commons at Third ave transportation access to nearly everywhere in the city, very close to their home.

1 Report of theft in the last six months within 500 feet of the property

2 Reports of theft in the last six months within 1000 feet of the property

7 Reports of theft and 1 reported robbery in the last six months within .25 miles of the property

21 Reports of theft, 4 reported robberies, and 6 reports of residential robbery in the last six months within .5 miles of the property

At a buffer of .5 miles most of the crime is located in areas further away from the property. The immediate area surrounding the property appears to be relatively safe based on the data. Crime increases a lot once in the .25 mile range. The most common crime in the area is theft.

Property Values and Education:

Zestimate: $4,841,870, $1,050 per month

Schools: Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary, Indianola Informal K-8 School, Grandview Heights High School


CRP4A- Blog 5

The goal of the University District Plan is “to provide land use regulations and recommendations that serve as a framework for zoning and other land use decisions”. In addition, the plan is to “provide guidelines for the design of new development”, and “inform capital improvement strategies”. The objective for future land use is to have the areas closest to campus be the most dense, with that density decreasing the further away from campus you get. This is similar to the current land use of the university district and the immediate surrounding areas where the plan is looking to expand into. This is implemented through housing regulations as well as building type, with mixed-use, higher density and commercial buildings located closest to campus, and smaller, single family residences located further away. The plan also strives to create a sustainable environment through bike path and sidewalk considerations.

 Many of the land use goals highlighted in the University District Plan are already being implemented. These goals have been beneficial to creating a better environment for people living within the University District. The mixed use buildings that are along High Street provide students with many walkable commercial options. However, the popularity and density of this area has lead to an increase in luxury apartments and high rent, which negatively affects students who cannot afford to live closer to campus due to rising costs. If students cannot afford to live closer to the heart of the University District, their access to transit and walkable/bikeable areas also decreases. The University Plan also highlights the importance of continuing to develop walkable, bikeable, accessible areas. Accessibility is an important goal to focus on for the continuing development of this district. Overall, the goals stated in the Land Use Plan for the University District strive to implement a plan that will benefit the students that live in this area.

For the most part, developments along High Street in the University District seem to be consistent with the land use goals the plan set out to achieve. The plan calls for high-intensity, mixed use and commercial development along the areas of High Street closest to the university and lower-intensity residential development the further you get away from the university. The current development pattern on High Street follows those guidelines. All developments along High Street seem to conform to the floor area ratio, height limits, and setback limits expressed in the plan. Parking for residential on High Street is limited to 0.5 spaces per bed and that seems to hold true as High Street sees a lot more pedestrian and bicycle traffic than other areas of the University District and is an important corridor for COTA riders. All of this helps promote a more walkable and liveable district, which is one of the goals this plan hopes to reach.

The University District Plan does address a land-use issue which has been identified by students in the class. For example, Ohio State has a large population of students who live on campus with no access to a car. Because of this, one of the goals of the University District plan is to keep not only institutional use buildings, but also necessary mixed use buildings (such as convenience stores, restaurants, entertainment, etc.) within walking distance for students. One of the most recent implementations of this was the development of the Target on the corner of 15th ave and High st. This store provides students with accessible access to various necessities not available anywhere else in the University District area. The plan for the district is to keep everything within walking/ bicycling distance when at all possible  which has been done well thus far.

The regional mixed use approach is appropriate because High St. in itself can be considered a ‘Main Street’. The plans seem to address the idea of mixed use providing residential and commercial use buildings along High St. As a group we feel that the idea of the plan was appropriate but the outcome has not been. Many students desire to live along High St. but have been priced out. If residential use is proposed it is important to understand the residents who will occupy the area. However, the commercial aspect has been successful and many businesses seem to be doing well. Along with this, we agree that it would be convenient for students who live just off campus to have more corner stores available to them. While the plan allows for them, it does not recommend more. We feel that as they are un-invasive but very productive for those who live around them, we would like more corner stores to be implemented.

Blog 3-CRP4A

Sidewalks– Cannon Drive has pretty narrow sidewalks for being so close to the stadium, the street however is wide so the cars don’t feel too close to you as you walk on the sidewalk. feels safe. Then the sidewalk on cannon drive just ends, and you have to walk through the parking lot. there is dead grass paths where you can tell people have made their own paths where there should be a sidewalk.

Accessibility– After the short period on Cannon Dr. where there is no sidewalk, it picks back up but is in poor shape. The sidewalk is crumbling asphalt which is rough, narrow, close to the street, and definitely not suitable for people with disabilities. There would be no room for anyone with a wheelchair to fit on the poor excuse of a sidewalk, not to mention any motorized scooters.

Traffic Flow– after turning into John Herrick Dr., traffic is stopped in the right turn lane. Mass amounts of people are wanting to turn right to get onto 315, but the one right turn lane does not move quick enough to accommodate this. Also, pedestrians are forced to cross John Herrick Dr. when the sidewalk ends on one side. This further holds up traffic in the right lane, especially as many students cross here.

Setbacks– Walking along John Herrick Dr., the hospital buildings are extremely close to the street. At one point the building was no more than a foot away from the sidewalk. The buildings which are close to the sidewalk are not very tall, but have taller ones behind it. The feeling created by these squat buildings is not as imposing as if the taller, larger buildings were so close to the street.

Street Safety– While we were walking on the sidewalk along Cannon Dr., it abruptly ended and led straight into the bus lane. We did not notice, and half of us began walking straight into the bus lane as a bus was approaching.


Bullwinkles is seen as the epitome of disgust for several members of our group. For those who have not had the displeasure of being inside Bulls, you are lucky. It is a dark, crowded, night club where one cannot leave without having their feet stepped on, drinks spilled on them, and much, much worse.

The construction which is all around campus brings our group frustration. We love Ohio State, and want to see our campus be beautiful. The construction is not only an eyesore to look at, but also brings bad thoughts to mind about our favorite campus locations being taken away from us to make room for Targets and apartments we can’t afford.

Columbus’ public transportation system, the COTA buses, bring many members of our group anxiety. Many do not know where the routes lead, as well as at what stops to get on and off.

We chose Buckeye Donuts as an example of happiness, because it is a staple of OSU’s campus. So many of our favorite places on campus are being torn down to make room for big, new projects such as luxury housing. While all of this is happening, Buckeye Donuts remains and it brings us joy.

The M being covered up on this sign is a symbol of pride for our group. Ohio State’s rivalry for That Team Up North is one that is forever unwavering, and a feeling instilled in every Buckeye’s heart. To walk by a sign where the M’s are covered, is to remember what it means to be a Buckeye, which we are all proud to be.