First Advisor

Anna Goodman

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architecture and University Honors




Public spaces -- Louisiana -- New Orleans, Architecture and society, Henri Lèfebvre (1867-1923), Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), Richard L. Florida, Hurricane Katrina (2005)




Fundamentally, space is a social product. Social practices both create and are supported by built environment. Urbanity is so much more than a dense array of buildings; it is the street, the sidewalks, the allies, the parks, the people––from the houseless to the penthoused. A city is best understood through the mechanisms that produce the social capital, identity, and space of those people who occupy it. The city of New Orleans is no exception. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina displaced hundreds of thousands of residents, deeply impacting the social economy of the city. This research explicates three unique social practices in New Orleans in a case study format. Each case study situates itself in an established urban theory that describes an urban condition in social terms. The theorists applied in each study respectively are Jane Jacobs, Richard Florida, and Henri Lefebvre. Often, the city is rationalized as an immutable object that is navigated. The purpose of this thesis is to render urban spaces in New Orleans (the street, the neighborhood, and the land) as the product of social practices and the built environment, each mutually producing and defining one another.


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