Progressive Urbanism Meets Privatization in Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation
This chapter examines the dynamics of rebuilding in one of the most devastated neighborhoods in New Orleans, the Lower Ninth Ward, after Hurricane Katrina and how this area has become a laboratory for architectural experimentation. In particular, it looks at Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation, a private sector effort to rebuild homes and lives in the Lower Ninth Ward, and how it evolved as a powerful voice of neighborhood preservation and racial justice at a moment when it appeared that the Lower Ninth Ward would remain vacant due to the lack of investment and support from the city’s elite. It also considers the efforts of Make It Right supporters to defend black residents’ “right of return” and to encourage the use of green building technologies, and argues that this project and the individual homes it has constructed are charming manifestations of the new landscape of neoliberal urbanism where the right to affordable housing and flood protection is determined by market forces as well as individual access to technological/architectural remedies.
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