NPR has been marking 10 years since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, Katrina’s storm surge pushed through inadequate floodwalls, submerging 80 percent of the city, killing hundreds and displacing hundreds of thousands. We looked into some key ways the city changed after the storm. Full coverage:
  1. Public housing looks different
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    After the storm, the city government sped up plans to tear down old public housing projects and replace them with mixed-income developments. The goal was to deconcentrate poverty and give lower-income residents a better place to live — a goal that has been met with only partial success. Angry residents sued and protested the city's plans. But today, the 1940s brick buildings are mostly gone, replaced with rows of pastel-colored cottages and garden apartments. Full story:
  2. Fewer people, more diversity
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    New Orleans has a different population now: 100,000 fewer African-Americans, a fast-growing Latino population, and growing numbers of young, white newcomers. The nearby parishes look different, too. Surprisingly, it turns out that the storm — and a decade of major reconstruction — had little effect on the long-term population trends shaping the region: minority migration to the suburbs, a growing Hispanic community and more diversity overall. Full story:
  3. A revamped public education system
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    After Katrina, New Orleans’ long-beleaguered school system struggled to get back on its feet. Frustrated by the slow pace of recovery, parents and teachers sought charters to re-open some schools themselves, a movement that eventually led to complete charterization of the city’s public school system. Test scores and graduation rates have improved, but some critics say neighborhood schools have been sacrificed and neighborhood ties broken for dubious rewards. Full story:
  4. More access to health care
    Charity Hospital, which served the city's poor for centuries, never reopened after Katrina. It’s been replaced by a series of clinics and the brand-new University Medical Center. In a recent NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 72 percent of New Orleanians said progress has been made in the availability of medical facilities and services. But 64 percent also said more needs to be done to provide care for low-income people and those who lack insurance. Full story:
  5. A better flood protection system
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    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has nearly completed one of the world's most sophisticated hurricane protection systems to encircle New Orleans. Locals say their low-lying city finally has the storm defenses it should have had before Katrina, whose storm surge killed hundreds and caused billions in property losses. The Corps has spent $14.5 billion on fortifications to protect some 900,000 people living in the toe-tip of Louisiana. Full story: