The Viet Village Urban Farm and the Politics of Neighborhood Viability in Post-Katrina New Orleans



Viability emerged as a contentious political term in post-Katrina New Orleans. While initial expert-led proposals defined neighborhood viability in terms of topography, community-based groups emphasized the cultural and historical aspects that defined neighborhoods as viable. This analysis focuses on the politics of neighborhood viability with regarding to a specific neighborhood, Village de l'Est, well known for its sizeable Vietnamese population. Community leaders effectively employed cultural discourses to increase the visibility of the neighborhood and make claims on recovery dollars. One of these proposals was for an urban farm. The case-study presented here focuses on how the proposal made evident how claims of viability often generated generated conflicting visions of neighborhoods in pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans. [Sustainability, Urban farm, Vietnamese Americans, New Orleans]