When I say the word “drainage,” what do you think of?

Do you think about the rain rushing down the street into the gutter?
The way water does or does not flow into and out the city?
Or do you think about the drainage of resources? Economic? Environmental? Emotional?

Right after Katrina, the population of New Orleans decreased by more than half. Every year since, while it never got back to pre-K levels, it’s steadily risen. Until these past couple of years.

And in 2015, ten years after the storm, there were 100 thousand less black residents than in 2005.

We’re losing people.

These stats got me thinking about all of the iterations of this concept of drainage. So I talked to a few people about it, and here’s what they had to say.


The voices you heard in this piece were, in order of appearance Sunni Patterson, Ramiro Diaz, David Weinberg, Rebecca Duckert, Pericles Papadopoulos, Lisanne Brown, Kerrie Stewart, Liz Beeson and Shauna Leone. Special thanks to Ramiro Diaz of Waggoner and Ball for anchoring us in his work around sustainable urban water management. Music heard is the song “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Anna Roznowska. Marching Band sounds from The Roots of Music. Many thanks to all who contributed. The piece was produced by Marie Lovejoy for Antenna.

This podcast is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Louisiana Division of the Arts, Arts Council New Orleans, The RosaMary Foundation, Morris Adjmi Architects and most importantly by individuals like you. You can subscribe to support this and all other Antenna programming, which includes publications delivered right to your doorstep. More at antenna.works/subscribe