By Jash Shukla
There was a struggle for highway construction in New Orleans in Vieux Carre and Faubourg Treme whose success was determined by the influence in government and resources the community had which Vieux Carre did not lack and the contrast in struggle makes a case for environmental injustice. The focus of the project will be on two sites- the Claiborne Avenue in Faubourg Treme, an African American community, where an elevated highway- Interstate 10 was constructed despite strong opposition from the community and Vieux Carre, a dominantly white community (popularly known as the French Quarter) where there was a proposal to construct a highway- the Riverfront Expressway- but it was successfully stopped. The highway construction through Faubourg Treme on Claiborne Avenue destroyed an important avenue for the African Americans who lived there and operated their businesses. For the African American community, Faubourg Treme was sentimentally valuable because it was amongst the very first neighborhoods where freed slaves settled and lived. On the other hand, Vieux Carre was a predominantly a white neighborhood which became popular post-WWI, here artists settled down and socialized in a neighborhood which had a colonial charm with paved roads. There was a proposal to construct a highway- Riverfront Expressway- that was stopped; the community members and the oldest residents of the city used their old money and influence in the government which the African American community lacked, to stop the highway construction. In brief, there was a struggle in both the neighborhoods but the success of the struggle was determined by the influence and resources a community had which the white community in Vieux Carre did not lack.