A Look At New Orleans’ Show That Architecture Well-Suited For Pandemic Life

Though COVID-19 restrictions are stopping New Orleans from celebrating Mardi Gras in the traditional ways, but the city has specific plans in mind in order to stop the event from being another super spreader event like in 2020.

Instead of the traditional moving parades, New Orleans’ citizens are decorating their homes as per the traditional decorations of the holiday.

With the coronavirus outbreak forcing people to adjust, people in New Orleans, looking at their homes and man an Architectural illustration have noticed how the city’s architecture, a lot of which were constructed in 18-20th centuries, are well-equipped for the pandemic.

Rambling porches work well not only as open-air living rooms but also as platforms that allow for safe interaction with neighbours while private courtyards and neutral grounds allow for interaction and exercise while maintaining social distancing.

Notably, New Orleans has had a history of dealing with pandemics. In the 19th century, the city saw successive waves of yellow fever, with the last coming in 1905. A few years following that, the city also had Cholera and the 1918 Spanish Flu to deal with.

What makes this notable is that the city’s architecture, chronicled through many Architectural illustrations, is due to its subtropical climate. The city sees hot and humid summers, with heat waves starting around Jazz Fest, the first week of May, going all the way to October at times. Living in New Orleans meant that buildings needed features to ensure proper airflow and cooling.

Tulane School of Architecture Associate Dean for Research Richard Campanella; a geographer and author, notes how Louisiana’s architecture, particularly their homes, were aimed at ensuring maximum ventilation for maximum comfort, especially during the hot summers, which is why galleries, verandas, and the like are commonplace across the region, New Orleans included.

Ariana Ganak, a small business manager in New Orleans, says that the city is one for living outside, with people socializing with the use of their front porches and shops. She says that it’s been that way practically forever, which hasn’t changed with the pandemic; people still sit on their front porch and on their shop, interacting with others while staying socially distant.