One feature of New Orleans economy is how capital intensive it’s distribution flows are. It’s not like New York, Boston, or Silicon Valley where the goods that are flowing are practically weightless. The oil, grain, cement, automobiles that flow thru New Orleans depend of extremely expensive installations. Consider Henry Hub where the price of natural gas futures is fixed; 15 natural gas pipelines that reach out across the entire nation and a sea of storage tanks. Or consider the refineries any one of which would take Billions of dollars to reproduce. Or the oil terminal where one pipeline carries 20% of the US oil ashore. These distribution networks are very hard to move. Moving Howard’s Hub would require rerouting all those major pipelines. — Flooding the Network And, he goes on to say, that this motivation to rebuild will only put a bigger gap between the wealthy and the poor. Many of the homes of the wealthy have remained (uptown, though the nicer homes along the lakefront have gotten hit pretty badly). Their business depends upon those pipelines, the things that are intrinsic to the city. They’ll be there. Of course they’ll need workers, too. And, for now (or whenever NOLA gets back on its feet), those workers will have to come from across the river. Or from upriver. Or from ghettos in Uptown.