In the recovery efforts that followed the 2005 hurricanes in New Orleans, architecture and infrastructure were mobilized as strategies of political activism. For the Lower Ninth Ward neighbourhood in particular, long neglected by municipal government and severely damaged by the hurricanes, involving architecture and infrastructure in political negotiations was critical. In an especially vivid example, the neighbourhood's first responses to the disaster employed architecture as a defensive strategy. Confronted with municipal threats to condemn the neighbourhood as unfit for human habitation, neighbourhood activists [Page 535]initiated architectural projects to assert the neighbourhood's right to remain. This strategy was marked in its contrast to neighbourhood activism before the 2005 hurricanes, when infrastructure was the focus of negotiations with the city for improved living conditions. ...