The October 1st edition of the British weekly newspaper the ECONOMIST has an article captioned "Counting the Missing" and discussing the demographics of NOLA! Declining 29% from the last census in 2000 the Economists states the current 2010 decennial census reveals that it had 343,829 inhabitants. Personally I doubt that given the Brookings Institution continuing Katrina analysis and documentation. But even at that it still ranks only number 52 of USA cities. In 1840 according to the article it was the third largest city in the USA.
Well there is no specific way to document when a specific locality has recovered from a disaster. So based on population alone no recovery for NOLA. But I would argue for a different metric! Is that population more or less likely to suffer a reoccurrence of the disaster based on its recovery efforts? This implicitly means of course was the recovery effort wasted. Well in NOLA until the next event no. But if the event is anywhere near a CATEGORY 3-5 hurricane or record flooding on the MISSISSIPPI River or a record meterologic event then NOLA will have been revealed as not a sound investment at all. Those who permanently relocated out of NOLA [an unknown number but estimated to be over 100,000] will have been the wise ones.
And note flood walls are still deficient and internal pumping stations still inadquate even for localized events. The plugging of MRGO continues.
Personally I would give up the notion of NOLA as a port and end maintenance and operation of the OLD RIVER CONTROL structure and thereby eliminate one major threat to NOLA--the Mississippi River. As always could be wrong!