New Orleans' founders had a clue
Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants: New Orleans: A Prediction: "The historic district seems to have mostly escaped"
Hmmm, so its the newer bits that are underwater? Strange.....
Never happens in the UK. You never get property developers looking round and saying "Wow, look at all that flat land no one has built on yet. Wonder why they call it a flood plain..."
BTW: I noticed someone mentioned the fact that New Orleans was built on a flood plain - no, it is in a basin ( except the old part).