Chapter 9 is a somewhat starker chapter, as it looks at Chalmette, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area. And it isn’t like the other chapters, as it is not really about reuse of an abandoned building.
Instead, it is the use of the Walmart parking lot — the only local place large enough to hold a small medical centre made up of a series of large double-wide trailers all connected together. Supported by non-profits, for-profits, religious groups, FEMA and Walmart, it got going in the aftermath of Katrina, and at the time of writing (3 years afterwards), it was still running, while the Walmart remained closed. Walmart even let them open a small pharmacy onsite to meet local needs.
However, what I find interesting and for which I wish there was more coverage in the book (admittedly, it is beyond her scope), is the description of how Walmart used its existing large distribution network to help relief efforts. Not unlike nationalization of some industries back in WWI and WWII, from the descriptions.
Yet in the end, the main reason for their use of the parking lot? Location, location, location — it has good transport networks leading to it, everyone can get to it, and it’s easy to find. The same reasons any user would choose the same location.