I have read two articles in the last couple of days that have implied just that.
In the T-P:
Like many cities, New Orleans has evolved at varying speeds, growing steadily into one of the most powerful and wealthy cities in America by the turn of the 20th century, eventually swelling to a metropolis of 630,000, and then beginning a slow decline in population and influence.And in the Philadelphia Inquirer (in the Arts and Entertainment section, no less):
The way Tulane University School of Architecture Dean Reed Kroloff sees it, Hurricane Katrina sent the clock into overdrive, knocking New Orleans over the precipice toward which the city had long been headed.
Laughlin's photos, which curator Katherine Ware gathered together quickly from the museum's extensive collection of his work, are a timely reminder that decay has always been integral to New Orleans's identity. The city was already falling into ruin when he first trained his surreal eye on the place in the late 1930s. Katrina merely accentuated the condition.Look, New Orleans wasn’t perfect. But it wasn’t going to blow up any time soon. There were and are too many good people here to let that happen.
If it was inevitable that New Orleans would fall into ruin, it is inevitable that New Orleans will rise from ruin. That’s a newspaper article I would like to read.