Professor Blakely was called in by then president George W Bush as "recovery tsar" after Katrina and has now been commissioned by Parramatta City Council to rebuild its central square, Church Street Mall.
He says the task in New Orleans was massive.
"The city fell down. 80 per cent of it was ruined," Professor Blakely said.
"We had to build it from the ground up and that's what we did.
"But I worked on a lot of other cities around the world: San Francisco, some in New York, Moscow, Paris."
"There's a lot of talent in this community, why not display it here?" Professor Blakely said.
"Have talent contests, kids contests and so on. Flower shows, all that kind of stuff can be done now. We don't have to wait until the end of the process."
The square redevelopment is slated for completion by June next year at a cost of up to $2 million.
"We're not going to plan, we're going to do," Professor Blakely said.
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