Climate change plays a part but is not the sole culprit. New Orleans, where I spent considerable time post-Katrina as Recovery Czar, is a classic example of city sprawl. The city had almost 15,000 vacant units of housing in its core when the storm hit in 2005. City leaders had expanded the city into surrounding swamplands from 1965 to 1990, doubling the geographic size of the city. So when the storm hit, the city was expanded beyond the bulwarks of levees, leaving the entire city vulnerable to sea surges destroying much of the suburban infrastructureUm... no. No part of the "expanded" New Orleans was situated outside of the hurricane protection system in 2005. That system failed. We can reasonably deduce that it was exposed to an especially powerful storm surge due to the deterioration of Louisiana's wetlands. We can also reasonably speculate that this was compounded by higher sea levels resulting from climate change. But mainly the system failed because it was insufficiently designed and constructed. The US Army Corps of Engineers has admitted this publicly.
One would like to think that Dr. Blakely would have read about this himself, or at least, that the topic might have come up in conversation during his tenure here. But since he's got this "sprawl causes destruction" thing he's trying to sell, none of those things actually matter to him.