Sometime last year, I believe, NPR had a series of stories following a biologist who was trekking along a straight line through central Africa. It provided a fascinating survey of the changing scene across this part of the continent.
It might be interesting to chart the transect of the city defined by Carrollton Avenue, which runs from the river to the lake (with a name change). It passes through several distinct zones, each with its own history and character. There are changes in ecology/environment, economy, sociology, ethnicity, etc.
For example, the section between St. Charles Ave and Claiborne might be called the tree zone. It is mostly residential and heavily shaded by grand old live oaks. The streetcar is also a major feature. The sidewalk level temperature in summer is lower here, I’d bet, than in the next two or three zones towards the lake. The houses right along the Avenue are quite nice, mostly, and the residents among the city’s more affluent. (Not as affluent as along St. Charles or a few other Avenues, but upper middle class. But, this being New Orleans, go a block or two off Carrollton and the socioeconomic scne changes dramatically.)
The next section, between Claiborne and Earhart, is a transition zone from tree/residential to commercial. Perhaps a little less affluent. Different vegetation, ecosystem.
Then from Earhart to about Tulane Avenue it becomes a commercial zone, rather down at the heels, especially since Katrina, as this area flooded heavily. Potential to become a better commercial zone.
There are several more distinct zones from Tulane to City Park Avenue, where Carrollton Avenue ends, although the road continues under the name Wisner Avenue.