In the wake of a recent annexation to the west that more than doubled the geographic size of the community, Gautier's primary opportunity lies in leveraging the economic and scenic value of its land without biting the hand of potential ecotourism. This overlay shows options for creating a viable center, shoreline development that is consistent with the community's ecotourism goals, preservation of park lands, and connections between the downtown, a potential light rail stop, and Hwy 90.
With an influx of new residents about to come knocking, Ocean Springs needs to look for development opportunities in key areas; e.g., Highway 90 as it enters the town; and the harbor, which holds options for mixed-use development. The images above show options for waterfront development. The top image depicts a more fortified approach to deflect storm surges, with an elevated promenade facing the boat slips. Parking and limited retail are located on the ground floor. The bottom option allows for more retail on the ground floor and assumes this level can be waterproofed, an approach that has met with success in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.
Bay St. Louis
The overlay above demonstrates the Bay St. Louis design team's preliminary approach to linking the town's three traditional commercial areas into a greater whole. Several "gateway" opportunities exist also, including an entry from Highway 90 to the beach, and between Waveland the Bay St. Louis. Connections are also a high priority, and include options for additional routes to I-10, plus connecting an existing historic train depot to the traditional main street.
As demonstrated by the overlay image above, Long Beach opportunities include the creation of a civic square half a mile from the beach at the north end of Main Street (small red rectangle), which would anchor that street and help to solve an existing traffic flow problem. A pair of pedestrian-oriented streets could connect the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast campus to Main Street (parallel broken lines). And a scenic parkway could wind through a wetlands area to the north of downtown, creating a more direct route to I-10.
Biloxi holds great potential for redevelopment of its existing assets. Suggestions for rebuilding and renewal include the creation of a strong, downtown, mixed-use area linked via intensified urban typologies along the beach to a casino district within walking distance. Highway 90 could be transformed into a more pedestrian-friendly drive, with an electric trolley or other type of public transportation.
A new waterfront for D'Iberville is proposed, with waterfront gaming and a French Quarter as its highlights. I-15 could be extended, connecting to ecological areas and turning D'Iberville into a commercial hub. Additionally, an extension to Popps Ferry Road could complete this thoroughfare, transforming it into a viable alternate route to Highway 90.
Gulfport hosts the only area along the Gulf Coast that has abundant land south of Highway 90. This area could become an extension of Gulfport's downtown, redeveloped into a mixed-use "docklands" district that includes not only industrial uses, but also residential, retail, cultural and park uses. Because the district would occupy land donated by the Jones family, it could be named the Bert Jones Yacht Basin, to honor a Jones family member.
Reviving the historic character of Moss Point's main street can be achieved through the construction of a new city hall and police station, a renovation and addition to the fire station, the addition of other mixed-use buildings, and an expansion and enhancement of the waterfront. The expansion of Highway 63 damaged Main Street's character; this could be recovered by adding a streetcar route in a planted median, which also doubles as a turn lane. The scale of the street could be returned to a more human scale by reducing the distance between the buildings.
Major interventions are proposed for Pascagoula's street network, including a new streetcar line, expansion of the waterfront park, and redevelopment of the west riverfront.
The primary design goal for Waveland is to bring back the noteworthy characteristics of the community, while enforcing those that weren't as clear before the storm. Waveland's main street was difficult to find; the design team proposes enforcing the existing St. Joseph Street to make it more visually obvious and more connected to Highway 90, so that visitors can more easily locate Main Street. An additional approach can be taken to the east, by lengthening Nicholson Avenue to draw further attention to its southern stretch, which is lined by live oaks. Coleman Avenue could benefit from new buildings to fill in its gaps, including a new town hall, a new American Legion Hall, and a public pavilion, among other additions.