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Here is a schedule for this week, annotated with contact information for each of the speakers we have been meeting with.
At long last, a syllabus for the semester.
Students from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning joined our MSU and University of Minnesota students today for a week of site exploration.
This is them with ecologist, Jim Kelly, under the Ruskin Oak. And some of us canoeing in the bayous of East Biloxi.
Some links that might be useful in your research on existing plans.
- The City of Biloxi’s current comprehensive plan from 1996.
- Warnke Community Consulting’s survey and plan for East Biloxi, after Katrina.
- The Mississippi Renewal Forum’s Biloxi Plan, and some of their other materials.
- Living Cities and Goody Clancy’s Moving Forward: Recommendations for Rebuilding East Biloxi.
And a bunch of articles on various aspects of redevelopment and planning in the Gulf Coast after Katrina.
- “Rebuilding After Katrina: Can New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Face the Hard Questions?” by James Russell in Architectural Record, June 2006.
- “Katrina Dried Up Rental Market,” by Mike Stuckey in Rising From Ruins, a series by MSNBC.
- “The Lower Ninth Battles Back,” by Rebecca Solnit in The Nation, September 10, 2007.
- “Rebuild or Retreat: US Debates Evacuation of Gulf Coastline,” by Ewan MacAskill in The Guardian, October 11, 2007.
- “The Future of the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” by Jeff Hwang at The Motley Fool, May 14, 2007.
Several New York Times pieces:
- “New Scheme Preys on Desperate Homeowners.” July 3, 2007.
- “Casinos Boom in Katrina’s Wake As Cash Pours In.” July 16, 2007.
- “Record Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ Is Predicted.” July 18, 2007.
- “FEMA Faulted on Response to Risks in Trailers.” July 20, 2007.
- “Who Will Pay for the Next Hurricane?” August 25, 2007.
- “Katrina All The Time.” August 31, 2007.
- “More Housing Woes in Mississippi.” September 27, 2007.
- “Stalled Health Tests Leave Storm Trailers in Limbo.” October 18, 2007.
- “Many Children Struggling After ’05 Storms.” December 7, 2007.
- “Mississippi to Use Some Hurricane Aid for Housing Program.” January 24, 2008.
I came across a list today of storms that have caused significant damage in Biloxi in the past 40 years. Among the other aspects of site analysis you are already addressing, someone should look into the extents of these storms. They are:
- Hurricane Betsy (1965)
- Hurricane Camille (1969)
- Hurricane Elena (1985)
- Hurricane Georges (1998)
- Tropical Storm Allison (2001)
- Tropical Storm Isidore (2002) (I think this one may have been a hurricane.)
- Hurricane Katrina (2005)
Apparently, there were also ones in 1906, 1916, and 1947, before storms were being systematically named.
There’s now a page for the narratives assignment. Please upload your PDFs to the page.
The Gulf Coast Community Design Studio is a nonprofit organization providing architectural design and neighborhood planning services to communities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. This Spring, GCCDS offers its second service-learning semester of study in East Biloxi. This is the blog of their planning studio, a description of which follows.
The Spring 2008 Studio. In its architectural and community planning work in East Biloxi, the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio has identified low-lying areas of the peninsula as presenting special challenges. Base flood requirements are directly related to topography such that houses in low areas may be elevated as much as 17’-0” above the ground, increasing the costs and difficulty of construction, and presenting challenges to neighborhood design. Low-lying areas also present increased risk of future damage during even mild storm events. The low-lying areas historically absorb the overflow of nearby wetlands during storm events, and development in these areas hinders that function, ultimately intensifying storm impacts.
Responding to similar concerns, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is predicated on the idea that destroyed buildings on high-risk sites should not be rebuilt. Instead the land should become open space, protected from future development. However, without a comprehensive planning process, mitigated properties would become a haphazard set of vacant lots and would not create community benefits, either socially or ecologically. The Planning Studio will create a carefully considered mosaic of three well-defined land uses:
– preserved wetlands connected to the Gulf which would be large enough and have enough continuity to be ecologically complete;
– programmed public space such as walking trails, playgrounds, and meeting places that would create a connected landscape that would be well-used and well-loved by the community; and
– complete neighborhoods of elevated buildings taking full advantage of the nearby open space.
The semester’s work will be focused around the Auguste Bayou in East Biloxi, a waterway extending from Biloxi’s Back Bay into the heart of residential neighborhoods in which the GCCDS is working.
The Participants. This semester, students from the College of Architecture, Art + Design at Mississippi State University and the College of Design at University of Minnesota will spend the semester in Biloxi. A group of students from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT will take part in a parallel studio in Cambridge.