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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Rebuilding Mississippi's Gulf Coast

Witold Rybczynski has an interesting story today on Slate about land-use and design issues being considered by communities in Mississippi rebuilding after Katrina.  An excerpt:

In early October, only six weeks after Katrina and under the auspices of the Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal, a six-day planning and urban-design forum involving mayors, citizens, and local and visiting town planners, architects, and design professionals, developed plans for 11 affected coastal cities and towns. The aim was to rethink a number of issues, including how large commercial enterprises such as casinos and big-box stores could be better integrated into their urban surroundings, codes and plans that would help buildings withstand future hurricanes, and regional transportation. In Waveland, a small town near the Louisiana border, for example, the planning team suggested rebuilding devastated areas as mixed-use neighborhoods and proposed inner-block footpaths as well as a trolley line linking the town to other beach communities. This wish list will probably be only partially realized—and only over a long period—but the plan represents a sensible, down-to-earth vision and a useful guide for the recovery process.

Ben Barros

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