National trade publication focuses on Biloxi planning efforts

Biloxi’s effort to update its comprehensive plan is the focus of a three-quarter page story and map in the November issue of “Planning,” the official magazine of the American Planning Association.

The magazine, which boasts a nationwide circulation of more than 73,000 public and private planners, focuses its November issue on planning in small towns and along the waterfront.

Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel told “Planning” senior editor Meghan Stromberg that the city is hoping to meet three challenges as it crafts its comprehensive plan, which replaces a 20-year-old plan rendered obsolete by the damage of Hurricane Katrina. The storm destroyed 6,000 of the city’s 25,000 pre-Katrina structures.

The plan — which also employs the work of the Philadelphia planning firm Wallace, Roberts and Todd — seeks to address three key issues: storm vulnerability; rebuilding in a way that retains the city’s character; and creating a sustainable development pattern and cost-effective public infrastructure as the city grows north, away from the traditional core of the peninsula.

The story, which was accompanied by a multi-color map of the Biloxi peninsula, also gave a nod to the city’s rebuilding efforts:

“Biloxi is rebounding,” the article says. “Its population is up to 48,000 from just over 50,000 before Hurricane Katrina. Construction activity recently has returned after a year-long lull that started last fall when the national economy tanked. ‘As long as we’re receiving phone calls, visits and questions from developers, that tells me that lending is loosening up and there is interest in rebuilding Biloxi,’ Creel says.”

More online: To see the “Planning” cover, which shows Troy, N.Y., and to read the Biloxi story, click here.
For more on the city’s comprehensive plan, click here.

News and notes

Veterans Day holiday: Non-emergency Biloxi municipal offices will be closed Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day.

Traffic update: To see how road construction throughout the city is impacting traffic, click here.