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Ecocultural PlaceMaking in Mobile, AL—MLA Studio III

MLA Studio III Summer 2016 emphasized natural systems analysis as a basis for site-planning large-scale communities and parks for The Peninsula of Mobile. The Peninsula, located south of downtown near Brookley Field, is also known to locals as “The Parkway,” a five-mile stretch of highway. A one mile section of the Parkway from Levene Road to Cedar Crescent Drive was chosen by local stakeholders as the site for the studio and was renamed “The Miracle Mile.”

The MLA students accessed current existing conditions along The Miracle Mile and focused on the intersection of Gulfdale Drive and Dauphin Island Parkway. Here each of the sixteen MLA 1 students designed a Village Master Plan to incorporate and highlight the complex, multi-layered natural systems and cultural history of the site and selected a site for an individual project. Students met stakeholders that included The Peninsula, a non-profit community group and several community members. “I really enjoyed participating in the final reviews,” said Debi Forster, Director, of The Peninsula community group. “I have a long list of great ideas for our new comprehensive plan, and I look forward to receiving a copy of the student work.”

Students’ work provided an important foundation for envisioning a new community model for The Peninsula, which has been slow to recover since hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Resultant master plans proposed an overall strategy for a new village center, including branding, ecological preserve areas, and regional access routes. Students further explored their concept by preparing a site-specific design for a selected area within The Miracle Mile. Each final design included physical models, master plans, and site plans.  

Taught by Associate Professor Charlene LeBleu, FASLA, AICP and Adjunct Professor Elise Cormier, PLA, Studio III investigates eco-cultural relationships between regional, metropolitan and urban scales with emphasis on physical and social flows.

Click on the sides of the image carousel below to move through student work for this project. To enlarge a thumbnail, hover over the desired image and click on the enlarge icon.