The Public Design Intern Program is one year old and we’ve been working on a variety of projects since its inception. Public Design Interns have professional degrees in architecture, landscape architecture or planning, and are hired as staff at the GCCDS. Interns spend 75% of their time working alongside fulltime staff and the other 25% working on coursework, including more exploratory studio projects as well as evening seminars and visits from outside professionals. At the conclusion of the yearlong program, interns receive a graduate certificate in Public Design from the College of Art, Architecture + Design at Mississippi State University. Two new intern positions will be hired for the Spring 2012 semester. Here’s a look at some of the projects that the current interns have been working on:
Howard Avenue Streetscape
This project comprises a streetscape improvement and preliminary development plan for historic downtown Biloxi, which together aim to improve the city’s central public space and enliven the district with increased traffic and civic activity, fostering a sense of downtown identity. Initial proposals include opening Vieux Marche to two-way traffic and re-establishing Howard Avenue as the primary downtown thoroughfare. The project also introduces a more streamlined streetscape that includes parking, street trees, stormwater management, street lights, pedestrian bulbs, awnings, crosswalks and ample sidewalk space.
Port Road Community Engagement
This project entailed research and design work focused on the potential impacts of an impending port expansion and new port connector road in Gulfport, MS. We have worked with a number of local community groups in an effort to research likely externalities of expansion and visualize the proposed road as it affects adjacent neighborhoods. Primary accomplishments so far include extensive mapping of the proposed road and surrounding communities, research regarding environmental and public health impacts, and a precedent study of roadway design interventions.
Vacant Land Study
The vacant land study is just beginning and comprises an investigation of vacant property in East Biloxi. The project aims to develop a vacant land reuse plan for East Biloxi, including land typology, proposed programs, policy recommendations, and implementation strategies that highlight the various roles of public, private and community stakeholders.