MS Gulf Coast Plan For Opportunity


header image: pier

The federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities has developed six livability principles to encourage more sustainable economies, environments, and social opportunities and to guide regions in their planning efforts.

Livability Principles

  • Provide more transportation choices
  • Promote equitable, affordable housing
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Support existing communities
  • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment
  • Value communities and neighborhoods

Our three-year regional visioning process translated these general principles into distinct goals that make sense and are achievable for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We identified many long-term goals that stakeholders and residents have for our region and included those objectives and recommendations in the final Plan For Opportunity document.

About Us

header image: neighborhood

header image: bayou

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Sustainable Communities Initiative was coordinated by the Gulf Regional Planning Commission and led by four stakeholder committees that involved a diverse group of city and county leaders, key community and public partners and residents of the region.


The four committees include the Executive Committee, a 15 member body representing city and county leadership and key community and public stakeholders. 8 members were drawn from GRPC’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) membership, and the other 7 members were partners with regional interests. They were the decision-making body for the Plan; the Sustainability Working Group was a 45+ member committee who were responsible for guiding goal, policy and content development activities for the Plan; the Regional Governments Committee had 15 members, one official from each city/county of the Gulf Coast region which kept their respective jurisdictions informed about Plan progress; and the Project Management Committee, which consisted of lead partner agencies overseeing complete development of the final document. These partners coordinated all research and outreach for the Plan. Project management partners included:

The final plan was published and made available for public use in February 2014.




The Plan for Opportunity had committees devoted to each of the key areas of sustainability planning included here:

  • Transportation & Land UseMost commuters along the Mississippi Gulf Coast rely on cars for their daily transportation needs due to the spread out nature of development in the region. This has led to challenges and higher household costs for those who live in the suburban or rural areas of the Coast, as well as those that may not […]
    Continue Reading →
  • ResilienceA resilient system has the ability to recover from expected or unexpected circumstances that threaten to destroy a system.  The systems of transportation, housing, food, water and economic development and work force comprise the Plan for Opportunity and each have unique vulnerabilities.  The Plan for Opportunity studied these vulnerabilities and developed recommendations and strategies to […]
    Continue Reading →
  • HousingThe need for more housing options in the region is apparent. Affordable housing is a key issue for many residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Insurance premiums have risen dramatically since Hurricane Katrina, making it difficult for families to remain along the coast and creating a barrier to redevelopment. A few of the strategies developed […]
    Continue Reading →
  • WaterThe people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast enjoy the region’s waters for recreation, as well as employment. Tourists come to the coast to enjoy the beaches, barrier islands, fishing and eco-tourism activities. A key challenge is public perception of water quality, with many visitors not understanding the brown water is a sign of health rather […]
    Continue Reading →
  • Food SystemsFood is an important part of the culture, history and economy of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The region’s residents and visitors enjoy fresh seafood, blueberries and other produce. However, many of the region’s residents lack convenient access to grocery stores selling fresh food. The region’s fishers struggle to earn a living wage due to pricing […]
    Continue Reading →
  • Economic DevelopmentThe Mississippi Gulf Coast has targeted industries that will help grow its economy, such as tourism, shipbuilding, advanced manufacturing and aerospace. For the Mississippi Gulf Coast to continue to rebound from the combined effects of Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill and the national recession and remain competitive, developing an educated, trained, and diverse workforce will […]
    Continue Reading →

header image: shrimp boats

Final Plan

Plan for Opportunity – PDF Version

Plan for Opportunity – iBooks Version

Plan for Opportunity – Kindle Version

Plan for Opportunity – ePub Version

lilly pads

Working Documents

Working Documents were created for each livability principle/Plan chapter. These individual documents were approved by the Working Group, the Executive Committee, and HUD. Working Documents provided information and recommendations that guided the preparation of the final plan; these are not final plan documents.

Please note that these are large PDF files which may take significant time to open and download. Files can be viewed in Adobe Reader (click hereto download for free).

Public Engagement Plan (3 MB)

Assessing Gulf Coast Plans on Regional Livability (2 MB)

Mississippi Gulf Coast Values Survey (3.5 MB)

Mississippi Gulf Coast Food System Assessment (5 MB)
Mississippi Gulf Coast Food System Stakeholder Analysis (1 MB)
Savor the Coast: A Recipe for a Sustainable Coast (6 MB)

Mississippi Gulf Coast Water Assessment (6 MB)
Mississippi Gulf Coast Water Stakeholder Analysis (2 MB)
Tides of Change: A New Wave of Sustainability (2 MB)

Mississippi Gulf Coast Housing Assessment (9.5 MB)
Mississippi Gulf Coast Housing Stakeholder Analysis (660 KB)
Mississippi Gulf Coast Housing Recommendations (1 MB)
Mississippi Gulf Coast Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (2.4 MB)

Regional Economic Development Assessment (13 MB)
Downtown Profile and Assessment (5 MB)
Economic Development and Workforce Stakeholder Analysis (1 MB)
Economic Development and Workforce Recommendations (9 MB)

Regional Land Use Assessment (24 MB)

Mississippi Gulf Coast Transportation Assessment (13.5 MB)
Mississippi Gulf Coast Transportation Stakeholder Analysis (750 KB)
Mississippi Gulf Coast Transportation Recommendations (1 MB)

Mississippi Gulf Coast Air Quality Assessment
Mississippi Gulf Coast Air Quality Stakeholder Analysis

Resilience in the Plan for Opportunity