Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

David Gladstone

Second Advisor

Shirley Laska

Third Advisor

Jeffrey D. Ehrenreich

Fourth Advisor

John R. Logan


As a result of development pressures and water resource struggles, once rural, spatially segregated coastal commercial fishing villages along the U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico are increasingly tourist frontiers for elites and the emergent businesses that cater to them. Over the course of the twentieth century, water events, from coastal land loss to hurricane destruction to natural disaster, have fast-tracked development projects that have allowed for the expansion of the tourism sector, and relaxed policies to encourage bold new economic development initiatives that often put poor coastal communities and their environment in jeopardy. This outcome is not universal across the northern Gulf Coast, but contingent on a number of local factors overlooked in the literature on coastal tourism and water policy development. This paper investigates the local nuances that have emerged as responses to global and regional development pressures by focusing on the ways in which local values and policy decisions have influenced the spread of coastal urbanization. An intensive analysis will examine the layered effects of changing land-use patterns and tourism growth pressures on three at-risk coastal communities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, in the United States. This paper will test the hypothesis that coastal communities affected by a similar set of development pressures respond to these forces in different ways, depending on complex local and regional variabilities. The paper’s focus is centered on Northern Gulf Coast tourism growth patterns from post-World War II through 2018, and employs a mixed method, multiple-sited case-study design.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Table of Contents Formatted.doc (37 kB)
Table of Contents

Title Page Formatted.doc (27 kB)
Title Page