City of Mobile releases vision for Brookley by the Bay

Feb 16, 2023

This month, the City of Mobile released an ambitious new vision for Brookley by the Bay, a 98-acre waterfront site just south of downtown adjacent to the Mobile Aeroplex.

Located at the mouth of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, the Mobile waterfront was once an abundant mosaic of tidal marshes, forested wetlands, and shallow lagoons. Since its establishment as a major port in the 18th century, the city has become a regional economic hub—a positive transformation that has also, over time, separated residents from the water’s edge. At Brookley by the Bay, a collective vision for a 98-acre waterfront park presents an opportunity to reconnect residents back to Mobile Bay, immersed in the lush native ecosystems of southern Alabama.

Incorporating feedback from a series of workshops with partners, stakeholders, councilmembers, and the public, the team crafted a vision that weaves together programmatic areas and ecological restoration into an iconic waterfront park that connects people to the Mobile waterfront, draws on the site’s unique history, and fosters stewardship into its future. Linking up with existing and planned open space projects including Broad Street, the Crepe Myrtle Trail, and the Mobile County Blueway, the vision prioritizes safe and equitable access for all Mobile residents, strengthening pedestrian and bike connections between downtown and communities along Dog River.

Three distinct shoreline experiences bring people down to the Bay: a tranquil beach and amphitheater to the north, an interactive shoreline with get-downs to the east, and a more active, programmed shoreline with continuous water access to the south. Stitched together by two paths—a meandering shared-use path encircling the perimeter and a central multi-modal loop at the park’s core—the vision balances sweeping, open spaces for flexible use with more intimate areas for gathering, education, and exploration. Undulating berms and swales guide visitors to the water from the park’s center, framing expansive views while also functioning as a layered protection system for both stormwater and coastal flooding.

Brookley by the Bay proposes a legacy open space for Mobile that would transform the city’s relationship with its waterfront—establishing a more resilient, accessible, and enduring space for generations to come.

The vision was developed collaboratively by a design team comprised of Volkert (as prime), SCAPE, Moffatt & Nichol, Freddie Stokes, and Thompson Engineering.

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