The Official Website of the City of Gulfport

Gulfport On the Edge

Community Conversations to bring people together after 2 years of pandemic and the accompanying economic and workplace changes, and many social and educational disruptions, to explore possibilities for the future of our town.

Picture of Gulfport on the Edge

WHY Gulfport on the Edge?

Tap into people’s knowledge, energy, and resources
Increase awareness and involvement in civic, business and community organizations
Build connections and develop leadership
Create shared visions of a vibrant, resilient community

WHAT did we do?

Brought people together for…

​Inclusive, interesting, safe conversations
Document ideas, data, strategic questions
Opportunities to meet neighbors and kindred spirits
Make connections with community groups
Identify resources for resiliency

Vision Board Slide Narrative

These are some of the key themes that came alive in multiple Gulfport on the Edge conversations.  This includes our strengths and the notable concerns our community members have, and the opportunities we have to make things even better.

Community Leadership
Gulfport on the Edge board
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Leadership in a variety of forms is key to advancing our vision of the future.

    • The City, businesses, community groups, and engaged residents all can play a key role in bringing our future alive.
    • There is an opportunity to build understanding about what issues that the city is specifically positioned to address, and how citizens can help.
  • Where community groups actively identify and collaborate to address specific challenges and opportunities.
  • Build greater awareness about opportunities for residents to serve on boards, task forces. and to volunteer for community organizations and events
  • Encourage voting by providing convenient access to register and vote.


As you know effective Leadership is critical for Gulfport’s future

  • Foster community engagement
  • Celebrate Public Service
  • Promote opportunities for residents to serve on boards, task forces and volunteer for public events and for community organizations
  • Encourage Democracy
  • Get out the Vote
  • Continue to provide safe and convenient access for registering and casting votes


Arts & Culture
Gulfport on the Edge board
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An important and unique part of Gulfport’s identity is as a vibrant Arts community.  It includes:

  • Musical performances, theater, and casino dancing
  • Festivals and street markets, 
  • Galleries, sculpture gardens and murals,
  • Art classes, waterfront yoga, and so much more

The arts bring joy to our lives every day, and are central to our strong quality of life.  

Lets collectively explore how to continue to enhance it!

Said differently…..





keep GULFPORT weird.  A unique FUSION


  • MURALS to please the HEART & MIND

a city sings to HONOR the great JOHN PRINE


  • THEATER in the PARK

a CASINO for DANCING into the dark

Community Engagement & Resiliency
2030 GOE Picture
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    • Gulfport has a unique sense of community.  It’s a place where neighbors know and greet each other.
    • It’s a place where people appreciate the diverse collection of people who live here, and the varied perspectives and talents that diversity brings.
  • Where you can learn about and are inspired by the many actions of others to make Gulfport a wonderful place to live
  • Where newcomers can quickly learn about the strengths, challenges and opportunities that Gulfport has, and how they can contribute.
  • It’s a place where people can easily learn about lots of opportunities to get personally involved.
  • There’s an opportunity to expand the methods for communicating powerfully  – about our current issues & opportunities, and the progress we are making to address them.
  • A Stakeholder Task force comprised of Gulfport residents, business owners and strategic partners could provide a community forum for Collaboration and Problem Solving

Develop and advance strategies and project for building a Resilient and Sustainable community

Climate & Nature
Climate and Nature Photo
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  • Residents love our tropical natural environment and our stunning waterfront. They want to protect it and enhance it.
  • There is an understanding of the significance of and vulnerabilities we face from climate change and rising sea levels, and feel an urgency to take action.
  • There is a desire to learn about and address specific issues and solutions related to flooding, high winds and stormwater management.
  • Its important that all residents know about the vulnerabilities that lie ahead, and be able to take preventative action, and help when emergencies arise.


  • Preserve our fabulous environment – wildlife, water, trees and plants
  • Understanding the risks and vulnerabilities of Climate Change is a priority concern for Gulfport residents ….. and a Call to Immediate Action
  • We are doing a Vulnerability Study and a Stormwater Study
  • Reach out to Educate & Engage the community & strategic partners
  • Harden structures against High Winds and Flooding
  • Design & install Infrastructure for Sea Level Rise and Flood mitigation

Enhance Local Readiness and Emergency Response preparation

Housing – Character, Accessibility & Diversity
Gulfport on the Edge board Design
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Gulfport has a very diverse collection of housing.  There is an awareness of the variety of challenges Gulfport currently faces in regard to strengthening its housing.  People see opportunities:

  • to investigate making Accessory housing easier to build
  • to allow multi-family buildings throughout the city including low-rise mixed-use developments
  • to clean up derelict properties
  • explore how to encourage affordable housing and providing assistance in finding it.
  • encourage a balance of well-regulated short-term rentals while also assuring affordable housing


Incentivize Affordable, Sustainable, and Eco-friendly Housing

  • To increase housing for all ages and incomes, 
  • investigate making Accessory Housing easier to build 
  • allow Multi-Family Units throughout the city 
  • Provide accessible Education on resources available for Housing Assistance
  • what they are for, where to find them, and how to successfully get them
  • Explore opportunities for Funding/Subsidies for affordable art studios and galleries
  • Clean Up derelict properties
  • Encourage a Balance of well-regulated Short Term Rentals with Affordable Housing
  • Incentivize pedestrian friendly low-rise mixed-use developments  with retail shops and food service on ground floor and housing above to serve neighborhoods.


Gulfport On the Edge Summaries, Details, Resources

These are all the elements of the Gulfport on the Edge presentation made to City Council on June 20, 2023.  They may be helpful to people who were not present for the meeting or for those who want to review the material.  Additional information came forward during the Public Comment section of the meeting following the presentation. Click here to watch the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

  • PRESENTATION DECK- Slides that accompanied and illustrated the presentation
  • PRESENTATION SCRIPT – Spoken comments during the presentation.
  • VISION BOARD SUMMARY COMMENTS – These are the summaries of the stories from the future that were documented and compiled at the third Gulfport on the Edge event.  2030: Envisioning Possible Futures
  • 2030 VISUALIZATION – A 5 minute visualization of Gulfport in the year 2030.  Many of these things already exist or are in the works.  Others are aspirations and inspirations that emerged from the visioning process at 2030: Envisioning Possible Futures
  • PHOTO SLIDESHOW – Slideshow of photos from all three events.  Shows the number of people involved, who was there, diversity of ages and interests.



 Executive Summary

o    This may be the most important document in the packet.  The document compiles and edits the notes taken during the table discussions at each of the three events.  The ideas and comments have been summarized with some initial analysis.  The information can be used as a “read” on public sentiment, diagnosis of priority concerns and perceptions, validation of positive attributes, as well as opportunities for improved communication and new programming.


  • Inviting and encouraging participation took many forms.  Hundreds of flyers were posted around town. Thousands of invitations with dates and topics were available at businesses and handed out to individuals and groups.  Press releases were sent to the media.  Posts were made on Facebook and other social media.  Leaders of faith, social, civic and youth organizations were encouraged to invite their congregations and members.  Announcements were made at the Gulfport Merchants Chamber meetings.  Civic groups were invited to staff tables at the last event to make information available and encourage participation and membership.
  • These efforts took hundreds of volunteer hours in personal connections as well as writing and sending out letters that informed and invited community leaders and groups.  While the event turnout was stellar, it was noticeable that the participation from the different wards and community sectors was uneven.   A large majority of the participants live or work in Ward 2.


  • An informal poll of participants at each event indicated that there was a fairly equal number of people who have lived in Gulfport for over 25 years, from 10 – 25 years, from 3 – 10 years, and 3 years or less.  Overall, a slight majority of participants have lived in Gulfport less than 10 years.  We did not assess who lives here full-time or part-time.
  • There was also a diversity of ages, trending toward over 45 but with a good representation of younger people, including some teens and even a few children.  The biggest disappointment was that the events did not attract people from the Black community.  Efforts were made to encourage their participation but only a few non-white people participated.  This indicates an opportunity and necessity for concerted efforts to attract people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds as well as involve the youth in any future activities.


  • Even though we were self-funded and had no mandate or authority, we wanted to capture as much information as possible from the participants.   Having people post their area codes illustrated the many different regions that Gulfportians come from.  We had people put dots on a map indicating where they live in Gulfport and which ward they are in.  Not everyone stopped by the “stations” to mark this information.  Likewise, even though we asked people to register and had people who hadn’t previously registered sign in, a few people missed that step.  The attendee lists are as accurate as we could make them.



o    This is a compilation of feedback from the participants in the first event.  Most of the ideas have been incorporated into the Summary document above.


2030: Envisioning Possible Futures in Gulfport

The following is the visualization that was delivered as part of the Gulfport on the Edge presentation to Gulfport City Council on June 20, 2023

 So far we’ve seen and heard some of the ideas brought to life by our community members. On our screen, you’ll see snapshots of our fellow Gulfportians who literally built this vision. While they continue to build, I would like to invite you to experience it. Let’s go on a guided journey to immerse ourselves in the year 2030. Before we begin, let me say that a full journey of our city would take hours. This is just a few minutes to begin the story and leave room for possibilities.

If you’ve never experienced a guided visualization, no worries. Just intend to listen and know that if your mind wanders, that is ok too. I invite you to close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Welcome to the year 2030. Imagine yourself preparing to meander through Gulfport. You can be on an e-bike or golf cart or hoverboard for this journey.

Let’s begin in the North corner of town, on the Pinellas trail coming into 49th St. You feel safe and comfortable riding here because there is a dedicated lane with planters protecting you from the car traffic. The brightly colored businesses and large trees create a beautiful backdrop for your ride.

As you near Tangerine Park, you hear the familiar sound of water splashing. You round the corner to see the Splash Pad in all its glory with children laughing and whooping. It’s a breezy day and you feel a light mist across your face as you cruise on by.

Continuing your journey, past Tomlinson and down 58th, feel the slight vibration under your tires from the recycled wood “Park Connector” trail. You know it was chosen as an eco-friendly alternative and don’t mind a few bumps.

You arrive on Gulfport Boulevard and notice the vibrant performance arts mural at Gateway Plaza.  You turn onto the Clymer trail and keep going.

Clymer Park welcomes you with the earthy aroma of the expanding food forest. Volunteers tend to the plants, and take a moment to wave as you pass by. The scent of freshly composted soil reminds you to bring your compost back later today for the city program. You continue down the path through Clymer past the tool library, music pavilion and adventure playground.

As you pass the senior multipurpose complex and award-winning library, storytime has just ended and there are dozens of families with small children making their way to the park.

One half of the road is full of pedestrians, bikes and scooters and you can barely remember a time when parking and car traffic was an issue. Downtown Gulfport has become a bike and pedestrian-friendly destination in Pinellas, with charging stations and accessible trails everywhere.

You smile to yourself as you pass the corner store and make a note of the fresh produce they have today.

Pausing for a break at a downtown restaurant, you settle in the shade, and feel the texture of the chair beneath you and the coolness of the table surface.

The air is filled with the sounds of live music, clinking glasses, and the rustling of pages as people read The Gabber. You feel a sense of belonging and connection to the vibrant community around you. As you look around, you’re happy to see tables full of diverse, multi-generational friends and families, all feeling at home in Gulfport.

You overhear a conversation between two locals. “It’s so odd to think that there was a time when we didn’t have solar panels, accessible trails and charging stations.” the other replies “Yeah. I think it started after the GOE event. With the structure in place, people stepped up even more than they had before and look where we are in just 7 years!”.

You leave the restaurant and walk down to the beach, past a local workshop led by one of your neighbors about living shorelines. They showcase marine life, shore birds and even the oyster domes and mangroves. The group of kids gathered around are interrupting with eager questions. You continue walking and feel the coolness of the sand beneath your feet.

You pass the buzzing playground and you are struck by how much fun everyone is having. It’s starting to get dark now, and no one seems to notice. Maybe it’s the smart streetlights, the proactive community program or the collaboration we have with the Police department. Whatever it is, you continue walking with a sense of total security and peace.

Making your way up 58th Street you walk past the new co-working space you’ve been wanting to try. Gulfport has adapted to the needs of its workforce and you appreciate the progress it’s made to support both service jobs and remote workers.

As you return home, notice feeling a deep sense of gratitude for Gulfport’s remarkable progress. You’re proud that we have become a model for other cities in Florida. And although it’s come so far, it feels very familiar in many ways. The charm, friendliness and funkiness have not been lost.

As our journey comes to an end, carry this experience of Gulfport’s transformation with you. Open your eyes and return to this present moment. Allow this vision to inspire your own actions, cultivate mindfulness and appreciate the beauty around us.

“After months of planning, recruiting and coordinating a team of about 30 Gulfportians, we produced three community conversation events resulting in the exchange of useful information, new connections, good energy and lots of creative and practical ideas.”

For more information, please contact City Councilmember, April Thanos at, call (727) 826-7138, or submit a contact form below.