Written by Dawn Landau:
From my early days with the Virginia Highland Business Association and certainly since we participated in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, I have followed the Atlanta city planning efforts fairly closely. I was an early adopter of “The Atlanta BeltLine WILL Happen” mantra (much to the delight of many clients, I might add) and have a general curiosity as to how this lumbering machine of infrastructure, policy makers and residents that we call Atlanta, brings an idea to life. So, whenever possible, I attend forums and meetings where those folks who are responsible for planning and development, are speaking.
This time it was the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum, held on Wednesday, Dec 6 at St Luke’s Episcopal Church on Peachtree at Linden, making it VERY convenient for me. 😊 The speakers, along with the moderator, Bill Bolling, were: Tim Keane, Commissioner of City Planning; Stephanie Stuckey, Chief Resilience Officer; Catherine Buell, Atlanta Housing Authority CEO; and Andre Dickens, Councilmember, Post 3 At Large.
I’ll offer my personal note below on each speaker and encourage you to contact some or all of these leaders via Twitter (links below).
I was a little late, so he had already started speaking. Hopefully I didn’t miss much. Tim has been our commissioner of planning for several years now and has taken on a full rework of our zoning codes. It’s a massive project. I was expecting to hear a lot about that process and was impressed that he presented The Atlanta City Design (Aspiring to the Beloved Community). View the e-book here. It is a book published by the Department of Planning that is divided into 3 sections after a Beloved Community introduction, the sections are: Identity, Urgency and Design. READ IT. You can download a copy online.
Follow Tim on Twitter (@TimKeaneATL)
I have heard quite a bit from a friend about Stephanie Stuckey and was very interested to find more about the Office of Resilience. Obviously, I haven’t had my finger consistently on the pulse of city planning! What I found out: Resilient Urban Communities help us meet our full human potential by preparing for sudden shocks and chronic stressors. Examples: Shocks: floods, elections, cyber terrorism, road collapses, etc; Stressors: homelessness, affordable housing, inefficient public transit, poor air quality, etc. Please consider learning more about this topic at a newly launched site, Resilient Atlanta.
I also learned that Atlanta was selected to participate in 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100 Resilient Cities). The effort is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. Learn more by visiting their website.
Follow Stephanie on Twitter (@StuckeyStop)
The Atlanta Housing Authority has been busy. Currently, they serve 22,533 families. They are also developing mixed use, affordable housing developments all over the city. A few are noted below:
- Herndon Square (English Ave) – a mixed use community near the new stadium that will be a $150M mixed-use project with 700 residential units + retail space.
- Englewood Manor (Chosewood, south BeltLine area) another mixed-use development with a variety of housing types and retail.
- Juniper and 10th (Midtown) – I’ve been driving by this exciting project all year. The building is going to be gorgeous and will provide 149 affordable housing units to Atlanta elderly and non-elderly disabled residents.
Follow Catherine on Twitter (@AHACatherine)
Andre spoke about legislation, given his city council role. “Inclusionary Zoning” was a big topic. Apparently, BeltLine Developers are now required to set aside 10-15% of their units as workforce housing. I understand this concept and it’s complex. Hopefully I can report back on this topic in the future.
Follow Andre on Twitter (Andre Dickens)