Economic development, land use and public infrastructure—across the country, cities contend with these three challenges daily. In many ways, the City of Atlanta is no different.
In her first State of the City speech, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, “We are committed to bringing Atlanta together, so that every person and every community is empowered to contribute and share in the prosperity our city has to offer.”
Addressing these issues, creating opportunity within cities — these are things city leaders can do to empower their community. And at the Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) 2018 Conference in Atlanta, city leaders are invited to hear from changemakers in the Atlanta community: city officials, the business community, agencies and the area’s leading women.
The three major projects outlined below are a part of a larger plan to revitalize Atlanta and create opportunity at every level.
1. The Atlanta BeltLine
Using the former railroad corridors that once surrounded the city, the Atlanta BeltLine was designed to connect 45 Atlanta neighborhoods and transform connectivity and transportation within the city. In addition to 33 miles of multi-use trail, 2,000 acres of park land and 22 miles of modern streetcar, the BeltLine also supports affordable workforce housing, economic development and environmental clean-up. Today, the BeltLine features four open trails, two trails under construction and the largest temporary art exhibition in the south.
2. Economic Development Efforts at Fort McPherson
A former United States military base in Southwest Atlanta, Fort McPherson closed in 2011, leaving the base and its land untouched and unused. But in 2015, the Fort Mac LRA (McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority), was entrusted with transforming and reinvesting in the Fort and the surrounding area. Their vision: a walkable, mixed-use retail development, a historic village, office and medical office space and market-rate multifamily developments. In some ways, their vision is already coming to life: Tyler Perry, the most successful African American filmmaker in history, has installed a new 330-acre studio on the decommissioned base.
3. Invest Atlanta’s Work in Vine City and English Avenue
Aptly named, Invest Atlanta is the City of Atlanta’s economic development agency and is tasked with implementing the city’s redevelopment efforts. One of their efforts is focused on promoting positive development within the Westside TAD (Tax Allocation District). Located in central Atlanta, the neighborhoods covered in the Westside TAD, including Vine City and English Avenue, have experienced disinvestment and population decline over the past several decades. By capitalizing on the legacy of public infrastructure investments like Centennial Olympic Park and using financial and tax incentives, the Westside TAD aims to foster the development of connections adjoining neighborhoods; develop infill projects to eliminate development gaps, remove blighted conditions and expand redevelopment efforts.
At the 2018 Women in Municipal Government Conference in Atlanta, each of these three redevelopment efforts will be highlighted through in-depth workshops, mobile tours of the city and redevelopment areas and keynote speakers. Learn more about how you can take home best practices and empower your community at the 2018 WIMG Conference. See the full schedule here.
About the author: Meri St. Jean is a Communications Specialist at the National League of Cities.