April 24, 2014

Improving Quality of Life Along Broad Street SW

Community planning workshop in Atlanta to bring together planning experts from around the country to offer pro bono assistance to identify immediate, coordinated, next-steps for improving the Broad Street SW corridor.

CHICAGO — Ambitious redevelopment plans for Broad Street SW have not yet been fully realized. Despite its location within the South Central Business District of Downtown Atlanta, the area is dominated by numerous vacant lots and vacant buildings. Recent efforts have made progress toward improving the area, but work remains in order to truly gain the necessary momentum and coordination for long-lasting impact.

Planners from around the country will volunteer their time to work side-by-side with community stakeholders on Saturday, April 26, 2014, as part of the American Planning Association's Community Planning Workshop. The goal of the day-long workshop is to establish coordinated, immediate next steps to spur innovation and investment in the neighborhood. The efforts will focus around the concept of placemaking — the deliberate shaping of an environment to facilitate social interaction and improve a community's quality of life.

Workshop participates will focus on three key initiatives:

  • Enhancing quality of life — improving safety and cleanliness, addressing crime and homelessness;
  • Creating a pop-up community — using tactical urbanism such as special events and marketing to highlight the area's unique character;
  • Investing in the public realm — connecting sidewalks, improving quality of public spaces, enhancing signs, aesthetics, and public art.

Workshop participants will take a tour of the Broad Street SW neighborhood Saturday morning. The afternoon will be spent working in groups with community representatives to identify roadblocks to implementing the community's visions; actions to take to encourage community confidence; and next steps for implementation. The group will present their work late Saturday afternoon. A final report will be produced following the workshop with recommendations and will be available at www.planning.org/communityassistance/.

The Community Planning Workshop is sponsored by APA's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners. The workshop is held in conjunction with APA's National Planning Conference being held in Atlanta from April 26–30.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic, and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with almost 40,000 members worldwide in nearly 100 countries.


Roberta Rewers, APA Public Affairs; 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org

APA Media Office in Atlanta (April 26-30): 404-222-5302

Wilma Sothern, Central Atlanta Progress; 404-658-5910; wilmas@atlantadowntown.com