Atlanta is known for its lush green landscape. But real Atlanta is found in its unique tapestry of neighborhoods from Bankhead to Buckhead; the Victorian homes of Grant Park to the skyscrapers in Midtown; to working class neighborhoods like Chosewood Park and English Avenue.
The city planning office tracks more than 250 individual neighborhoods. That amazing diversity is a big part of what makes Atlanta special. As Atlanta’s next mayor, I will lead the effort to protect and preserve our neighborhoods, even as we grow. (Atlanta Regional Commission projects nearly 2.5 million new residents over the next 25 years).
ZONING and DEVELOPMENT
It has been nearly 40 years since the city adopted a new zoning code. Our city cannot become all that it should be without the guidance of a proper regulatory system that incorporates a unified direction and vision for the city. I support community and citizen input as we restructure the zoning ordinance and the city’s development regulations. As we do that, the city needs to see development move south of I-20 to balance growth in Atlanta. We need more vertical development, more mixed-use projects and greater density—but it must value the community.
NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING UNITS (NPUs)
As the city changes its development regulations, we should also look at the public participation system created decades ago. The NPU system has provided great service to the city. But it is time to look at updating it and rooting out inconsistencies to make sure the feedback provided represents the entire community. We should look at incorporating modern technology to get greater participation. We should also take every chance for developers and residents to work on the front end to make sure developments are a win for everyone.
PARKS and GREENSPACE
By all the traditional measures, Atlanta has less parkland than most of its peer cities. My administration would make adding greenspace a priority. I would like to see more trails built to connect communities. We should build out the Westside Park and make every effort to create a park using the old Prison Farm in southeast Atlanta. I am also committed to expanding the network of community gardens to give more people the job of producing food and help them eat healthier food from a nutritious diet.