Andres Duany Has Plans for Atlanta

image courtesy of Atlanta Regional Commission/Duany Plater-Zyberk

I saw this one in Creative Loafing today. I got pretty excited because Andres Duany is truly one of my green heroes. He co-authored one of the most influential books on New Urbanisim ever written, Suburban Nation . His firm designed the master plan for Vickery Village in Forsyth County which is one of the Area's best examples of New Urbanism. They also designed the most famous New Urbanism development ever, Seaside. Needless to say, to have someone this influential focusing on areas in Atlanta is quite a big deal.

Duany and his firm Duany, Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) worked for 9 days in Feb. with a team of urban planners conducting a series of site planning sessions focused on six metro area sites. This is all part of the Atlanta Regional Commission's Lifelong Communities Initiative. The commission brought together experts in the areas of design, architecture, planning, aging and health to craft master plans for sites in Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties as well as the cities of Atlanta, Conyers and Fayetteville.

The focus was on how to build better environments for Atlanta's aging population. It is estimated that one in five Atlanta residents will be over the age of 60 in the year 2030. Even with the focus on the aging population, many of the designs ended up as livable communities that can support the elderly as well as others from all generations. Any follower of New Urbanism will know that the segregation of one group or demographic is almost always a failure of design. Unfortunately, detals of all the site proposals are not available but below are the six projects that were discussed.

  • Atlanta/Beltline
  • Conyers
  • Fayetteville
  • Gwinnett Place
  • Mableton
  • Toco Hills/DeKalb County

You can see Duany's opening remarks here. It's an hour and fifteen minutes so don't watch it at work. The ARC has also archived many of the presentations from the sessions here along with a synopsis of each day's progress.

Although these are just plans and likely won't be realized in their current form, it is good to know that Atlanta is getting smart about planning andis looking toward a more sustainable future.