So, What's With the Name?

Okay, it has taken me a little while to figure out exactly what, how and when I'm going to be posting here.  I recently changed the theme from Green Living in Atlanta (GreenPeaches) to New Urbanism and Smart Growth in Roswell and the Metro Area (New Urban Roswell).  Here's a little bit of what was behind my thinking.  First, I think that there are already enough people and businesses covering green news in Atlanta.  A couple of note are MyGreenATL and SoutheastGreen.  They are doing a good job keeping up with events and news around town.  Second, I didn't think that I was adding anything new to the conversation.  The echo chamber that is the blogosphere sometimes seems a bit pointless and if I'm saying the same thing as someone else, it's a waste of everyone's time.  Finally, to be frank, I have been a little disappointed in the green movement lately.  It seems that it has been over commercialized and greenwashing rules the day.  So, I decided to move on to a subject that is still within the realm of the green movement that I am much more passionate about.

I have been a devotee of New Urbanism and Smart Growth since 2002 when I picked up a copy of Suburban Nation.  I've read it several times and can't recommend it enough to anyone who is interested in the subject.  It is actually the book that spurred my interest in the green movement.  So, I look at this change as if I am going back to the roots of my interests.  In 2007, my wife and I put our money where our heart is and bought a home in Baxter Village a new urbanist community in Fort Mill, SC fully expecting to be there for years.  Unfortunately, like many families, our dreams were ended by the great recession.  We sold and move back to Atlanta.  Fortunately, we still had our jobs. 

We moved to Roswell because it already had so many new urbanist characteristics.  When you look at the historic district, it already has:

- Mixed Use Zoning and Housing

- Traditional Neighborhood Structure

- Quality Architectural Design

- Higher Density

- Easy Access to Parks

- Civic Institutions

- Walkability

All of these are new urban characteristics and the historic district has had them for years.  Now, don't get me wrong, it's not perfect but it is a great example of the way neighborhoods used to be and can be in the future with the right attention and effort.

The point of this blog is to inform and educate our readers on the topics of new urbanism and smart growth and how they can help make Roswell and Atlanta a better place to live.  From time to time, we will also chime in on sustainability and green living since the subjects often cross paths.  I hope that 

Some of what I will be working on regularly on this site will be along the same theme as the GreenPeaches blog while other things will not.  I will be doing a weekly or bi-weekly news flash similar to the Peach Bites posts on the GreenPeaches blog.   Some of the projects that are new to the blog are the Smart Growth for Roswell project as well as the Atlanta Rankings project.  Smart Growth for Roswell will actually take the subjects discussed in The Smart Growth Manual by Andres Duany and Jeff Speck and apply them one at a time to Roswell.  We will look at what the city is already doing to promote smart growth and what they can and should be doing.  We will also take a look around the Atlanta area to find great examples that can easily be applied to Roswell.  The Atlanta Rankings project will be a compendium of links to news stories, magazine articles and journals that rank the city of Atlanta and/or cities in the metro area on anything from best place to live to the most business friendly communities.  My objective there is to have a better idea of where our region stands when compared to others.

I hope that you enjoy our new format.  I look forward to beginning an engaging website to bring forth ideas that will help make our city and region a better place to live.

Mike Hadden