Author Archives: Barbara Bowers

Is Atlanta Affordable?

It’s a question I’m often ask as the executive director of an organization whose mission is to promote the responsible use of land and build walkable thriving communities. National data suggests that yes, Atlanta is affordable relative to peer cities. 72% of homes are affordable to those earning the area median income according to the Housing Opportunity Index. But if Atlanta were so affordable, why do conversations I have about housing always start with “there’s a tear down on my street that is going for $600,000” or “my cousin has … Read More

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Will the next Mayor of Atlanta tackle affordable housing?

It’s a story that we continue to read every time we open a newspaper. Families are priced out of the better-performing school districts because of rising home prices. Employers are having a tough time retaining staff due to rising rental rates.  Atlanta’s competitive advantage of affordability may be waning. Atlanta’s major problems are twofold: The city is experiencing an affordable housing crisis, not yet rivaling other East Coast cities like Washington, D.C. and Boston, but some predict the writing is on the wall.  And because people cannot afford to live … Read More

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Why we love Atlanta.

This article appeared in the Saporta Report on August 8, 2017. by Ryan Gravel Love is in the air. Don’t get me wrong – it’s easy enough to see Atlanta’s shortcomings. But when you take a minute to see them as opportunities, and when you watch people grab hold of them and make this city their own, it’s hard not to fall in love with Atlanta. In fact, the most common observation I hear from people about why they love this town – why they moved here or what makes … Read More

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The Lovable City

What makes a city lovable? As Atlanta enters a period of transformation, it’s important for city leaders, developers, planners and everyday citizens to take a moment and reflect on what we love most about where we live. That’s why this year’s theme for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Atlanta Awards of Excellence is “The Lovable City” – an invitation to celebrate the people, projects and places we love in Atlanta. Taking time out to celebrate what we love about our city and its built environment keeps us honest about creating, … Read More

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Rethinking Retail Corridors: From Grayfields To Boulevards

An examination of the Highway 9 corridor in North Atlanta  As older auto-oriented commercial corridors reach obsolescence, the Atlanta metro area has a unique opportunity to redevelop these zones into vibrant, beautiful places. Many of these commercial corridors contain larger parcels of vacant commercial uses: strip retail, car dealerships and office, as well as garden-style multifamily that are reaching the end of their useful lives. With an approach that combines private investment, public participation and involvement by municipalities, these corridors could improve the character and provide a sense of place … Read More

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From Creative Class To Urban Crisis, Join Us For Lunch With Richard Florida

Originally posted in Saporta Report April 4, 2017 by Sarah Kirsch, Executive Director, ULI Atlanta “Can you name a true thought leader?” Someone asked me recently, contending it is an overused term with few clear examples. My immediate answer: “Richard Florida.” In the world of urban development and city building, his name came to mind first for his track record of shining a light on, if not identifying, trends and major shifts in urban development. Come judge for yourself and get his newest book on April 12th at a lunch … Read More

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In Atlanta, Suburbs Continue to Evolve to Meet Market Demand

Originally posted in Saporta Report 2/21/2017 by Sarah Funderburk Weston, Director of PR/ Partner at SPR In sprawling metro areas such as Atlanta, the very notion of a “suburb” is in flux. No longer is the delineation between urban and suburban housing types and community attributes crystal clear as certain types of suburbs are evolving to include higher densities, walkability, and other urban characteristics. This idea was among several discussed at a recent panel and forum held by ULI Atlanta on new suburban paradigms identified in Housing in the Evolving … Read More

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Wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season!

ULI Atlanta Members and Friends, As 2016 winds down, we want to take a moment to thank you for your leadership, partnership, and support. It has been a remarkable year working together to move the needle on responsible land use. We know you have been busy – ranging from the very visible cranes of infill development across our city and the resounding public support to expand MARTA and the BeltLine to the quieter work of creative placemaking, project and policy feasibility, and long range planning for our region. We hope … Read More

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The Urbanization of Atlanta’s Suburbs: Norcross, Duluth and Suwanee

by Michael S. Rodgers The Creative Development Council of the Urban Land Institute (Atlanta District) was formed in 2016 to bring together ULI members who are focused on entrepreneurial development so that they may share best practices and resources with the goal of elevating creative place-making and promoting high-quality infill development across the region.   The Creative Development Council recognizes that the urbanization of the suburbs is a major national trend that is also being experienced in the Atlanta metropolitan area.  While the vast majority of development in the current … Read More

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Top of Mind Issues at the Bottom of the Ballot

Residents in the City of Atlanta and Fulton County will have the opportunity to vote on transportation investment in November. These will be the last questions on the ballot. Get informed about each – two votes in the City of Atlanta and one of Fulton County outside of the City – and share with your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. Download Handout Download Handout Download Handout

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