Author Archives: Barbara Bowers

Shedding Atlanta’s Transportation Stigma

Transportation. A hot button topic that can be as aggravating as many of the cliché’ terms out there like “Hotlanta” or “the ATL” that are commonly used to describe our fare city. The obligatory “I hear the traffic is horrible” or “how’s your commute?” will undoubtedly follow almost any Atlantan’s introduction to an outsider. The good news is that we have rare opportunity to make it better and possibly shed our transportation stigma for good, or at least until I-85 burns down again. In 2016, Atlantans voted in favor of a … Read More

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What Tools Are Needed To Advance An Affordable Housing Agenda?

by Sharon Gay In her inauguration speech as the 60th Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms identified a $1 billion-dollar housing affordability plan, the largest affordable housing investment in Atlanta’s history. But what does this investment buy and how much affordable housing will it build? What are the priorities and how will they be set? These are all important questions and ones that we collaboratively will need to support and work through. It is an audacious goal and one worthy of us all taking to heart in pursuit of sustainable solutions … Read More

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What Is Atlanta’s ‘Hedgehog’?

A city long known for its affordability, hospitality, and warm climate is at cross-roads. When I think about what I want Atlanta’s story to be relative to affordable housing, I don’t want a researcher being quoted in the AJC in five years saying, “we did not act fast enough to preserve, produce or protect affordable housing here.” Some of you may say, “Too late… that ship has sailed.” But I don’t think so.  Yes, the window is closing but we have the tools, the ideas, and the leadership to make … Read More

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What Issues Matter To You And The Greater Atlanta Region In 2018?

By: Wayne Williams, Programs Committee, ULI Atlanta In 2017, ULI Atlanta’s Programs Committee launched a series called Issues that Matter. This series allows ULI members to hear from Atlanta-based thought leaders to discuss the critical issues challenging Atlanta and surrounding region for creating and sustaining thriving communities. For 2017, the focus of our programs were community development and revitalization, regional and local transportation, and water resource management. A common element of each topic included how these issues intersect with land use and the built environment along with growth and economic development. The first conversation … Read More

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In Atlanta, A Program For The Region’s Public Officials Advances ULI’s Mission

“The best class I have ever taken as an elected official,” is how East Point Councilmember Thomas Calloway describes ULI’s UrbanPlan for Public Officials (“UP4PO”).  In the spirit of advancing ULI’s mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide, ULI Atlanta embarked on its first UP4PO workshop on Friday, October 20.  The event, held at City Hall in East Point, Georgia, included 15 public officials, including 13 elected officials from throughout the metro Atlanta region.  Participating officials hailed from Decatur, … Read More

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Atlanta a top city for starting families?

In research speak this is called household formation. The age at which an individual gets married and has children. There are other types of household formations as well, like students graduating from college and into their first apartment, or a couple going through a divorce. Relative to families, household formation is often a life stage met with the purchase of a home. Nationally, household formations are outpacing new supply by a rate of 3.5 million formed households, according to findings in a joint study produced by ULI and PWC called … Read More

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5 Trends Directly Impacting Atlanta’s Real Estate Industry

The Urban Land Institute released their Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018 on October 26, 2017. This is a top publication in the industry compiled by individual interviews from real estate, development, and financial services professionals across the country and provides an outlook on investment and development trends, finance and capital markets, property sectors, metropolitan areas, and other real estate issues. While the report focuses on national trends, there are 5 key takeaways for the Atlanta region. There’s a general belief the real estate market will not crash like previous cycles, but rather … Read More

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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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