Archive for the ‘Better Know a Neighborhood’ Category

Better Know a Neighborhood #4: Midtown

May 5, 2010

This is the last in the series of four videos that Drew Kane and I produced for the upcoming CNU conference, and it focuses on the high density sections of Midtown along Peachtree and Piedmont.   Thanks to Shannon Powell from the Midtown Alliance for providing insights about Midtown’s development history and for highlighting some of the Alliance’s various initiatives over the past decade.

As I said in a previous post, I think it would be valuable to produce a whole bunch of these Atlanta neighborhood video vignettes.  These could be for both Atlantans and non-Atlantans, and the focus wouldn’t have to be just on development issues but could include historical, cultural, and environmental aspects as well.  Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce could use these for promotional purposes, the Beltline organization could use them to highlight the forty-five neighborhoods along the path, or maybe they could simply be valuable as snapshots of particular places at a moment in time.  I’m not well versed in the ways of grants or fundraising, but if anyone has any ideas about this, let me know.

Happy Cinco de Mayo.


Better Know a Neighborhood #3: Inman Park and the road fights

April 20, 2010

If you went to the 420 Fest in Candler Park last weekend or plan on going to the Inman Park Festival this coming weekend, you should be aware that these intown neighborhoods would have been a lot different had the initial vision of Freedom Parkway been realized.  The plan for the road that Jimmy Carter and Andrew Young backed would have extended past Moreland, had seven bridges, and wiped out the Olmsted parks along Ponce de Leon Avenue.  The intown neighborhoods galvanized against the Ex-Pres Way, as they called it, and formed a legal and an activist group to halt the clearing and construction for the road.  In 1991, ten years after the fight initially began, the city, the Georgia Department of Transportation, and the intown neighborhoods reached a settlement that included a two-lane parkway that ends at Moreland and the vision for green spaces connected by a bike-jog path.

In this segment, we interviewed Cathy Bradshaw, a long-time resident and advocate for Inman Park, one of the main neighborhoods affected by Freedom Parkway.  Cathy provides a brief introduction to the neighborhood and then discusses the long fight over the road.  If you appreciate the green spaces of Freedom Park and the quality of life in Inman and Candler Park, remember to thank passionate residents like Cathy who worked hard to fight the road and preserve Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods.

Better Know a Neighborhood #2: Virginia Highland

April 7, 2010

In the second video in this series, the focus is on the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta. We interviewed Pamela Papner, the current President of the VAHI Civic Association, and she discusses some of the neighborhood’s recent development issues, including the drafting of new zoning regulations and the Association’s purchase and transformation of an empty lot into a new park.

Better Know a Neighborhood #1: Old Fourth Ward

March 24, 2010

The Congress for the New Urbanism conference will be held this year in Atlanta between May 19-22.   David Byrne is one of the featured speakers.  My friend Drew Kane volunteered for the conference to help them build out some content for their website and asked me to help produce some videos about Atlanta that might interest the CNU participants.  Drew’s idea was to produce video vignettes about a few intown Atlanta neighborhoods.   The segments would provide introductory information about the neighborhoods and their various development issues over the years.  The title of our series is a nod to the recurring segment on The Colbert Report.

We are producing four of these videos and will roll them out over the next six weeks or so.  Beyond these four, we’d love to get some funding to produce more videos about other Atlanta neighborhoods.  If you have any ideas about how to fund this longer range project, let me know.

The first segment in this series focuses on the Old Fourth Ward.  We interviewed O4W resident and Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall, and he discusses the neighborhood’s multicultural history, the O4W development efforts led by Coretta Scott King, and the vision for the community for the next fifty years.