Atlanta Housing Authority
University Area Choice Neighborhoods Initiative
The Urban Design and Planning practice area of Lord Aeck Sargent continues its services to the Atlanta Housing Authority as the Planning Coordinator for the University Area Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI), one of 17 2010 planning grant awards made in the nation.
The CNI area centers on the former public housing site of University Homes, located in the heart of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) neighborhood, which contains the largest concentration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation, including the legendary Morehouse and Spelman colleges. This area is rooted in the history of the struggle for civil rights and contains iconic sites like the home of the King family, the Paschal’s Building, and the campus where W. E. B. DuBois wrote many of his renowned works. Through a comprehensive planning process crafted to meet ambitious Choice Neighborhood goals, a shared vision was developed to create a vibrant and thriving College Town community built on the historical relationship between the AUC schools and the surrounding neighborhoods of Vine City and Ashview Heights. The final Neighborhood Transformation Plan provides implementation strategies for the CNI program components - People, Housing and Neighborhood - to create sustainable and holistic community revitalization.
In addition to collaborating with AHA on the successful planning grant application, UDP professionals provided multiple planning services such as exhaustive demographic and physical condition analyses; facilitation of five community workshops and roundtable forums; graphic and analytical support to a capacity-building micro-grant effort; creating urban design strategies and spatial representations; and assisting with final documentation and a subsequent application for federal implementation funding.