2016 – A Bright Year for Solar in Georgia

When Southface started building a database to track Georgia’s installed solar capacity in 2012, we were hunting for kilowatts (kWs). We sifted through hundreds of documents; no installation was too small. If we identified a 0.01 kW solar attic fan, we added it to our tally. We only had six solar projects that were one megawatt (MW) or more, none exceeded 2 MWs and the vast majority of the installations were on rooftops. We built a website to showcase this solar capacity data, and more, called GeorgiaEnergyData.org. It showed that by the end of 2012, Georgia had 23 MW of installed solar capacity. Continue reading

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

Michael Rodgers

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.   Continue reading

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From Surviving to Thriving: Main Street Businesses

By Grace Fricks

Three ACE clients, from L to R: Nicole Wimpy of Jolie Day Spa, Aysha Cooper of SarahCare of Snelville and Ardina Pierre of Nature's Own Herb Shop spend time with ACE President and CEO Grace Fricks

Three ACE clients, from L to R: Nicole Wimpy of Jolie Day Spa & Salon, Aysha Cooper of SarahCare of Snelville and Ardina Pierre of Nature’s Own Herb Shop spend time with ACE President and CEO Grace Fricks

Main Street businesses play a vital role in creating economically sustainable communities, with established small businesses comprising 68 percent of all employer firms nationally. Not only do small businesses serve as primary sources of employment, goods and services, but they also keep profits local and feed community economies. Main Street entrepreneurs build lasting neighborhood connections that foster the communities where families successfully live, work, play and thrive. Continue reading

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‘Making a Difference’ towards a more sustainable future

By Andrea Pinabell, President, Southface, beginning 2017

As we officially enter the 2016 holiday season, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this incredible year. I am humbled and excited to be joining Southface as its President in January; an organization with a 38-year legacy of excellence under Dennis’s leadership and vision. Southface is an amazing organization with a bright future, talented staff, committed board and excellent partners, but it also takes supportive communities to truly make a difference. Continue reading

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EarthCraft Awards Recognize the Best of the Built Environment

By Amber McFarland, Project Manager, Southface

The EarthCraft Awards returned this year with a fresh take on what makes an EarthCraft project great. Developed in 1999 by the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA) and Southface, EarthCraft is the Southeast’s standard for green building – pairing building science with regional know-how. EarthCraft promotes energy efficient, healthy, comfortable and durable new construction and renovation. The EarthCraft Awards program provides GAHBA and Southface a chance to recognize projects that exceed standard program requirements and shines a light on program partners who continue to make strides in advancing innovation in the green building industry. Continue reading

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Desire for homeownership remains high, student debt a barrier

This year we saw the national homeownership rate fall to its lowest level in five decades. In the second quarter of 2016, homeownership fell to 62.9% – a half-point decline over the previous year and previous quarter. Will the homeownership rate continue to decline? NeighborWorks America’s recent survey suggests a strong desire for homeownership – and some troubling barriers. Continue reading

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Igniting Change in the Region

Alex Trachtenberg

Alex Trachtenberg, Project Manager, Southface

By: Alex Trachtenberg, Project Manager, Southface

Policymakers, community advocates and private enterprise are poised to act at a critical juncture in Atlanta’s history. In the next few months, the city will make decisions that will dictate investment in projects that will change the face of the region for years to come. The opportunity to invest in expansion of MARTA; the momentum of the BeltLine project and urban revitalization efforts; increased activity and movement into the City’s dense core; projected population growth in both the city and regional population; and many other factors provide tremendous opportunity and tremendous challenge for the region. We face a choice to deepen divides between neighborhoods and people with further disinvestment in some communities or find a way to connect economic development strategies with all our community assets to enable Atlanta to become a truly world class region and city. Continue reading

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ANDP at 25: The Importance of “Partnership”

andp25Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) celebrates a special milestone this week – 25 years of affordable housing development and advocacy.  Past and current ANDP leaders say the organization’s most important accomplishments have been made possible because of its partnerships. Continue reading

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Reflecting on Our History and Journey

Dennis Creech, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Southface

Dennis Creech, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Southface

By: Dennis Creech, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Southface

As we approach our 18th Visionary Dinner event on Thursday, September 8 at the Georgia Aquarium, I find myself looking back at the early days of our organization and the first events that brought together volunteers who believed in transforming our energy economy into an environmentally responsible model. Continue reading

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Securing the infrastructure for an affordable, inclusive Atlanta

regional housingThe City of Atlanta is experiencing new investment and development that are transformative.  Potential new public investments resulting from MARTA and SPLOST referendums will ensure the City has more growth, new businesses and increasing incomes for many Atlanta residents.  But what will be the legacy of this growth and public investment 10 or 20 years in the future? The unintended consequences of development are increasingly regressive and displacing low- and moderate-income families. What will be the impact of these investments without substantial actions and funds to ensure housing development in the City of Atlanta is available to diverse populations and incomes?   Continue reading

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