ULI Awards of Excellence to honor places that drive revenue and development

In the late 1780’s, while serving as minister to France, Thomas Jefferson wrote about how enchanted he was with the architecture in Paris. According to one letter, he was “violently smitten” and visited a particular building along the Seine River almost every day. So moved was he that 10 years later, when he sought to enlarge and update Monticello, his U.S. residence in Charlottesville, Va., he embarked on renovations inspired by the very buildings he had studied while abroad.  Continue reading

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Georgia Power Company’s Integrated Resource Plan Provides More Inclusive Energy Efficiency Access

By Alex Trachtenberg

A multifamily affordable housing energy efficiency (EE) program including access to whole-building data was proposed by Southface and the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) Georgia team as part of the 2016 Georgia Power Company Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) brought before the Public Service Commission (PSC). Historically, Southface has participated in the PSC Demand Side Management Working Group as an advocate for more EE investment, and has partnered with Georgia Power on EE programs. This year, however, Southface was also an intervener in the IRP proceeding. Continue reading

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Summertime’s a Wrap: Reflecting on Vacation and Land Use

By Sarah Kirsch, Executive Director ULI Atlanta

One of the great privileges of travel is that it allows us to return and look at our homes and communities with a fresh set of eyes. I always come back from more walkable places, particularly those with stronger transit networks, with a renewed commitment to walk my kids to school more, use the basket on my bike more, and use the great resource that is MARTA more. I think, if given the chance to reimagine our land use patterns particularly with ‘vacation eyes’, essentially all 1,200 ULI Atlanta members would imagine an Atlanta region where our kids can bike to school, we could all walk to a neighborhood bakery (or bar), we could hop on the train or streetcar to get to work. Yes, it would be a far more sustainable and economically viable way to live and for Atlanta to grow but equally important to me, it would simply feel better. Continue reading

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Q&A with Southface’s Director of Policy: Lisa Bianchi-Fossati

Last month Southface was pleased to welcome Lisa Bianchi-Fossati to its staff as Policy Director. In this role Lisa will build upon the achievements of Southface in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions with legislatures and utility commissions. She will also help develop an expanded agenda on policy matters, including energy codes, green infrastructure and sustainable development strategies. Continue reading

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Announcing the Center for Leadership Graduates of 2016

On Thursday, May 12, 2016 ULI Atlanta graduated the seventh Center for Leadership class. With the gracious support of our alumni, volunteers, and sponsors, we are pleased to announce the graduates of the Class of 2016! Continue reading

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Addressing the Three Cs to Increase the Homeownership Rate

By Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership

Homeownership in America today is at a crossroads. The rate of homeownership is steadily declining, and by some estimates will decline even more sharply in the decade ahead as millennials choose to rent instead of own their homes. But these forecasts of a decline in homeownership are based on static assumptions about public policy and the effectiveness and growth of private sector and nonprofit programs that would encourage homeownership. They also ignore the fact that while millennials are not buying homes now, eighty percent of millennials overall and 87 percent of African-American and 84 percent of Hispanics say that owning a home is an important part of the American dream. Continue reading

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How ULI Atlanta developed a retail plan for Sweet Auburn, including nurturing “sparks of life”

Combine a historic commercial district in the heart of a major U.S. market with a walkable street grid, turn-of-the-century buildings, a dense neighborhood of Victorian bungalows, a major university, cultural attractions, regional access, a burgeoning nightlife scene and a new streetcar. The current result: surprisingly, blight. Continue reading

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Tiny Houses, Big Possibilities in Atlanta

By Marci Reed, Chief Development and Communications Officer, Southface

Marci Reed, Chief Development and Communications Officer, Southface

Marci Reed, Chief Development and Communications Officer, Southface

Tiny Houses have captured the imagination of Americans who are questioning their high-consumption lifestyles. While the typical American home is 2,500 square feet, Tiny Houses encourage creative lifestyle choices by restricting space between an average of 400-750 square feet. People across the country are joining the Tiny House movement in an effort to minimalize their impact on the environment, their financial burdens and the limitations on their time and freedom. Southface supports that agenda, and we recognize that Tiny Houses can also address many community needs. Tiny House communities offer housing stock that addresses affordability, aging in place and responsible resource use. Around the country, we are seeing Tiny Housing development attract top talent of an increasingly mobile workforce, which can enhance regional competiveness. Continue reading

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It’s Showtime for 40-year Transportation Priorities

Atlanta residents like to complain about our traffic, but during the next 60 days, we’ll actually have an opportunity to do something about it. Continue reading

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Regional Transit Hopes Turn to Local Expansion Options

By Alex Trachtenberg, Project Manager, Community Sustainability Services, Southface

Southface and the other contributors to the Sustainable Communities Thought Leaders Column, ANDP and ULI, are members of the TransFormation Alliance (TFA). The TFA is a broad partnership of organizations from the private, public and nonprofit sectors dedicated to creating thriving mixed-income communities anchored by transit and linked to all the opportunities and amenities that make Atlanta great. Over the next few months, Southface and other partners in the TFA will focus coverage on developments in transit planning, specifically an upcoming ballot referendum. If approved by the City Council to be included on the ballot November 8th, Atlantans will have the opportunity to vote on a half-penny sales tax increase to fund transit projects. Continue reading

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