Atlanta’s Main Street – Its Past, Present and Future
By Jim Durrett, Executive Director, Buckhead CID
With apologies to Farmers Insurance, regarding Atlanta’s growth and development, I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two. My career in the field of land use, city planning and growth management began in 1996. This was about the time when my friend Chris Leinberger dubbed Atlanta “the poster child for urban sprawl.” However, the term “smart growth” was also coming into vogue, and the Horizon Section of the AJC was being launched and lauded for its focus on issues of growth, development, planning and quality of life in metro Atlanta.
I have now been leading the Buckhead Community Improvement District for just over 10 years – longer than I have worked anywhere else before – where I would describe my personal mission as using my experience, my relationships and the tools at my disposal to transform the 2.5-square-mile commercial core of Buckhead into a walkable urban place as opposed to one dominated solely by the automobile.
For the next year, perhaps more, I will partner with Kevin Green of the Midtown Improvement District and Midtown Alliance and A. J. Robinson of the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and Central Atlanta Progress to take turns offering weekly views in SaportaReport on various matters from the perspective of where each of us works along Atlanta’s “main street”: Peachtree.
My hope is that you will find it interesting, informative, and perhaps a bit provocative, as the issues we deal with in our districts and with our partners are both complicated and complex. We will share history; anecdotes; how things work (or not); our hopes and aspirations; and what we are working on and why.
I am looking forward to writing these pieces, as I am sure do Kevin and A. J., and I hope you will look forward to reading them.