Historic Preservation & Progress in Atlanta: Zoning Strategies for Adaptive Reuse & Revitalization

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Rogers, Ian Michael W.
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Atlanta is experiencing a resurgence in population and significant changes to the built environment. Where do Atlanta’s historic and cultural places fit into Atlanta’s future land use patterns? As Atlanta experiences increased urban development in historic areas, what kind of city does Atlanta want to be? One preservation developer noted that Atlanta is really only in its adolescence and must decide what Atlanta wants its civic identity to be. Atlanta lacks a sustained vision and supporting public policy for its historic resources. Threats to Atlanta’s historic resources are constant, amplified even more by policies that do not fully include preservation within Atlanta’s future growth plans. Looking forward, how can changes to Atlanta’s zoning code enhance urban design, strengthen support of historic resources, and ensure equitable results? Part I will briefly explore why it is important to preserve historic and cultural places. Embedded in this discussion will be a clearer definition of what it means to ‘preserve’ old buildings. Part II explores the major challenges to historic preservation in Atlanta. Part III details the (1) current status of Atlanta’s historic resources and (2) identifies the planning tools and policies currently in place that support preservation Part IV provides six ‘Big Ideas’ for strengthening preservation in the City of Atlanta.
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