1540 Northside Drive: Resilient, Redeveloped, Reimagined

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Master, Michaela
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The City of Atlanta’s City Planning Department has identified city-owned parcels that are currently underutilized, and could instead provide a source of revenue for the cash-strapped city. The department is also working to address the affordable housing crisis that is plaguing the city. One such parcel is 1540 Northside Drive (hereafter: “1450 Northside”). This property is currently operated by the Department of Public Works (DPW), with the sanitation and fleet maintenance departments working on roughly 8.5 acres of low-intensity land. The City of Atlanta Planning Department is working to figure out the highest and best use of the property while also prioritizing its own goals for affordable housing and alignment with the city’s 2021 Comprehensive Plan and Atlanta City Design. Two essential questions arise: first, what factors should be considered in such a property’s redevelopment? The City of Atlanta has outlined a plethora of goals related to city development, from multi-modal transportation expansion to tree canopy growth to affordable housing development. The large, publicly owned property presents an exciting opportunity to be ambitious and creative in what this property could achieve. The second question, then, is to consider what exactly the highest and best use of 1540 Northside Drive is. There are an infinite number of lenses through which to view redevelopment at 1540 Northside Drive – what best opportunities may exist for transit-oriented development, for example, or what iconic urban design and placemaking might be employed. This paper will focus on the redevelopment opportunity through a lens of environmental resilience and justice, while also employing general best practices of community planning to create a vision for the future of 1540 Northside Drive.
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