Downtown Macon, GA. Photo via NewTown Macon.
Smart Growth America traveled to Macon-Bibb on April 15 and 16, 2015 to conduct a workshop on Implementing Smart Growth 101. The workshop will help local leaders translate the plans for downtown revitalization into actionable next steps.
Macon-area residents joined the workshop’s first day for an introductory presentation (PDF) that featured a broad overview of strategies for implementing smart growth strategies. The second day of the workshop brought together an invited group of representatives from Macon-Bibb County including Mayor Robert Reichert, Commissioner Larry Schlesinger, and County Manager Dale Walker, as well as staff from the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission, the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority, NewTown Macon, the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, the Development Authority of Bibb County, and the College Hill Alliance.
The invited group explored more in-depth information and participated in facilitated brainstorming sessions to identify how Macon-Bibb can harness growth and development to achieve their goals of revitalizing downtown, making sure economic growth also benefits neighborhoods outside of downtown, and making streets safer for people walking.
Macon-Bibb County was one of 14 communities nationwide selected to receive one of Smart Growth America’s 2015 free technical assistance workshops. Stretching from Florida to Washington State, these 14 communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike. The program, made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. One other nonprofit organization—Project for Public Spaces—currently has an active grant to help communities get the kinds of development they want.
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