Atlanta’s Department of City Planning and Atlanta City Studio have released a nearly 400-page book called “The Atlanta City Design: Aspiring to the Beloved Community,” which will act as a guiding document for the city’s growth.
A print version of the book is coming soon, but its available for free right now in digital format at atlcitydesign.com. The book was launched at a special ceremony on Sept. 6 at the new location of the Atlanta City Studio in Cascade Heights. The studio is a pop-up design studio and incubator that moves around the city to create conversation and gather input on growth.
The book is filled with photographs tracing Atlanta’s history, as well as short essays and texts about the city’s future design and growth.
Mayor Kasim Reed said Atlanta City Studio and the book were created to help answer pressing questions: “What do we want our city to look like? How do we want it to work? What do we want to develop? What do we not want to develop? How do we connect it all? How do we have more trees and cleaner air?”
Reed said residents could expect a new mobility plan, new zoning ordinances, conservation plans and a housing strategy so people don’t get pushed out of their homes as the city grows.
Ryan Gravel, the visionary behind the Atlanta BeltLine who leads the Atlanta City Studio, said Atlanta’s planning effort is unique. “Cities aren’t doing this. No other city is thinking this thoughtfully and comprehensively about its identity, about who they are, then building a future based on that.”
Gravel said the core of the book is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s concept of the “beloved community” – a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings.
“The book is designed to articulate an aspiration for the future city that Atlantans can fall in love with,” Gravel said. “It sets the tone for planning, policies and investments. We want Dr. King’s idea to guide the city into the best version of itself.”