The Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Atlanta) hosted a forum at the Inman Park Trolley Barn on Thursday night attended by seven of the nine candidates running for mayor. The evening, moderated by journalist Maria Saporta, revolved around design, development and presentation.
The candidates in attendance included: Former Chief Operating Officer of the City of Atlanta Peter Aman; Chairman of the Fulton County Commission John H. Eaves; Atlanta City Councilmembers Kwanza Hall, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood; Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell; and the former President of Atlanta City Council Cathy Woolard. State Sen. Vincent Fort and former federal prosecutor Michael Sterling did not attend.
Saporta asked about the candidates’ favorite existing buildings, which demolished ones they wish could be brought back and what growing up in their childhood homes were like. The dilapidated Paschal’s Motor Hotel and Restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, dubbed the “breakfast table of the Civil Rights Movement,” was on the minds of the candidates for a historic building that needs rescuing soon.
All the candidates were in agreement that a comprehensive updating and following of the the city’s zoning codes, which is currently underway, was necessary for the future. The Atlanta BeltLine was also frequently mentioned, with the candidates hoping to find more funding to more quickly complete the 22-mile loop of trails and transit.
Preserving the city’s tree canopy, pushing for more transit to serve underserved areas of the city, and more density in the city’s core were also discussed as priorities for the Atlanta’s future.