By Anna Jones
Midtown Alliance is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018, marking four decades of progress, innovation, and literal groundbreaking achievements. The organization shows no signs of slowing down with plans bettering public transportation, park expansion and more interactive art.
“We want Midtown to offer an exceptional urban experience in every dimension, and to get even better as it continues to grow,” Midtown Alliance CEO Kevin Green said. “[We want] more pedestrians, to create connected bicycle networks, and to leverage transit, as well as create different activation ideas in terms of what you can do beyond just sitting on the grass at the park.”
While the Midtown Alliance of today is certainly different from the Midtown Business Association it once was, its mission to unify the community has not wavered.
Green said that the Midtown of the 1970s was “unrecognizable from what we see today.” With decrepit sidewalks, disinvested residents that were consistently relocating to the suburbs, and unfrequented retail areas, Midtown was a sea of abandoned surface parking lots and wasted potential. But with the dedication of a group of business leaders and previous financial support from Central Atlanta Progress, the Midtown Alliance has been able to enhance the pedestrian realm, put the breaks on surface parking, complete 15 linear miles of mature tree planting, bury utilities underground, implement special zoning, and has encouraged more business and residential growth.
Through photos and interviews, Midtown Alliance plans to share stories about the neighborhood’s transformation online and at events throughout the year. The staff is sorting through thousands of historical images and old VHS tapes to create a history of the organization. INtown readers who have cool photos or an interesting story to share about Midtown or an important figure in the neighborhood’s history should contact marketing@MidtownATL.com.
Plans for 2018 include not only the aforementioned initiatives, but also the annual meeting at the Fox Theatre on Feb. 13. The meeting was created as an opportunity to celebrate the group’s achievements, both past and present, as well as all of the Midtown Alliance’s partners, who, according to Green, “got us to where we are today.”
Approximately 1,000 guests are expected to attend, among which are investors and other officials. Janette Sadik-Khan, author of “Streetfight: Handbook for Urban Revolution” and the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, will be the keynote speaker at the event.
For more information, visit MidtownATL.com.