We are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a vibrant, connected city. More people want to live in the urban core of our region. There is growing demand for multiple ways of moving around the city – whether that’s by rail, bus, bicycle, or foot. New kinds of development weave into the thread of our old neighborhoods. City building projects from public art to public voice continue to gain significant support.
Yet at times we seem too timid in our approach to imaginative city design. We say Atlanta’s neighborhoods are a critical part of our city, yet we tune out the public community voices when we focus on large tourist projects. We say we want better public transportation, yet we’re not willing to give up space for cars. We say we want affordability, but our public commitment to this is limited. As we continue to grow, we need to challenge ourselves to think bigger about the city we make. With the diversity and activism of strong neighborhoods like Candler Park, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, Old Fourth Ward, Midtown, and Downtown Atlanta, District 2 is at the core of what makes a vibrant, connected city, and we will be a critical part of shaping the future direction of Atlanta.
We need city leaders who are willing to guide and engage us in that process. And we all need to roll up our sleeves together and do the work that’s necessary to build a better city for everyone – one that creates greater connectivity between communities and between people. When you build vibrant neighborhoods combined with a strong focus on public space for people, you also build the connections between neighbors that create understanding, empathy, and community.