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Wednesday, October 2 • 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Suburban Transition of a Downtown: An Unexpected Public Space Journey

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If a city’s downtown is its soul, then Alpharetta didn’t have one - or at least it was not recognizable. But over a few decades, Alpharetta blossomed from a bedroom community of 3,000 into a regional employment hub of 120,000. While the office parks and cul-de-sacs had popped up all over the place, the city was lacking collective public gathering places to serve a diverse mix of people. This session explores the City's role in revitalizing, and in many ways, creating a downtown in Alpharetta. Since its announcement in 2015, close to $250 million additional dollars of investment have poured into the downtown. In the last five years, downtown Alpharetta has become the setting of numerous new festivals and events, it has added more than three dozen new businesses and more than doubled the population that had lived there before. But most importantly, it has given the City a sense of soul that was missing.

Talking points include creating new public spaces through easement agreements, leveraging private impact fees to build public trails, the conversion of old right-of-way into pedestrian alleys, and the inclusion of public art requirements in zoning cases. 

avatar for Kathryn Cook

Kathryn Cook

Director, Community Development, City of Alpharetta
Envisioning how to improve a community and setting the path to make it happen is what drives me. My 28 years in government has taught me to form as many partnerships as possible, you will always need help to bring a plan to reality. I believe that a planner who sticks solely to their... Read More →
avatar for Ben Kern

Ben Kern

Planner/GIS Specialist, City of Alpharetta
Im very interested in viewing public spaces as common ground for knowing one's neighbors. Active Transportation Interests me. A good map will always grab my attention. Im currently receiving a Masters Degree in Spatial Analysis for Public Health, with the hope of better understanding... Read More →

Wednesday October 2, 2019 3:00pm - 4:15pm EDT
EPB, 7th Floor, Room 2