Downtown Renaissance Partnership Helps Boost Economic Vitality in Northwest Georgia

UGA Today | 8/1/2017
Downtown business districts in some northwest Georgia cities are getting a facelift, thanks to the University of Georgia and funding from the Lyndhurst Foundation in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Green Vision for Downtown Brunswick

The Brunswick News | 6/12/2017

Representatives from the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government laid out a short-term vision plan to the Brunswick City Commission last week on how to transform core downtown areas into destinations.

Danny Bivins, senior public service associate, and Clark Stancil, with the Vinson Institute, shared short-term plans the city could put in place right away.

“People want to see more people living, working and playing downtown,” Bivins said. “We’ll focus on things that can be achieved without a lot of money.”

Gainesville Brings "Parklet" to Downtown Square

Gainesville Times | 6/12/2017

The married couple liked what they saw as they sized up the platform extending from the sidewalk outside their craft beer establishment on the Gainesville square.

Gainesville city officials introduced the structure — called a parklet — with a ribbon-cutting Friday outside Downtown Drafts, which is owned and operated by Aimee and Nick Hoecker.

Built in sections from mostly salvaged and repurposed wood, the platform features wooden benches on the corners, chairs and counter where food and drinks can be placed. The non-smoking public seating area also has built in planters.

City of Fairburn joins Main Street program

Atlanta Journal-Constitution | 5/3/2017
The city of Fairburn has joined the Georgia Main Street network as an affiliate. The program, which follows the National Main Street Center’s approach to downtown revitalization, is a management strategy helping activate volunteers in breathing life into main streets across America.


$53M of retail, restaurants, housing, offices coming to downtown Gainesville

Gainesville Times | 5/3/2017
Downtown Gainesville is about to undergo a $53 million makeover.

Civic Buildings Positively Impact Downtown Reviatalization

Georgia's Cities | 4/5/2017
Government offices and civic build­ings have traditionally been built in the center or downtown areas of cities and towns. This configuration is seen all over the world. The location of civic buildings and func­tions in a centralized downtown area was a natural­ly occurring logistic that created a highly accessible place to do business, live and shop. With changes in housing trends, retail habits, automobile depen­dence, increased internet shopping, telecommuting and a rise in land costs and rents in downtown ar­eas, it can be argued that there are fewer reasons to maintain government functions exclusively in a city or town’s downtown area. In fact, the decen­tralization of city functions and the relocation out of the downtown area is not a new occurrence; it has been a practice for over four decades. Decen­tralization was initially sparked by the increase use of automobiles, the trend of suburban living and the development of extensive road networks.

Whistlestop Shops Built to Inspire Entrepreneurship and Downtown Development

Georgia's Cities | 4/5/2017
According to the Georgia Depart­ment of Labor, there are 601,987 registered establishments in Georgia as of October 2016. Of those, 94.6 percent have fewer than 100 employ­ees—some being small, retail-based companies that are transitioning from giant superstores to smaller, demographically targeted ones that better focus on more specific prod­uct and client. This format is known as micro-retailing or micro-merchan­dising and has recently been adopted by the city of Auburn. The city’s new Whistlestop Shops, which are locat­ed next to Auburn City Hall, displays city officials’ and staffs’ intentions of encouraging their residents.