Downtowns in Georgia are the heart of our communities and are integral to the economic prosperity of our cities and state. The Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership was created to foster vibrant downtowns.


In 2011, a Special Downtown Development Task Force, co-chaired by Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and Georgia Cities Foundation President Mike Starr, recommended the creation of a Downtown Capacity Building Partnership, which has been named the Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership. The Partnership, consisting of the Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia Cities Foundation, and the University of Georgia, working in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Georgia Downtown Association, has been established to help cities and local leaders focus on the importance of downtown planning and visioning. The Partnership seeks to serve as the cornerstone in helping create locally developed plans that are supported by both elected officials and the business community. 
The Partnership provides access to the technical assistance for clear and concise strategic downtown visions and plans for local government leaders, downtown development authorities, chambers of commerce, downtown merchants, property owners, lending institutions, and citizens.  The Partnership seeks to ensure all downtowns and cities in Georgia have the tools needed to make their vision and their potential not just a dream, but a reality.


In 2013, the Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership developed the following programs to assist cities with downtown strategic visioning, planning, design and technical services:

Renaissance Strategic Visioning & Planning (RSVP) Program:  This program assists cities in creating an initial vision and short-term work program for their downtown areas. To date, downtown strategies have been completed for the following cities:
  • Downtown Renaissance Planning & Design Practicum/Studio: During an academic semester, students within UGA’s College of Environment & Design are provided an opportunity to focus their skills and knowledge on a downtown project. Participating cities include:
  • 2014 - College Park, Conyers, Griffin, Forsyth, Milton, and Washington
  • 2015 - Commerce, Flowery Branch, Glennville, and Milledgeville
  • 2016 - Rossville
  • 2017 - Chickamauga
  • 2018 - Lookout Mountain