On November 5, 2014, a distinguished collection of representatives from development organizations around Metro Atlanta met at SELIG Enterprises for the monthly Atlanta Advisory Committee meeting. The Council for Quality Growth, co-sponsored by Atlanta Gas Light welcomed Atlanta City Council President, Ceasar C. Mitchell as he spoke to those in attendance. Council President Mitchell discussed the renewed interest in promising metro sites and how the collection of developers, investors and lenders are poised betting on Atlanta’s future is bright – proving the region’s economic recovery. He also gave his poignant viewpoint how education and economic development intertwine. Council President Mitchell believes a lack of education is an impediment to economic development. Young people need to get prepared; therefore more preparation creates jobs by facilitating innovation through entrepreneurship. Much of the discussion centered on density, and the significant challenges that prevents growth from a mixed-use development perspective.
Atlanta is one of the lowest density metropolitan areas in the United States. Some would argue that urban densities would rise if the supply of transit services were increased and if land use legislation were amended to allow higher densities. Now, urban area residents want to access shops, restaurants and entertainment venues by walking, bicycling, not by riding in a car. Council President Mitchell is in favor of going green and believes mixed-use developments is the future. This is most evident as developments like Avalon in Alpharetta are proving successful by providing seamless connection of shopping, dining, entertainment, living and working. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution released a story about a new metro Atlanta development, called Riverwalk in Roswell consisting of 104 acres near the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Road and GA 400. Council President Mitchell’s foresight certainly is being acknowledged by these developments and he is on the side of transforming Atlanta into a healthy, vibrant city.