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John Ruch

‘Atlanta City Design’ book goes on sale in handsome, hefty print form; author discussion coming

The print version of "The Atlanta City Design: Aspiring to the Beloved Community," as seen in a photo on the website of the Department of City Planning.

Update: The Sept. 16 discussion has been postponed due to weather, with a new date to be announced.

Four years after the City’s digital release of a book laying out a long-term vision for Atlanta’s urban planning, a handsome hard-copy version is now available at a bookstore and a discussion with its authors is coming Sept. 16.

The interior of the “Atlanta City Design” book as seen in a publicity photo on the website of the Department of City Planning.

“The Atlanta City Design: Aspiring to the Beloved Community” was the product of the Atlanta Department of City Planning under Commissioner Tim Keane and Ryan Gravel, an urban planner who envisioned the Atlanta BeltLine. Public input was part of the process through pop-up “studios” around town. Lavishly illustrated with photos and a custom watercolor map of a future Atlanta, the 386-page book lays out a vision of how the city can absorb hundreds of thousands of more residents while improving green space and transportation and focusing on racial and economic equity.

The digital version was released Sept. 6, 2017, and has already proven influential on such fronts as the City’s proposed zoning changes related to housing density and affordability and the creation of the South River Forest green space and the related debate over a public safety training center.

The print version of the book was a longer job, involving the procurement of a printer and the passage of a 2019 City Council resolution permitting sales on the condition that the City not make a profit.

City design map

A watercolor map of what a future Atlanta could look like was commissioned for the “Atlanta City Design” book. Special: Department of City Planning

The hefty hardcover version is now available at Posman Books in Ponce City Market at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. (The complex was of the sites of the design studio in the planning process.) A City Planning spokesperson said it’s the only bookstore selling the book. Posman said the price is $49.99, and they’ll ship it to you for $12. City Planning also mailed free copies to attendees of this year’s Design Awards ceremony.

Gravel said in an email that “this is the first time it has been for sale at a bookstore. I know a lot of people who want a copy have not been able to get one — but now they can.”

Ponce City Market also will host the Sept. 16 book discussion, scheduled for 6-8 p.m. at the outdoor amphitheater with a mask requirement. The discussion will include Gravel, Keane and Terri Lee, the chief operating officer and chief housing officer at Atlanta Housing. Tickets are $50 for the book and free for just attending. For more details, see an EventBrite listing here.

Update: This story has been updated with sales information from Posman Books.

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2 Comments

  1. Cora Ann September 7, 2021 9:59 am

    This article states: “The digital version was released Sept. 6, 2017, and has already proven influential on such fronts as the City’s proposed zoning changes related to housing density and affordability and the creation of the South River Forest green space and the related debate over a public safety training center.”

    However, as things stand this is false! Both the proposed zoning changes and the proposed police training facility violate the Atlanta City Design! See p. 330 of the Atlanta City Design for a description of how integral to the planned South River Park the old Prison Farm property is; however, City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd has proposed to lease 150 acres of that land for an enormous police training facility–right smack in the middle of that intended park, and it appears City Council is actually considering approving it despite overwhelming opposition and despite the fact that the City formally adopted the Atlanta City Design as a guiding document in 2017! WHAT’S THE POINT OF THESE FANCY PLANS–on which many resources of time and public money are spent–if they can just be tossed out whenever our elected officials and those who back them get a notion to do so?Report

    Reply
  2. Lisa A Frank September 7, 2021 12:08 pm

    As Cora Ann points out, many parts of this book are just fiction.Report

    Reply

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