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ironchapman

Decatur envy!?!

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I saw this article in the metro section of the AJC and I found quite interesting. It'll certainly be great for the city's civic pride.

Municipal role model: 'Decatur envy' grips other cities (AJC.com)

"Make us like Decatur," they sigh, or so says Dan Reuter, the chief of land use for the Atlanta Regional Commission, who hears it constantly in grant applications filed by other cities.

So many

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There's my Irony. Where have you been. I have missed ya!

As for the story...

Decatur is a delight. I encourage anyone to visit the downtown area. Talk about manageable density...I love Decatur.

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I read that article in the AJC as well. Decatur is everything Atlanta is trying to be. Vibrant, dense, and unique

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There's my Irony. Where have you been. I have missed ya!

I've been following the boys basketball team of my high school around these past few weeks. We spent all of our season in the top 10 rankings for AAAA high schools (topping it for several weeks), so we've been pretty busy with region and state tournaments (which we were just knocked out of last night, sadly enough for us). I've been pretty drained from it all, so I've been on a lot less (for example, we spent from 9:45 AM Friday to 1:00 AM Saturday on a trip to Warner Robins to play a team there).

As for the story...

Decatur is a delight. I encourage anyone to visit the downtown area. Talk about manageable density...I love Decatur.

Indeed. It's a great little town to visit and, like several small towns in the Atlanta area, it is well worth the visit. It's downtown area looks great, especially for a Southern town!

I think Atlanta could learn a lot from Decatur. HOWEVER...Decatur is a lot smaller than Atlanta which probably means it is easier to manage with the smaller land area and population.

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I read that article in the AJC as well. Decatur is everything Atlanta is trying to be. Vibrant, dense, and unique

Absolutely. We had dinner at Crescent Moon last night. Somebody in Decatur is doing it right. It's a great walkable, livable, mixed-use downtown. Seems like new projects are starting all the time. If Atlanta can mirror some of that on a larger scale, that'd be great.

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Absolutely. We had dinner at Crescent Moon last night. Somebody in Decatur is doing it right. It's a great walkable, livable, mixed-use downtown. Seems like new projects are starting all the time. If Atlanta can mirror some of that on a larger scale, that'd be great.

I'm not trying to be cynical here, but the question is, is it possible to mirror Decatur's development on such a large scale as Atlanta?

I certainly think it's so, but it will be difficult.

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I'm not trying to be cynical here, but the question is, is it possible to mirror Decatur's development on such a large scale as Atlanta?

I certainly think it's so, but it will be difficult.

Actually, to me that is sort of the whole point of successful urban development. It doesn't matter how tall the building is so long as at the street level there is a pleasant, inviting, human scale environment. I think Atlanta has a few issues in that respect but I also think the city is making great strides toward reaching that goal.

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Actually, to me that is sort of the whole point of successful urban development. It doesn't matter how tall the building is so long as at the street level there is a pleasant, inviting, human scale environment. I think Atlanta has a few issues in that respect but I also think the city is making great strides toward reaching that goal.

I think more than anything it has to do with community, and what people want. Decatur hasn't just happened the way it is, nor is it simply the result of developers who've been to New Urbanism courses. Decatur is a very mature (older than Atlanta) and cohesive community, where people got together a long time ago and decided what they wanted their city to be like. And they've fought hard for it for a long time, and resisted sprawl and mega-developments which might have brought in big bucks but would have marred the small town character of the city.

Of course the much smaller scale of Decatur makes it vastly easier to control things than it is in a huge sprawling place like Atlanta. Decatur isn't on a freeway, it doesn't have huge sports arenas or convention centers, and it has managed to survive (although not always easily) the destructive forces of white flight and gigantic "urban renewal" projects. Decatur has had its share of crime, poverty and neglect, and blighted areas have only slowly been restored over a period of several decades. There are still some difficult areas.

But I really take my hat off to the people of Decatur who've hung in there and helped turn their town into one of the coolest urban oases in the whole metro area. It rocks.

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Of course the much smaller scale of Decatur makes it vastly easier to control things than it is in a huge sprawling place like Atlanta. Decatur isn't on a freeway, it doesn't have huge sports arenas or convention centers, and it has managed to survive (although not always easily) the destructive forces of white flight and gigantic "urban renewal" projects. Decatur has had its share of crime, poverty and neglect, and blighted areas have only slowly been restored over a period of several decades. There are still some difficult areas.

But I really take my hat off to the people of Decatur who've hung in there and helped turn their town into one of the coolest urban oases in the whole metro area. It rocks.

That was kind of my point in the earlier posts I have made, but, like you, I still think they have doen a great job in pulling it off.

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