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ATL Zoning 2.0

Our Projects

Business Need

In 2015, the City of Atlanta commissioned a team of consultants to conduct a comprehensive assessment of and recommend improvements to the City of Atlanta’s Zoning Ordinance. The City is seeking to create user-friendly regulations, expand transportation options, ensure housing diversity, protect neighborhood character, and create vibrant corridors and districts. The diagnostic analysis and report, performed in 2021, resulted in the Atlanta Zoning Ordinance Assessment that made a series of recommendations for future changes to the Zoning Ordinance, including amendments to the regulations. The Diagnostic categorized the recommendations into two categories - 

(1) those that could be completed in a relatively short period of time as “Quick Fixes,” or “Medium Fixes;” and

(2) those that would require a comprehensive overhaul of the current Zoning Ordinance and would likely require a period of two to four years to complete.

 

Solution

In the the fall of 2022, as a subcontractor to TSW, we provided the design, recruitment, facilitation, and summary reports for five public meetings or Focused Workshops. These workshops were designed to work through and confirm the direction for updating the zoning ordinance and were conducted as hybrid (in-person and virtual meetings) to encourage participation from all Atlanta stakeholders.

 

Outcome

We improved the meeting participation rates by a factor consistent with pre-pandemic levels, averaging 70-100 in-person participants across all five meetings. The online audience increased by 160% from the previous engagement team, by utilizing new digital strategies that weren't previously leveraged. This audience increase reflected a representative sample of historically disadvantaged communities in metro Atlanta that the Mayor’s Office and the City wants to include in public discourse about our city Zoning. New populations included black men, parents with children, renters, older adults, and legacy residents. Our team provided the communications, government affairs, and public outreach implementation plan, including staffing needs, event dates, venues, logistics, and focus group facilitation. A summary report of data collected from the zoning workshops was provided after each meeting, from the Fall of 2022 through the Spring of 2023.

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