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ARC’s 2021 Regional Excellence Awards Recognize Visionary Planning and Development

Atlanta — Nov 16, 2021

The Atlanta Regional Commission today announced the winners of the 2021 Regional Excellence (formerly Developments of Excellence) Awards, which recognize metro Atlanta planning and development projects that are improving quality of life for communities in the region. The 2021 awards recognized catalytic projects in four categories, as well as one honorable mention.

Visionary Planning

East Point City Agriculture Plan
Food Well Alliance & City of East Point

Food Well Alliance assisted the City of East Point in addressing one of its primary challenges — access to healthy food — by developing the first citywide agricultural plan in metro Atlanta. This innovative plan aims to improve food access by supporting East Point’s local growers with funding and programs to help them expand. It was developed using a community-led process that brought together urban growers, residents, and City officials to identify community food system priorities, as well as strategies to achieve those priorities. Guidance and support was also provided by the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Innovative Development

Cottages on Vaughan
MicroLife Institute & City of Clarkston

The Cottages on Vaughan in the City of Clarkston, a first-of-its-kind project in Georgia, is a so-called “micro-pocket” neighborhood built on a half-acre lot one block from downtown Clarkston in a joint effort between MicroLife Institute and the City of Clarkston. The Cottages on Vaughan consist of eight “micro-cottage” homes, each of which are less than 500 square feet, featuring spacious front porches that make it easy to connect with neighbors. The neighborhood, which is also built with climate-conscious features such as solar panels and edible, regenerative landscaping, provides homeownership opportunities in a city where a lack of available land prevents much new housing from being built — and the vast majority of existing housing are rental properties.

Great Place

Rodney Cook, Sr. Park at Vine City
The Trust for Public Land & City of Atlanta

Rodney Cook, Sr., Park in Historic Vine City is both a green oasis and a flood-control system for the neighborhood. Created as a joint venture between The Trust for Public Land and the City of Atlanta, the park’s two-acre detention pond can capture up to 10 million gallons of stormwater runoff. It also features rain gardens and stormwater planters, as well as constructed wetlands and native plantings that enhance water quality. Amenities include a playground, an aeration fountain, a great lawn, a market plaza, and an amphitheater stage.

Livable Center

City Hall and City Center Park
City of Fayetteville

The City of Fayetteville’s new state-of-the-art City Hall is paving the way for a more livable town center. The 34,000 square-foot building overlooks Fayetteville’s City Center Park, which includes greenspace, a playground, and walking paths. Adjacent to the park, the city is also transforming a former high school gymnasium into a multiuse event center, and a former school bus garage into a mixed-use space which will include a microbrewery, restaurant, food hall, and additional event space. Just south of the park, another development will include 270 apartments with ground-floor retail facing the park.

Honorable Mention

Trinity Walk Revitalization

Decatur Housing Authority

The Trinity Walk housing complex in the City of Decatur is an important example of how existing affordable housing can be preserved — and improved. Decatur Housing Authority invested $30 million in revitalizing the Trinity Walk apartment complex, replacing more than 100 obsolete units and building 43 new affordable housing units. Each of these apartment units is subject to restrictions that keep the rent affordable to its residents. Features ensuring resiliency include bio-swales on the northern and southern boundaries of the site, which address water runoff, and a rainwater harvesting system which captures rainwater from roofs.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 11-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 74 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.


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Contact Name: Kate Sweeney
Contact Phone: 404-314-7863
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