Decatur didn't become the charming, well-planned and real estate trend-bucking community that it is today by accident. Rather, the east side city'hood has an engaged citizenry and proactive municipal government that have worked hard to create a place that is both remarkably livable and a beacon for visitors. Our friends at Decatur Metro ran an interesting piece yesterday that provides a window onto the City of Decatur's budgeting process, and the view provides an interesting glimpse of municipal 'place making.' While inclusion of ostensibly small gauge issues like, "[c]ontinuing to build upon Decatur’s unique identity by enlivening public spaces with approved busking/street performers (Task 2B)" could be dismissed as trivial, when taken as part of an over-arching plan led by "Goal 1 - Retain and enhance the character of existing commercial districts and expand it to new districts," it becomes apparent that attention to small details has helped Decatur become what it is today. Worth a look whether you're a city planning / management wonk or just curious as to how Decatur became what it is.
· Decatur’s Planned Projects Over the Next 12 Months [Decatur Metro]
· BUDGET NARRATIVE Proposed Budget FY 2012-2013 [City of Decatur]