Tim Keane, the recently named head of planning for the City of Atlanta, has a lot going on under that bouffant mane. While he isn't ready to talk grand visions, Keane did offer a preview of what's to come at a community meeting earlier this month. Having spent his first few weeks at the helm exploring the city, he's developed some ideas for changes that he'd like to see happen. And from what he's saying, it sounds like good things are to come if Mayor Kasim Reed can find some money — and if Reed's successor keeps Keane on the payroll after 2017. Creative Loafing covered the chat, and after the jump we present five of Keane's initial takeaways from his time pounding the pavement ...
· Mixed-use: Let the mania continue, says Keane. As developments rise around the city, be sure to look out for commercial spaces along the street below residences.
· Bikes: Keane's keen on two-wheeled transportation. Expect to see more bike lanes incorporated into roads, like the ones that just opened in Midtown and downtown.
· Sales: Keane was hired by the city as it plans to sell the Civic Center, Underground Atlanta and Turner Field. The moves should help bring new interest to areas that have languished under the city's control and help fill the coffers.
· Cohesion: While Atlanta has been typified by pockets of development, Keane is interested in the bigger picture of connecting the city, stating, "if the city continues to be a series of projects, I will have failed."
· Pride: It may be hard to believe, but when Keane was pressed on why he came to Atlanta, he offered up an interesting take on things. In his opinion, Atlantans care about their city. It seems that despite our proclivity for demolition, Keane has detected a desire among residents for better planning. And if that doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy, something's wrong with you.
It all sounds good — let's hope Keane can work some magic.
· Meet Atlanta's new planning commissioner [Creative Loafing]