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Atlanta Architect Advocates for City Pride, New Approaches

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Atlantans often decry mediocre architecture and planning practices in the city, chalking up the chaos to the fact that "it's just Atlanta." But is it time to stop making excuses for our city and instead think about how we can make things a bit better? One local architect, Brian Ward, AIA — Director of Design at Niles Bolton Associates — thinks so, and he contributed a piece to the Saporta Report representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Atlanta architects who are advocating for change.

Following a recent trip to Amsterdam, Ward got to thinking about the urban arrangements in Atlanta and how they often fall flat when compared to pretty much any other major city. Now, Ward does excuse the fact that Atlanta hasn't been around as long as Amsterdam, and isn't blessed with natural features like proximity to water or residents predisposed to biking. But Ward does point out that small interventions can add up to create a better urban environment. With bike lanes, better pedestrian amenities, well-scaled outdoor gathering spaces and an emphasis on an Atlanta style, a major perception shift is possible without wiping the slate clean.

While Amsterdam was on board for the real Renaissance, is Atlanta capable of pulling off a 21st Century version? Are you encouraged by progress like bike lanes so far? Or is there just no hope for a truly world-class ATL in our lifetimes? Out of curiosity, what do you think of Atlanta's potential?

Poll results

· Is Atlanta a City too Busy to Fight the 'It Is What It Is' Mentality? [Saporta Report]
· Atlanta's Architecture is an Eclectic Smattering of Styles [Curbed Atlanta]
· Is Atlanta's Skyline Slowly Becoming Another Vancouver? [Curbed Atlanta]