Page 1


City of Atlanta Magazine EDITION I • WINTER 2013


PG. 7



PG. 16


Welcome / Contents


04 Foundation for the Future • 07 Atlanta BeltLine • 08 Departments in Review • 08 Fire Chief of the Year

• 10

• 07

Pictures of the past two years are worth more than a thousand words

The Atlanta BeltLine moves forward

• 16 Blue carts like this are all over Atlanta For detailed information visit or scan the QR Code on your mobile phone

Phoenix Magazine 3

Message from the




elcome to the premiere edition of Phoenix, a new quarterly magazine

for City of Atlanta residents, business owners and visitors. We have a great story to tell about the City of Atlanta, its residents, its employees, its businesses and its community organizations. But we do not always do enough to share the great progress and accomplishments we make every day. We do not always do enough to highlight the programs and the people who contribute so much to the quality of life we enjoy in Atlanta. Atlanta has a great story to tell, and Phoenix is here to tell it. For its name, the magazine borrows the symbol of Atlanta, which represents our city’s resilience, determination

and undying spirit. We, as a City, have faced many obstacles over the years and thrived. And we are rising from recent adversity to show how Atlanta is ready for its Next Great Act. That the city is more than a former host city of the Centennial Olympics and home to the busiest passenger airport in the world. We are a determined and intentional city, positioned for future greatness and accomplishments.

Thank you for your input for future editions of Phoenix, and thank you for what you do every day to make Atlanta a true worldclass city

We have much work to do, but we have accomplished much. And we need to tell that story. So if you know of a project that transforms our community, an employee who

The Mayor’s Office of Communications is responsible for providing vital information to residents, business owners and the media about the City of Atlanta and the goals and initiatives of Mayor Kasim Reed. The Mayor’s Office of Communications works closely with the Public Information Officers in other departments (e.g.: Police, Fire-Rescue, Planning and Community Development, Public Works, Watershed Management, etc.) to ensure the accurate and timely dissemination of news and information. Frequently Requested Phone Numbers: Municipal Courts (404) 658-6940 Atlanta Police (404) 614-6544 Fire Department (404) 546-7000

goes far beyond the call of duty or an event that needs a spotlight, let us know.

Business Tax Watershed Human Resources

Sweetwater Brewery expands business and opens new plant.

(404) 330-6270 (404) 658-6500 (404) 330-6360

Sonji Jacobs, Director of Communications Contributors: Aaron Bastian, Department of Sustainability; Valerie Bell-Smith, Department of Public Works; Jamar Brown, Department of Human Resources; Carlos Campos, Atlanta Police Department; Decter Chambers, Atlanta City Council; Ethan Davidson, Atlanta Beltline; Alex Davis, Office of Cultural Affairs; Anne Torres, Office of Communications; Tkeban Jahannes, Office of Communications; Reese McCranie, Office of Communications; Melissa Mullinax, Office of Communications; Jenny Pittam, Atlanta BeltLine; Scheree Rawies, Atlanta Police Department; Philip Taylor, Office of Communications; Lanii Thomas, Anne Torres, Office of Communications; Department of Planning; Sloan Turner, Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Janet Ward, Department of Watershed Management.

The Korean Children’s Choir performs in Atlanta City Hall.


Foundation for the Future

Mayor Reed’s Focus on Restoring Fiscal Stability and Improving Basic Services Prepares Atlanta for Next Great Act


hen Kasim Reed first stepped into his office at 55 Trinity Avenue as the 59th Mayor of the City of Atlanta, he brought new energy and renewed focus to City Hall with the goal of restoring Atlanta’s identity not just as a “city on a hill” but a world-class city.

When Kasim Reed first stepped into his office at 55 Trinity Avenue as the 59th Mayor of the City of Atlanta, he brought new energy and renewed focus to City Hall with the goal of restoring Atlanta’s identity not just as a “city on a hill” but a world-class city. But before any of the grand visions could be fulfilled, some of the more basic elements of municipal government needed to be addressed. Response times for 911 dispatches were below the national standard; trash pick-up was often times sporadic; the City had a multi-billion-dollar pension liability, deficit budgets and barely $7 million in cash reserves. These new realities put Mayor Reed’s priorities into a whole new focus. The big visions would not go away, but they would have to be secondary to restoring fiscal stability and fundamental core services to the taxpayers of Atlanta. “When people elect you to office, the first thing and most important thing they want you to do for them is to take care of the basics,” he says. “I decided that on my watch the City of Atlanta was never going to be in that posture again.” Thirty-six months into his four-year term, Mayor Reed now calls the City of Atlanta a “house restored” positioned for its Next Great Act. Among his administration’s accomplishments to date are: Passing, with collaboration of the Atlanta City Council, three years of balanced budgets without raising property taxes or requiring layoffs or furloughs. The budget now includes cash reserves of more than $100 million. Resolving a $1.5 billion pension crisis that will save more than $270 million over 10 years. Reopening all 33 of the city’s recreation centers, including seven outdoor pools during the summer, and launching two Centers of Hope pilot programs. Hiring more than 600 sworn officers to the Atlanta Police Department to reach nearly 2,000 officers strong, making it the largest and strongest force in the city’s history and providing them with the latest technology through initiatives such as the Video Integration Center and Smart 911. Reaching full Atlanta Fire and Rescue staffing of four firefighters per engine and zero vacant firefighter positions for the first time in the history of the department. Re-opening the Office of Constituent Services, which handles

Phoenix Magazine 5

about 120 calls and 80 walk-in requests from citizens and visitors every single day. Improving city services across the board from water services to trash pick-up to code enforcement.

But Mayor Reed said he and his staff have not just focused on the basics, because “surviving leads to just surviving.” Recent conversations with President Bill Clinton reminded Mayor Reed that his administration – if Atlanta were to be a world-class city – must be able to juggle the necessities of the job with the bigger picture. The former president described it to the Mayor as being in “the future business.”

With a focus to the future, the most innovative and ambitious projects underway in the Reed Administration include: The Atlanta Beltline, which will be a system of light-rail transit, trails and greenspace that will seamlessly connect 45 of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, while also providing first- and last-mile transit connectivity for the entire metro Atlanta region. This is the most comprehensive revitalization effort ever undertaken in Atlanta and a true model of sustainability, redevelopment and mobility.

Watch Mayor Reed’s 2012 State of the City Address here >

The Atlanta Streetcar Project, which began construction this February. Two years ago, the City of Atlanta was awarded a prestigious $47.6 million TIGER II grant from the Obama Administration, the largest allocation of 2010 and the largest single federal allocation awarded to the City of Atlanta for transportation outside of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and MARTA in decades. The Atlanta Streetcar will be a modern, ADA-compliant, electrically powered transit system which will connect Centennial Olympic Park to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District. The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, which opened last May. With the new terminal, Atlanta has a 40-gate international air travel gateway with service to nearly 80 international destinations in more than 50 countries. The terminal is already handling 14,000 international passengers every weekday and 18,000 a day on the weekends. It has generated about 1,700 new jobs for maintenance and operational purposes. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport remains the busiest passenger airport in the world and serves more 92 million passengers Trade mission to China, in which Mayor Reed led several Atlanta-based companies and corporate executives on an economic development tour of that country. Local entrepreneurs reported more than $125 million in potential new business, including 75 export trade leads and prospects. On the foreign direct investment side, the Atlanta delegation completed 15 visits, amounting to seven projects and seven strong leads.

Although metro Atlanta voters rejected a regional transportation referendum last summer, he says the city will soon be in a position to handle many of the city’s top infrastructure issues. “Fortunately, because of our city’s improving fiscal health and the growth of its reserves from $7.4 million to

6 Foundation for the Future

1 > 01 Mayor Kasim Reed often gives incentives to Atlanta School Children. One of the ways he encourages them is allow them to be Mayor for a day.

> 02 Mayor Kasim Reed hosted the world as the city of Atlanta opened the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

2 more than $100 million over the past two and a half years, we have the capability to go to the capital markets for funding to meet many of our key infrastructure needs,” he says. “So that is an option we are considering in Atlanta. “We are fortunate, too, because we did not bet all of our infrastructure plans on a single referendum. In fact, we have secured funding for our most transformative projects such as the Atlanta BeltLine through funding from tax allocation districts, private contributions, public/private partnerships and federal resources.” But strong fiscal planning and careful budgeting allows the city to continue working toward the big dreams. The fiscal year 2013 budget, for example, maintains the progress the city has made toward fiscal stability as well as putting down payments on innovative projects. As examples, the FY 2013 budget includes: Pay raises for employees who were below 80 percent of competitive market rate, an effort to strengthen and reward the talent within the city’s workforce; Additional investments to Invest Atlanta for job growth and economic development; Creation of an International Affairs Office, which will assist with supporting and coordinating international activities to advance the city’s global priorities; Increases in arts funding in the city; Further investment in the Office of Sustainability; Programs to provide permanent shelter for homeless residents, with a goal to house all chronically homeless veterans by the end of 2013; and Investment in customer service initiatives across the city.

Mayor Reed said that by working in partnership with the Atlanta City Council, the city has a financial plan that is – at the same time – smart and responsible as well as forward-thinking and challenging. The fiscal prudence shown in managing the city’s revenues allows the City of Atlanta to ensure a creative, innovative, and sustainable future, he said. The work being done now is laying a strong foundation for future city leaders. “When a future mayor gets budgets that are back to 2008 levels, that mayor will have 100 to 110 million dollars in unencumbered cash reserves. And I think they will be in a posture to really do things that few mayors have ever had the opportunity to do,” Mayor Reed says. “So I really believe that another mayor, probably not me, is going to inherit a city that is not only fiscally sound but fully prepared to do the truly big things”

Phoenix Magazine 7


FORGES AHEAD Atlanta BeltLine’s Key Milestones in 2012


he Atlanta BeltLine, one of the most ambitious initiatives in Atlanta’s history, continues to progress and transform the city. In 2012, the project achieved key milestones in planning, funding, design and construction. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., (ABI), in partnership with MARTA on behalf of the Federal Transit Administration, completed the Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a critical step forward that will keep the project competitive for federal funding. The EIS determined the alignment of transit and trails in the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine corridor and selected modern streetcar as the preferred transit technology. In addition to completing the EIS, the Department of Planning and Community Development, in partnership with ABI, completed master planning for all 10 subareas in the Atlanta BeltLine planning area (1/2 mile on either side of the rail corridor). With the City Council’s adoption of the final of 10 master plans, recommendations are now in place for land use, transportation improvements and greenspace. Neighborhood residents have informed and shaped the plans by providing detailed feedback at 184 public meetings and in writing over the course of five years. online visitors can learn more about the Atlanta BeltLine as well as keep up on the latest developments, openings and events.

On October 15, 2012, Mayor Kasim Reed led the official dedication of the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail. It has quickly become one of the most popular public spaces in Atlanta, demonstrating the pent-up demand for the first trail on the Atlanta BeltLine corridor. The 2.25-mile long section of the Atlanta BeltLine, running from Irwin St. to 10th St. and Monroe Dr., connects the neighborhoods of Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Midtown, Poncey-Highlands and Virginia Highland. It contains a 14-foot wide concrete trail and 30 acres of landscaped greenspace. Already, hundreds of people utilize it daily. In November, The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership received a generous gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation to support the Atlanta BeltLine’s project expansion, specifically the development of the gateway connecting the Eastside Trail to Historic Fourth Ward Park. The $3 million grant will also support the development of the portion of the Eastside Trail through Reynoldstown; design for this trail segment begins in 2013.

Looking Ahead to the Atlanta BeltLine in 2013


he Atlanta BeltLine Implementation Plan is currently underway. This will be the compass that guides this project for the years to come. The Implementation Plan is a 20-year plan in 5-year increments that will serve as a long-range strategic plan. Concurrent with the Implementation Plan is the corridor design for the southwest segment of the Atlanta BeltLine. The public can expect to see renderings of transit and trails in the southwest later this year.

The next construction projects for the Atlanta BeltLine include the gateway connection between Historic Fourth Ward Park and the Eastside Trail; the extension of the Eastside Trail multi-use path into Reynoldstown; and the replacement of the Edgewood Avenue bridge over the Eastside Trail to be completed in 2014. The Southwest Connector Trail, a spur trail through the Westwood and Beecher Hills neighborhoods, will open in 2013. Find out more about the Atlanta BeltLine and explore the interactive google map on




Atlanta Police Department

This is a crime where every person possesses a great deal of power to avoid becoming a victim simply by leaving items of value at home or out of sight.

Crime Stoppers Tip Line

See Something/Say Something

Fire Chief of the Year Chief Kelvin J. Cochran of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department since August 1, 2012, was named 2012 Fire Chief of the Year by Fire Chief magazine during the International Association of Fire Chief’s Fire-Rescue Internation Conference in Denver. With 31 years of fire-service experience, Chief Cochran served as Atlanta Fire Chief from January 2008 through July 2009 before accepting an appointment from President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. fire administrator, where he was charged with overseeing, coordinating, and directing national efforts to prevent fires and improve fire response. Chief Cochran returned to Atlanta in May 2010 to join the leadership team of Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration. As fire chief, he directs the operations of a $74 million department with 35 fire stations and nearly 1,000 fire fighters providing fire, rescue and emergency services. Under Chief Cochran’s leadership, the department has seen dramatic improvements in response times and staffing. In July, the department reached full staffing of four firefighters per engine and zero vacant firefighter positions for the first time in the history of the department. The department also reached a new level of responsiveness on fire emergencies, meeting the National Fire Protection Association Codes and Standards for response coverage 81 percent of the time, up from 65 percent in 2010. “Chief Cochran’s pioneering efforts to improve performance and service within the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department have won him much-deserved national recognition,” said Mayor Reed. “I applaud Chief Cochran and all of Atlanta’s brave firefighters for the commitment to excellence shown throughout the department.”

The Atlanta Police Department is encouraging residents and business owners to be the “nosy neighbor” with its “See Something/ Say Something” campaign. The department depends upon assistance from the community to increase its eyes and ears on the street. That’s why, police officials encourages anyone who sees something suspicious or something that just does not look right to report it. Suspicious activity includes: someone loitering, which could be a sign of someone watching a neighbor’s movements to determine when they are not at home, or someone peering into the windows of a home or car. Call 911 and officers will respond and check to be certain that everything is OK.

Clean Car Campaign Atlantans can prevent one of the city’s most common crimes: theft of property from a motor vehicle. The Clean Car Campaign encourages everyone to leave a “clean” car, meaning making sure all valuables are removed when the vehicle is unattended. Police often see vehicles broken into and valuables taken such as GPS units, laptop and tablet computers, cell phones, purses, wallets and cash. Motorists should either leave those valuables at home, or take them with them if possible. As a last resort, they should lock valuables in the trunk. If thieves cannot see these valuables, they are less likely to break into cars.

Crime Stoppers Atlanta is a great resource for helping the Atlanta Police Department fight crime. Not only is the Crime Stoppers tip line an easy way to report crime, but Crime Stoppers offers a $2,000 reward for the arrest and indictment of individuals for certain crimes. Anyone with information about criminal activity should call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 404577-TIPS (8477). All callers remain anonymous.

HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport

Airport welcomes Silver Airways Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport recently welcomed Silver Airways to its extensive stable of domestic and international carriers. Since Aug. 1, Silver Airways has provided passenger service from Atlanta to Gainesville, Fla., from Sundays through Fridays and to Greenbrier, W.Va. on a daily basis. “We are happy to give our customers the additional choices that Silver Airways offer,” Aviation General Manager Louis Miller said. Florida-based Silver Airways operates passenger service in Florida, Georgia, the Bahamas, Pennsylvania, New York, Montana, Ohio and West Virginia.

Phoenix Magazine 9

Startup Atlanta

provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to assess their startup ideas. Local tech and start-up leaders, as well as Atlanta’s Fortune 500 companies, can participate by providing feedback in the areas of business and market strategy, fundraising, team development and more. Start Up Atlanta will also leverage resources to expand financing options for start-ups by connecting entrepreneurs with business advisors, investors and customers in the market.

Invest Atlanta Targets Start-Up Community as Potential for Economic Growth When thinking about such mainstay Atlanta brands as CocaCola, Delta Airlines, Home Depot and CNN, it can be difficult to imagine any of them as a start-up venture. But the roots of each internationally recognized company stretch back to entrepreneurs. And when some of Atlanta’s newer brands – Tyler Perry Studios and Spanx, in particularly – are brought into consideration, it becomes clear that entrepreneurism and innovation are prevalent in Atlanta DNA. But launching a business - even one based on ideas that have borne Fortune 100 companies – can be difficult at best. Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, create the new program “Start Up Atlanta” to help the local start-up community engage, interact and create new businesses and jobs. Start Up Atlanta is one of Invest Atlanta’s initiatives to make the city nationally and internationally recognized for entrepreneurship.

“Start Up Atlanta will help interconnect Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide an opportunity to build partnerships and access local resources, as well as help raise Atlanta’s profile as a place where entrepreneurs from around the world can succeed,” said McGowan of Invest Atlanta. Invest Atlanta has partnered with organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to supporting the creation of jobs in their communities. Partner organizations include economic development agencies, entrepreneurial organizations, and state and local government entities.

Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs

“Atlanta’s entrepreneurial spirit has always been strong, and with the launch of Start Up Atlanta, companies will have a direct link to critically important resources needed when starting a business,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “This initiative not only will pair entrepreneurs with a vast array of talent and potential funding but also will help create jobs and grow Atlanta’s economy.” During a press conference to announce the new venture, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director David J. Kappos, Invest Atlanta President and CEO Brian McGowan and Georgia Institute of Technology President Bud Peterson joined Mayor Reed. “This is a really exciting initiative,” Kappos said. “If our country is going to maintain its competitive edge in the global economy, we’re going to need more efforts like Start Up Atlanta to help unleash the full innovative and entrepreneurial potential of our nation’s great cities.” Start Up Atlanta’s goal is to introduce, connect, support and expand the entrepreneurial, investment and talent ecosystem within all industries of Atlanta and the surrounding region. The program includes a web-based platform that visually maps out valuable resources such as incubators, accelerators and service providers, and connections to create and support a network for entrepreneurs to succeed in launching a start-up or building a business in Atlanta. By supporting collaboration and innovation, Start Up Atlanta

With a goal to enrich the lives of residents and visitors through beautiful greenspaces, recreational programs and cultural events, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs has planned a number of ventures and events this spring with many more to come. The Office of Recreation offers a number of programs this spring for residents of all ages. Children can take part in the kindergarten–5th grade programming, which covers academics, health and wellness, cultural awareness and a variety of athletic activities. Teenaged residents are encouraged to join the Atlanta Teen Leaders Program. This program is for preteens and teens in grades 6-12 (between the

ages of 13-18). Atlanta Teen Leaders covers educational and economic development, health and wellness, and community awareness. Lastly, adults and seniors can take part in a number of activities, including swim lessons at four natatorium locations and have fun and get fit doing ChaChersize! Programs sponsored by the Office of Recreation can be found at aspx?page=251.   The Office of Cultural Affairs aims to create innovative programs and events that create enthusiasm about Atlanta arts and culture. One such program is The Cultural Experience Project, which affords every Atlanta Public School (APS) student from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to experience the city’s premier art and cultural venues at no cost.  Through partnerships and collaborative efforts, organizations like Atlanta Ballet, Alliance Theatre, the High Museum and the Atlanta Opera have engaged and served thousands of Atlanta youth. Each experience incorporates Georgia Performance Standards and is tied to each gradelevel’s curriculum.   For more information, visit www.   The Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs is also excited to announce that customers will be able to register online beginning, February 4, 2013. Please visit our website for the portal to register soon!


in Pictures



1 1. Mayor Reed visits one of Atlanta’s Veterans in his new apartment; 2. Mayor Reed with NBA Pro/Author Dwyane Wade; 3. Dedication of Fire Station #11 at Atlantic Station; 4. City Hall Atrium during Older Atlanta’s Month; 5. City of Atlanta Career Fair; 6. Mayor Reed visits the Atlanta Speech School; 7. Earth Saver Girl helped Mayor Reed on Earth Day 2012; 8. Race Against Breast Cancer; 9. NCAA Final Four coming to Atlanta Announcement.

2 6

5 7

8 9

Phoenix Magazine



10. Mayor Reed launches Centers of Hope initiative; 11. Dr. Yunus receives Phoenix Award for his pioneering work in microcredit and microfinance; 12. Mayor Reed encourages young author; 13. Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport displays signs welcoming travelers to Atlanta; 14. Mayor Reed meets with business leaders in China; 15. Mural honoring Congressman John Lewis in Sweet Auburn District; 16. Grand opening of Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal.

11 12



15 19


16 17. ATL playground unveiled in Woodruff Park; 18. Mayor Reed, councilmembers and business leaders leave for China 19. Mayor Reed participates in planting trees at Thomasville Recreation Center.


12 Smart911


major electrical fire broke out in your home while you and your spouse were at work and the kids were at school. Neighbors call to tell you, and your thoughts immediately turn to those beloved family members you know were home: Your pets.

Did firefighters know the dog and cat were there? Were they able to rescue them from the smoke and flames? Did they survive? Those questions haunt you, and depending on the outcome – may haunt you forever. A new service offered by the City of Atlanta E911 Center, however, may help put your mind at ease. Smart911 is a free service that provides first responders – fire, police, EMS – with information about you, your home and your family that could be critical in a crisis situation. Users simply go to and create their own profile. They can put as little, or as much, information as they would like and can upload everything from photos to physical descriptions. Each registrant can describe the layout of the family’s house, provide medical information, the makes of cars and the composition of their families, even pets. In the above scenario, Smart911 registrants could include descriptions of their family pets, including photographs, and a note about where they might be located in the household. For example, a notation could be made that a family has two Scottish Terriers named “Frick” and “Frack” who are kept in the laundry room on the main level. Such information would be vital for firefighters responding to a home engulfed in flames, possibly meaning the difference between life and death for your beloved “family members.” But caring for your pets is just one important value of Smart 911. The life-saving possibilities of the service are endless. A list of medications, family members with illnesses, photographs of family members or a home’s layout on a user’s profile can provide first responders with much-needed information in

a crisis. When a Smart911 registrant calls Atlanta E911, their profile will automatically show up on the screen, giving the operator vital information he or she can pass along to police officers, fire fighters or EMS personnel. “The more information we have before we respond to a crisis, the better prepared we are to handle the situation,” said Atlanta Police Chief George N. Turner. “Actual emergencies are often accompanied by chaos. The more information a caller provides in advance can save precious minutes and their life or the life of someone they love.” Users are also encouraged to register their cell phones, given that more than 70 percent of incoming calls to 911 centers are from mobile devices. Registrants to Smart911 can provide an address to go along with the mobile number, making it easier for emergency personnel to find their home.

effectively. If a citizen lives in Alpharetta and works in Atlanta, their profile travels with them and is available to 911 and our response teams regardless of which agency receives the call,” said Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. “As long as the 911 center has Smart911 implemented, that citizen’s profile will be available.” The service has been endorsed by several advocacy groups for use in missing children’s cases, confused or disabled callers, children with autism and deaf or hard-of-hearing callers

The information provided by registrants is stored in a secure and private data repository and can only be accessed in the event of a 9-1-1 call. The information is never sold, rented or shared with third parties for promotional use. Once created, a Smart911 profile also “travels” with the registrant in other cities using the service from a mobile device. In metro Atlanta, the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Chamblee and Decatur also use the service. “Having additional communities install this service adds to our ability to respond to citizens faster and more


Phoenix Magazine




Partner for “10,000 TREES” INITIATIVE


he Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and The City of Atlanta’s Tree Conservation Commission are excited to partner with Trees Atlanta to launch the 10,000 Trees Initiative.

“We are excited to partner with Trees Atlanta and the Tree Conservation Commission to support Mayor Reed’s sustainability efforts,” said George Dusenbury, Commissioner of Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “Trees clean the air, reduce flooding, lower temperatures and even reduce stress. Investments like the 10,000 Trees Initiative will help ensure that Atlanta remains a city in the forest.”

Nov, 1 and April 1, 2013, and will be maintained for at least two years. Residents are encouraged to recommend planting locations by emailing Parks Customer Service at Trees Atlanta Inc. is a non-profit organization, which for 23 years has been committed to the care and replenishment of urban forestry, planting trees and using neighborhood volunteers to plant trees, thereby dramatically reducing the cost of its services while improving neighborhood involvement and sense of ownership in city projects.

The Tree Conservation Commission maintains the Tree Trust Fund, which is provided for in the City of Atlanta’s Tree Protection ordinance. The ordinance is for the protection, planting, maintenance and regeneration of city trees and other forest For every tree planted through this program, Trees resources. Funds are deposited into Atlanta will match the planting effort one-for-one. the Tree Trust Fund from developIt is anticipated that more than 2,400 trees will be planted through the initial campaign throughout At- ment projects that are charged impact lanta. Trees will be planted in parks, public greenspac- fees for the loss of trees not replaced es and right-of-ways. All trees will be planted between as prescribed by code For the first phase of 10,000 Trees, the City plans to provide nearly $300,000 from the Tree Trust Fund allowing Trees Atlanta to plant up to 1,000 small trees and 200 large trees through community volunteer efforts.



hrough a partnership with the National Monuments Foundation, the City of Atlanta will reclaim 16 acres of blighted and vacant property in Vine City to develop Historic Mims Park. The new park will have a design inspired by world-famous landscaper Frederick Law Olmstead who designed New York’s Central Park, Atlanta’s Piedmont Park and the original Mims Park.

The park in the Westside TAD neighborhood will highlight Atlanta’s contribution to peace and civil rights featuring standalone monuments and sculptures of Georgia peacemakers from the 1733 founding of the Colony of Georgia to the present. An 80-foot peace column will be topped with Chief Tomochichi, a co-founder of the colony and Chief of the Yamacraw Tribe. The park will include green space, water features, public art, educational components, an urban garden, restaurants and other recreational and cultural amenities.

Changes the face of Atlanta’s Westside The National Monuments Foundation has committed to raise $40 million to create the self-sustaining park. All net income will be used solely for the improvement, maintenance, repair, operation and management of the park, for which the foundation will have full responsibility at no cost to the City.

late 19th century, Mims Park was donated to the City of Atlanta by then-Mayor Livingston Mims. The re-development of Historic Mims Park has been spearheaded by Rodney Mims Cook Jr., a descendent of Mayor Mims. The park will be developed in phases, with The development and ongoing operations of the park are de- Phase One to open by July 4, 2014. The signed to strengthen the Westside community. The park will first phase will open with a public park create hundreds of jobs, including construction, park mainconsistent in design with the 19th century tenance, facility maintenance, restaurant and museum opera- Olmstead design, including passive green tions, urban farming and concession sales. The National space, gardens, a community pavilion and Monument Foundation’s objective is to fill approximately 50 two large fountains. Additionally, a lake percent of the entry-level positions and 20 percent of overall will serve as a water-retention pond. An positions with residents of the Westside TAD community. urban farm will contain farming gardens, two greenhouses, a nursery and a playThe Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs ground. Lastly, a farmer’s market will be owns the 16 acres that were once a collection of parcels, some located in a colonnaded structure. of which were owned by Invest Atlanta and the Department of Watershed Management. Cross-departmental cooperaIn keeping with the City’s sustainability tion allowed for the consolidation of the acreage which will plan, buildings constructed on the prembe leased to the National Monuments Foundation. ises must be LEED certified or certified The original Mims Park was designed by Frederick Law by an equivalent recognized designation Olmstead, the world-famous designer of Central Park in system New York City and Atlanta’s own Piedmont Park. In the

14 Grants help NPUs Develop Programs, Service to Enhance Quality of Life

Grants help NPUs Develop Programs, Services to Enhance Quality of Life R

esidents in several Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs) across the City of Atlanta this summer learned that a little bit can go a long way, especially when it involves neighborhood pride and personal quality of life.

The Department of Planning and Community Development’s Office of Planning managed the application process AB received a grant from the City of Atlanta to support planned projects designed to improve the appearance of their public spaces and the organizational capacity

of their organizations and most importantly to increase awareness of the NPU program and membership in the organization.

Examples of funded projects include:

NPU-Q’s Cascade 5K Walk/Run on May 19 was designed to encourage more

than 1,700 neighbors to become more engaged with the community organization. In addition

For example, neighbors in the Cascade community

to promoting a healthy lifestyle, the Cascade 5K also offered members of the community an

may have discovered a new route to run or walk after

opportunity to become acquainted with one another through a fun activity.

NPU-Q. Residents within NPU-B now have round-

NPU-B’s Neighborhood Website demo was created was created with a City of

participating in a new 5K road race organized by

the-clock access to important information thanks to a

new neighborhood web site. And residents in NPU-V and NPU-L will see fewer dumped tires near their homes.

All of these developments are thanks to a new initia-

tive of Mayor Kasim Reed that provided small grants to the city’s NPUs. The new grant program set aside

$100K in the general fund budget to help community groups beautify a gateway or gathering place, increase awareness about neighborhood efforts and support activities that build capacity and leadership skills.

Grants were available to all City of Atlanta NPUs

Atlanta NPU grant. The demo Web site includes professional photography, informative graphic design elements and a customized email template for users. Photos of historical landmarks in the NPU-B, contact information for the members of the NPU Board as well as the meeting

dates for the various committees, updates on events occurring in the NPU and information on ongoing development projects will be included in the community-based project.

NPU-S Neighborhood Cleanup took place with the goal of implementing a “Senior Citizen Lawn Care Program.” Several neighborhood lawn care businesses were contracted

to cut grass and complete yard work for senior citizens in the NPU-S area. Community members called this program a success because neighbors were able to assist residents unable to care for their own lawns and also helped enhance the overall appearance of NPU-S.

NPU-L and NPU-V Tire Roundup involved neighbors coming together to haul

and the Atlanta Planning Advisory Board (APAB),

off illegally dumped tires in their community. The City of Atlanta grant helped to fund equip-

APAB members had to demonstrate how the grant

the Atlanta Police Department’s Quality of Life division have been working with community

with several requirements. To be eligible, NPUs and would help enhance the community’s value. Another requirement is NPUs must have been an active

participant of the APAB, including having a delegate

in attendance at a minimum of three APAB meetings in 2011.

ment and disposal fees for the tires. City employees from the Office of Code Compliance and leaders to address illegal tire dumping in both NPU communities. More than 3,500 dumped tires were removed from several pieces of property during the all-day cleanup effort

Phoenix Magazine


ATLANTA’S POWER TO GIVE galvanizing support for Atlanta arts


rowd-funding has become a powerful new tool in the age of social media, whereby groups of people pool small amounts of money to support causes, charities and activities that speak to their specific interests, values and aspirations for the greater good. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are models for the power of connecting people, some with contributions as little as $5 or $10, to make a significant impact on their communities and the world. This surge of collective interest in supporting passionate endeavors is not lost on Atlanta. In September, the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs will launch an innovative crowd-funding program called, with the mission to galvanize the community around supporting Atlanta’s artists and cultural venues. Created by the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenberg in 2011, is an online platform that allows anyone to learn about art projects proposed by organizations around the city and then contribute towards the organization’s funding need in order to make the project happen. Miami, Houston, Charlotte and several cities in North Carolina are already realizing the impact of, not only increasing opportunities for local artists but also stimulating citizens to get involved and directly influence the cultural face of their cities. For 2013, Mayor Kasim Reed doubled arts grant funding for the Office of Cultural Affairs operating budget, making more funds available to support local arts and artists. As such, the Office of Cultural Affairs is maximizing the Mayor’s initiative by allocating $220,000 of the Contracts for Arts Services budget to match funds raised through Matching funds will be granted to successful organizations on a 1-to-1 basis, up to a maximum project goal. The initial round includes 22 projects from arts organizations that will be listed on the site until early December or until they are fully funded. is the type of pioneering programming that the Office of Cultural Affairs hopes will continue to inspire the citizens of Atlanta. For more information contact Selena Harper, Project Supervisor, Contracts for Arts Services at

16 Cartlanta

CARTLANTA Atlanta Expands Recycling Programs


n its ongoing efforts to become a national leader in the environmental arena, the City of Atlanta continues to embrace recycling in a big way. Today, the city has adopted numerous programs to that end, offering recycling for all single-family homes and major cityowned buildings, mandating recycling for all large events in city parks and requiring multi-family dwellings offer recycling options to their residents.

From the collection of e-waste and fluorescent light tubes to its Demolition Waste Recycling program, the city encourages recycling at every possible level. Even Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the largest employer in Georgia, strives to recycle everything possible during demolition and at new construction sites. And with the City’s Power to Change program and goal to become a Top 10 city in sustainability, Atlanta keeps improving its recycling programs. In 2009, the city launched a pilot incentivized curbside recycling program that provides information on amounts being recycled at homes in different areas of the city and suggestions on how to increase the amounts collected from homes and neighborhoods. The Department of Public Works furthered this effort with a citywide education program, resulting in increases of recycling rates by nearly 30 percent since 2009. The city is also expanding residential curbside recycling by offering a 95-gallon cart to all residential customers. Currently, about a third of all residential customers use this larger container, and city officials expect curbside rates to continue to improve as larger containers become available to all customers. Internal Recycling To improve recycling rates within city offices themselves, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Office of Enterprise Assets Management (OEAM), and the Department of Public Works

joined together in May 2012 to introduce an improved Internal Recycling Program as part of the city’s sustainability efforts. More than 60 city employees volunteered to become “recycling ambassadors.” “We need to increase awareness about recycling even within City Hall and our own offices,” said Valerie Bryant of OEAM. “Many of our employees simply didn’t know that recycling could be co-mingled. We want them to begin filling up our 95-gallon bins with more than just paper!” Every year, city facilities and residents send more than 136,000 tons of waste to landfills, with a significant portion coming from city-owned and city-operated buildings. As part of the city’s Zero Waste goal, new requirements of employees were established. Some highlights include: The elimination of desk-side waste bins and establishment of centralized trash and recycling areas. The goal is to encourage employees to think “recycle this” as the default versus traditional desk-side trash which encouraged employees to take the easy option of just throwing everything out. The increase of recycling containers at parks and recreational facilities during events. The city wanted to make more recycling available to the large amount of citizens who visit recreational centers and pools every day. Not only do the new efforts create more opportunities to divert the large amounts of

reusable materials consumed there from landfills, but they serve as platforms to educate and involve the community in the city’s recycling efforts. The recruitment of Recycling Ambassadors. These ambassadors will monitor employee recycling habits and provide educational materials to their co-workers, while providing regular feedback and ongoing communication with OEAM and the Office of Sustainability. To date, a three-phase bin deployment schedule has placed new 95 gallon “Herbie Curbie” bins in all police precincts and fire stations, all city parks and recreation facilities, the old Atlanta Journal-Constitution building at 72 Marietta St., City Hall South and the Public Safety Headquarters. Clear and assessable signage has been affixed to all bins describing what is and isn’t recyclable. The signs effectively describe what “contamination” means, and how sometimes a simple cleansing of food containers can be a critical difference between an item that can be recycled and an item that cannot. For more information about the city’s recycling programs, please contact Jacquelyn Bridges, Recycling Program Coordinator at 404.330.6240 or by email at

Phoenix Magazine




he City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management has set its sights on reducing the city’s total water consumption 20 percent by the year 2020, “20 by ’20.” The goal may seem ambitious, but the Department’s successes with its sustainability and conservation projects prove that an aggressive approach works well.

AIMS for “20 by ‘20”

Under the leadership of Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina, the Department has made compliance with Mayor Kasim Reed’s sustainability vision a top priority, and the results are striking. Water use in Atlanta has dropped by 24 percent since 2006, a tribute to customer demand management programs and system improvements like main repairs and replacements that are reducing leaks throughout Atlanta. The Office of Watershed Protection’s water conservation group is leading the push to save water. The group has spearheaded implementation of the City’s Toilet Rebate Program, which offers homeowners a $100 credit on their water/sewer bills when they replace pre-1993, five-gallon-per-flush (gpf ) toilets with EPA WaterSense-certified models that use 1.28 gpf. An extension of the program to multi-family dwellings has produced remarkable results, both in terms of water used and money saved. Wheat Street Towers, for example, cut its bills by more than half when it replaced 215 toilets in June. Thus far, more than 2,500 toilets have been replaced under the multi-family rebate program, saving nearly 30 million gallons of water. Additionally, the rebate program mandates that old toilets be recycled, and to date more than 60 tons of porcelain have been diverted from landfills. But toilet replacements aren’t the only way the Department is helping Atlantans save water. Its award-winning Care & Conserve Program helps qualifying low-income customers with bill payment assistance, plumbing retrofits and leak repairs. One of the oldest programs of its kind in the country, Care & Conserve helps save nearly six million gallons of water a year. The efforts earned the group the Fox McCarthy Award in 2011, which is given by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals to the “best conservation program in the state.” Additionally, the conservation group provides water-saving

kits to all Atlanta fire stations for distribution to the public. Its staff also attends numerous community meetings and local events to hand out the kits, which contain low-flow shower heads, aerators and other water-saving devices. But customers aren’t the only ones saving water and money. The City has 650 facilities in its inventory, more than 350 of which were built prior to 1992. Working with the City’s Office of Sustainability, Watershed Management plans to conduct audits of all facilities with the goal of eventually replacing all water-inefficient fixtures and appliances with EPA-certified WaterSense models. “We have limited water resources,” said conservation group director Melinda Langston. “The Chattahoochee is a relatively small river to serve such a large population. We have to take of it, preserve it. We have to leave it in good shape for those that come after us.” And water conservation isn’t the only area in which the Department is showing its commitment to sustainability. Commissioner Macrina has directed her staff to design green infrastructure whenever possible. The stormwater detention pond at the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park provides a perfect example of the use of green infrastructure to address watershed issues; in this case, flooding in the community. In fact, green infrastructure is an effective way to address many urban watershed issues. The McDaniel

branch of the South River has been devastated by urban stormwater runoff that erodes its streambanks and degrades water quality. Another Watershed Management green infrastructure project, one funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, involves wetlands construction to help slow down and filter stormwater. But so-called “gray infrastructure” can also play a significant role in sustainability. A recently completed co-generation project at the R.M. Clayton Water Reclamation Center in northwest Atlanta is turning methane that used to be flared into the atmosphere into energy that is helping run the plant. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 13,000 metric tons a year and cut the City’s carbon footprint by 3 percent. The Department estimates that the project will generate about $1 million a year in energy savings after the six-year payback period. The City also has begun a Critical Mains Replacement Program, under which it is replacing deteriorating and aging mains. The program, which is under way in Poncey-Highland, Candler Park and the Old Fourth Ward, will eventually stretch across the City. Old mains are too small to serve growing communities, a problem that creates low water pressure and the occasional discolored water complaint. They also leak, wasting thousands of gallons of water every day. Replacing old, leaking mains is one of the most efficient ways to reduce water waste

18 Safety Force StrivesTask to End Veteran Homelessness, Curtail Panhandling



s an effort to show that the City Too Busy to Hate strives to make time to love one another, Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta have adopted efforts to combat homelessness, especially among veterans who are chronically without permanent shelter.

Mayor Reed and the Atlanta VA in September announced a joint commitment to end chronic veterans’ homelessness in Atlanta by December of 2013, putting the city on a path to meet President Obama’s goal of ending veteran homelessness across the country by 2015. “It is unacceptable that each night, hundreds of veterans who have courageously risked their lives to keep our country safe are among those sleeping on Atlanta’s streets,” Mayor Reed said. “We are doing something to correct that, and we have made tremendous progress thanks to strong support in the non-profit and faith communities as well as at the federal, state and county levels. My administration will continue to work hard to ensure that those who are chronically homeless get the right type of support they need at the right time and that our efforts put them on the path to sustainable housing.” As part of a national campaign with 14 cities, Atlanta not only exceeded the goal of re-housing 100 chronically homeless veterans in 100 days, but also housed more homeless veterans than any other city as part of this challenge in the United States. Meanwhile, the Atlanta City Council passed a new monetary solicitation ordinance designed to curtail aggressive panhandling. For more than seven years, the city has not been able to effectively address this issue. A 2005 ordinance made it nearly impossible for the city to enforce its monetary solicitation laws. The Atlanta Police Department made more than 1,300 panhandling arrests in 2004; that number dropped to zero from 2005 to the present.

Like the city’s 1996 and 2005 law, the new ordinance outlaws asking for money within 15 feet of ATM machines and parking lot pay boxes. The new law adds to that provision by prohibiting the solicitation of money from someone who is within 15 feet of a building entrance or exit or standing in line to enter a building or event facility. It expands the definition of aggressive panhandling by prohibiting someone from continuing to ask for money after he or she has been told “no.” The new law also outlaws touching during monetary solicitation and sets reasonable penalties for violators. Upon first conviction, a violator could be sentenced to community service. A second conviction for aggressive panhandling would result in a mandatory minimum 30 days in jail. Upon the third or future convictions, aggressive panhandlers would be required to serve a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail. At the same time, Mayor Reed has made addressing the challenges facing the city’s homeless men, women and children a top priority. For example, as part of a partnership with Veterans Affairs, the Office of Housing and Urban Development, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, housing authorities in Atlanta and DeKalb County,

the United Way of Greater Atlanta and Project Community Connections Inc., Atlanta moved 131 chronically homeless veterans into permanent supportive housing in 100 days. “Atlanta’s VA team developed strong relationships with government and community partners to achieve this 100-day target, and with strong leadership from the Mayor’s Office, we plan to continue working together to make Atlanta a model for how other cities can improve coordination and build momentum around ending homelessness among veterans,” said Jenifer Turner-Reid, VISN-7 Deputy Network Homeless Coordinator for the VA. The 100-day effort helped cut red tape out of the process of housing homeless veterans using HUD-VASH (HUDVA Supportive Housing) vouchers, reducing the average time it takes for a veteran with a voucher to move into housing by one-third. It also helped improve the targeting of vouchers to the most vulnerable. Atlanta’s participation in the 100-day effort was led by Mayor Reed’s Innovation Delivery Team. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the team was tasked with developing innovative solutions to reduce street homelessness in Atlanta and coordinating partners to ensure successful delivery

Phoenix Magazine 19

of these new approaches. National leaders at the USICH, HUD, VA, and the 100,000 Homes Campaign also supported this effort. Atlanta’s last homeless point-in-time count in January 2011 showed that there were approximately 1,200 homeless veterans, including more than 400 who were thought to be chronically homeless. The Veterans’ Homelessness efforts are the first in a series of programs Mayor Reed will launch as part of his “Unsheltered No More” initiative to dramatically reduce street homelessness. These efforts are being led by the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, which is funded by a $3.3 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The team brings rigorous focus and best-in-class practice to identifying powerful solutions, developing implementation plans, and then managing for results. Atlanta is one of five cities to receive an Innovation Delivery Team grant. Part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, Innovation Delivery Team grants were also awarded to Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans

IN ORD VETER ER TO MEET ANS’ H the Ma OMELETHE GOAL O yor ’s In F ENDI SSNES novatio efforts NG S, n Deliv of g overnm en

ery Tea m onprofi will help fuel t t partn he ers to:

t and n

House 3 00 additio nal chron ic

ally hom eless vete rans by D Partner w ecember ith Deca tur Coop 2013 nections erative M Inc. to p r in o vide coor individua is dinated s tries and Projec ls in hou t Comm sing upport se un r vices to keep form ity Conerly hom Improve eless the city ’s ab street by launchin ility to reach the g a Popu most vuln of volunt latio era ee who are rs will be engaged n Registry in Jan ble homeless vet homeless er u in order in a citywide effo ary 2013, in whic ans on the to under r h t hundred t o id entify an stand the s d sur vey ir need Expand people housing opp nonprofi ts, develo ortunities for ve te pers, and property rans through par tnerships owners with Continu e to work with gov of days t e o house someone rnment agencies an with a H UD-VAS d nonprofit to c u H vouch er down t the number to 60 day s


CITY OF ATLANTA Mayor’s Office of Communications 55 Trinity Avenue SW, ATLANTA, GA 30303 +1 404 330-6004



Phoenix Magazine Winter 2013  

The Official Magazine of the City of Atlanta, GA

Phoenix Magazine Winter 2013  

The Official Magazine of the City of Atlanta, GA