Working in the space between the private sector and the public realm, Midtown Alliance's urban planning and design team maintains relationships with the development community to encourage high-quality projects that align with the priorities in our Blueprint community master plan.
In 2015, our desks were piled high with stacks of renderings for new development projects that could become part of the Midtown skyline. The Development Review Committee had a full agenda virtually every month in 2015, with no signs of slowing down in the year ahead.
In 2015, Midtown Alliance also instituted pre-construction meetings with each development team, including on-site construction managers, to establish direct communication lines prior to the start of construction. The result: a smoother process, and clarity on streetscape standards and final approvals.
Midtown Alliance continues refining its community-designed master plan, Blueprint Midtown, the living document that guides Midtown’s growth. This includes not only building design and transportation accessibility, but also fostering street-level activity and creating vibrant public spaces.
Attention continues to shift toward the next layer of street-level activity. Midtowners want activities for public spaces, such as live performances, outdoor seating, pop-up markets, dog parks and visually stimulating public art that reinforces Midtown Atlanta’s identity as a central arts district. Some of the big ideas that surfaced:
Thanks to everyone who gave their voice to this next chapter of Midtown’s future.
Talk about a resume builder. Two recent graduates from Georgia Tech won a design competition in 2015 to reimagine one of the gateways into Midtown Atlanta. Their design concept was chosen by a jury panel of industry experts as the winner for the 10th Street Atlanta Bridgescape Competition. The announcement was made at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) national convention in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Bridgescape Competition was a collaborative initiative in 2015 between Midtown Alliance, Central Atlanta Progress (CAP)/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID), the Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Architecture and Design Center, and was sponsored by Cardno.
The competition sought creative strategies to enhance existing freeway infrastructure in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta as part of a larger, phased effort to enhance Interstate 75/85, the Atlanta Connector, which traverses five miles through the heart of Atlanta and accommodates over 300,000 vehicles daily.
Gateway bridge enhancements are a top priority in this effort due to their high visibility and the potential to positively impact users at a variety of scales.
In collaboration with the High Museum of Art and private property owners, Midtown Alliance helped arrange temporary installation for 10 Los Trompos interactive artwork pieces around the District, extending the experience outside the Woodruff Arts Center and into the district.
Midtown Alliance engaged students at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Atlanta campus in an “Artful Crosswalk Design Competition” to explore new possibilities at the intersection of design and placemaking.
Students from Kennesaw State University collaborated with local designers to invent a new-age, temporary version of street furniture called the “Urban Blanket,” which appeared at Tech Square. The installation featured modular pieces and contours for people to sit.
In addition to maintaining the badminton court at 10th and Peachtree, Midtown Alliance installed a ping-pong table at the Arts District plaza near 15th and Peachtree Street, bringing more fun and games to passersby.
Visioning plans have been developed for Arts Center, Midtown and North Avenue MARTA stations. Projects include elements such as pop-up cafes, lighting, public art and bicycle service facilities.
In 2015, Midtown Alliance organized and managed a Midtown public art advisory panel comprised of art industry professionals, residents, commercial property owners, and community partners to advise on the development of an arts district area, priority locations for art installations, and a selection process for those installations. Plans are now being drafted for completion in 2016.
New projects currently in development include a new design guidelines document for developers and architects, plans for a promenade experience that features public art installations on a north-south route anchored by Midtown MARTA stations, and much more.
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