Prince Charles and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Meeting in England Tuesday

5:54 PM, Nov 16, 2010   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- England's Prince Charles has his mind on Atlanta.

The Prince wants to help revitalize some of Atlanta's inner-city neighborhoods.

So he's called a meeting with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, for Tuesday in England.

The Prince of Wales and the Mayor of Atlanta will be meeting in Dorchester, England.

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Dorchester is where Prince Charles and his Foundation helped create a live-work-play community called Poundbury.

His Royal Highness is going to give His Honor a personal tour, as well as share with the mayor some ideas on revitalizing some of Atlanta's inner city neighborhoods -- such as Vine City and English Avenue, which are just west of downtown.

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"We are delighted to be hosting Mayor Reed and the Atlanta delegation at Poundbury and to be working together in Atlanta," said Hank Dittmar, Chief Executive of The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, as quoted in a press release issued by the Mayor's Office on Monday afternoon. "We aim to demonstrate that mixed income, mixed-use walkable neighborhoods can build both social and natural capital and improve the quality of people's lives."

Chick Krautler of the Atlanta Regional Commission welcomes the international support.

"We've done, pretty much on a smaller scale, pretty much the same thing that the Prince of Wales is talking about doing," Krautler said Monday.

Krautler pointed out that the ARC has used its Livable Centers Initiative to transform urban communities all across Metro Atlanta over the past ten years, just like the ones Prince Charles has been developing.

"And by investing a relatively small amount of money, [we've] turned them into really active, live-work-play kinds of communities," both residential and commercial, in, for example, Duluth, Norcross, Stockbridge, Woodstock, Perimeter Center, and City of Atlanta neighborhoods such as The Old Fourth Ward, Midtown, Buckhead, The West End, Greenbriar and East Atlanta.

And each community revitalization is unique to that community; the designs are based on community input.

"They need to be mixed use, they need to have an urban feel to them, they need to be places where people can walk for services and activities.... The community comes together and they decide what it is that they want to be."

The ARC provides planning grants to the communities, generally of about $100,000 each.

Then the ARC is able to follow up with grants in the seven-and-eight-figures for transportation infrastructure, "to leverage private investment."

But would a higher-density, mixed-use layout fit with the older, single-family-home neighborhoods of, say, Vine City?

"Absolutely, absolutely. We've never had a bit of conflict when people have wanted to go in and redevelop those areas at a higher density, once they understand what it is that they're going to get."

11Alive News asked Krautler, "When the Mayor gets back from London, you'll invite him to travel a few blocks to the ARC to take a look at what you're doing?"

"Actually, when the Mayor gets back from London, we're going to be really interested in hearing what he learned and how he can help us advance our program."


The complete announcement as issued by the Mayor's Office on Monday afternoon:

ATLANTA - HRH The Prince of Wales will welcome Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010 at Poundbury to see His Royal Highness's approach to sustainable development. The visit comes as The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment announces that it is has been invited to advise on the regeneration of several of Atlanta's most economically challenged neighborhoods.

"I am honored to meet HRH The Prince of Wales and tour Poundbury," said Mayor Kasim Reed. "Poundbury's mix of traditional and modern design approaches to address some of today's most pressing environmental challenges, such as our reliance on fossil fuels, is a model for communities everywhere. I look forward to an enlightening discussion with HRH The Prince of Wales and to returning home with actionable plans for urban renewal in neighborhoods throughout the City of Atlanta."

The Prince's Foundation has been working with community residents, developers, Atlanta City Council members and other community leaders on an action plan for the regeneration of communities such as the English Avenue and Vine City neighborhoods, an area of over 1,000 acres. The Foundation seeks to rebuild social and community capital and train young people.

"We are delighted to be hosting Mayor Reed and the Atlanta delegation at Poundbury and to be working together in Atlanta," said Hank Dittmar, Chief Executive of The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment. "We aim to demonstrate that mixed income, mixed-use walkable neighborhoods can build both social and natural capital and improve the quality of people's lives."

Planned by Leon Krier in the 1990s, Poundbury comprises high-density, mixed-use buildings all in close proximity to each other. The walkable town demonstrates a completely new approach to development that is focused on the needs of its residents.

In addition to his tour of Poundbury, Mayor Reed's visit to the United Kingdom, hosted by Consul General Annabelle Malins, includes a packed agenda that includes meetings with members of Parliament, a conversation with Deputy Mayor of London Richard Barnes, a briefing at Scotland Yard, and tours of both the Olympic Site and Heathrow Airport.

"We have much to gain from this extraordinary opportunity to tour and assess Poundbury, a best practice model for sustainable and holistic neighborhood revitalization," said Ernestine Garey, Interim President of the Atlanta Development Authority.

About Poundbury

Poundbury was designed as an extension to Dorchester by Leon Krier, on Duchy of Cornwall land. Its plan carefully integrates uses: recreation, educational and shopping opportunities are integrated with housing, and placed within walking distance of one another. In addition over 650 people work in factories and shops in the development, while over 1,000 people live there. Social or affordable housing now represents 35 percent of new residential development and is integrated with private housing so that there is no visible distinction. Cars are fully accommodated, but pedestrian and cycle movements are favored and townscape quality is a high priority. In a UK Government review released in 2008 about living and working in the countryside, Poundbury was described as "the best example of master-planning in the country."

About The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment

The Prince's Foundation, one of The Prince's Charities, was established to teach a broad range of stakeholders in the built environment the principles of integrated, harmonious place making. With the UK facing high levels of construction activity - particularly in housing and commercial sectors - the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment seeks to influence positive change in the design and planning of these new communities, as well as the regeneration of existing towns and cities for the long term.

Through projects and education, the Foundation has already reached a broad range of stakeholders, including planning officers, architects, urban designers, community representatives, policy makers, government agencies and others. The Prince's Foundation for the Built Foundation continues to engage with a wide variety of both professional and non-professional organizations and individuals, with whom it attempts to resolve often complex urban design briefs.

The Foundation has four core areas of activity. The Education Programme teaches skills in successful place-making through seminars and workshops. The Projects & Practice department is engaged on a series of live developments in partnership with the private sector and public agencies. The Chief Executive Team runs strategic initiatives with several major policy partners. The Design Theory & Networks department develops and disseminates new examples of practice by our global network that evidences innovation and tested tools for building successful communities.

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