Atlanta’s latest initiatives ensure its place as one of the U.S.’s most sustainable cities.
The American South is known for many things—Antebellum architecture and the Civil Rights Movement, the SEC and Jimmy Carter, fried chicken and southern drawls, humidity and Spanish moss. But in the heart of north Georgia, the capital city of Atlanta is making a name for itself on the world stage by striving to become one of the greenest cities on the planet.
“Atlanta has made incredible strides to become a greener and more resilient city,” says Stephanie Stuckey, chief resilience officer for the City of Atlanta’s Office of Resilience, where they are committed to transitioning to 100% clean energy, enacting the largest municipal solar program in the state, electrifying the city’s fleet, and turning abandoned city lots into community gardens. Not to mention, a new city ordinance that requires all new construction and major renovations to be at least LEED Silver certified. “We work hand-in-hand with the planning and design community to ensure these initiatives incorporate best practices for the built and natural environment,” Stuckey says.
For local leaders, working to be more sustainable means reconciling the city’s developmental goals with its long-term environmental limits. We’ve all heard of urban chic, but Atlanta is at the forefront of the latest trend in sustainability; let’s call it: urban green. So we headed south to check out a few of the city’s latest sustainability endeavors: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the first professional sports venue in the world to achieve LEED Platinum certification; the Grant Park Gateway Project, connecting local communities via new and improved green space; and Camp Southern Ground, country music star and visionary Zac Brown’s latest passion project.