The mayor of Atlanta is off to see Prince Charles in London within the next couple of hours.
Why? Apparently the Brits are interested in rescuing Vine City, Eighth Avenue, and other Atlanta neighborhoods.
Below is the press release from City Hall. “HRH,” which some might mistake for a clearing of the throat, is for “His Royal Highness:”
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.”
Here’s a more digestible explanation of Poundbury, from Wikipedia:
The development is built to a traditional high-density urban pattern, rather than a suburban one, focused on creating an integrated community of shops, businesses, and private and social housing; there is no zoning. The planners say they are designing the development around people rather than the car, and they aim to provide a high-quality environment, from the architecture to the selection of materials, to the signposts, and the landscaping. To avoid constant construction, utilities are buried in common utility ducts under the town. Common areas are maintained by a management company to which all residents belong.
To some degree, the project shows similarities with the contemporary New Urbanism movement, primarily found in the United States, except that the design influences are, of course, European. The design of the houses are in traditional styles, with period features such as bricked-up windows, a feature found on many old British buildings, due to the window tax.