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Midtown Looks To Be South’s First Urban Eco-District

Midtown Alliance to launch a community-wide sustainability action plan.

Staff Report

Midtown Alliance announced Wednesday the creation of “Greenprint Midtown,” a community-wide action plan that will integrate sustainability throughout Midtown, establishing the area as the South’s first urban eco-district.

Greenprint Midtown will help engage the community and technical experts to identify needs and priorities for innovative and implementable solutions to energy and water challenges, clean transportation options, community green-space, and recycling and reducing waste.

A four-month planning process begins March 1 when Midtown Alliance holds its first public meeting to introduce the initiative. The meeting will be at 999 Peachtree St. in the 5th floor Conference Center from 5:30-7 p.m. All Midtown community members are invited to attend, including the business, residential, university, nonprofit, real estate and restaurant communities; property owners and building managers; and those who work and play in Midtown. Those who would like to attend are asked to R.S.V.P to EcoDistrict@midtownalliance.org.

This planning effort will be guided by the Midtown Alliance in partnership with Southface, a nonprofit organization that has promoted energy, water and resource-efficient communities in the Southeast for more than 30 years, and Sustainable Atlanta, founded in 2007 to serve as a catalyst and facilitator for sustainable progress in the City of Atlanta.

“Midtown stakeholders have already taken the initiative to become more sustainable as evidenced by the growing portfolio of LEED and Energy Star rated buildings, and their support of Midtown Alliance’s existing ‘green’ programs,” said Kevin Green, president of Midtown Alliance, in a released statement.

What’s missing is a district-level plan to define a path forward and prioritize future action.

“Through this effort, Midtown Alliance will undertake a strategic approach to creating an eco-district in Midtown by working closely with the community and technical experts to identify opportunities that are implementable, impactful and financially feasible,” said Green.

Midtown is uniquely positioned to become the South’s first urban eco-district, with a commitment to accelerate district-scale sustainability by acting as a catalyst for “green” programs and investments, setting performance goals, and tracking results over time. Midtown has the physical building blocks in place needed for a sustainable community including a pedestrian-friendly street grid, a strong mix of land uses, robust transit options and significant green space.

Kurt Hartman, senior vice president of Hines and Midtown Improvement District board member, will convene an executive advisory committee to guide the Greenprint planning process. Hines manages two of the larger buildings in Midtown, 1180 Peachtree and One Atlantic Center, both of which are LEED-certified.

Said Hartment in a press release, “Increasingly, market forces are favoring cities and districts that are vibrant, walkable, transit-rich and ‘green.’ Tenants demand green office space and residents choose connected and sustainable communities. This is good for the environment and it’s good for the bottom line.”

The Greenprint process is made possible through grants received from the Kendeda Fund, the Atlanta Regional Commission, and the Midtown Improvement District.

- Midtown Alliance contributed to this report

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