Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Newnan Downtown Awarded ‘Great Places in Georgia’ By the Georgia Planning Association (GPA)

Whether helping kids get to school safely, planning for inevitable growth or making a serious effort to “go green,” communities all over Georgia were recently recognized at the Georgia Planning Association’s awards ceremony. Newnan’s downtown was selected as the inaugural recipient of this year’s “Great Places in Georgia” award.

The 2009 GPA Chapter Awards were given to plans and projects that showed innovation, transferability, quality, effectiveness of implementation, public participation, technology, equity and sustainability. In addition to the basic planning awards, a new category was created to recognize “great places” in Georgia. The award was established to showcase communities that emphasize a live, work and play environment, safety, conservation, accessibility, and community involvement.

“This is a great honor for our City,” said Planning Director Tracy Dunnavant. “It shows that Newnan has managed to preserve its past while continuing to meet the needs of the future. It’s an award that could only be achieved through the efforts of the community as a whole.”

GPA citied several factors that contributed to downtown Newnan being selected as a “Great Place in Georgia”. Those factors included: Downtown being defined by its history, strong sense of place and engaged community; The antebellum architecture that remains intact in the downtown area; The wide variety of mixed uses in downtown including retail, restaurants, offices, industrial and public uses; The commitment of the City and County governments to keeping their administrative offices downtown; and Newnan’s selection as Georgia’s representative for This Old House’s Best Old House Neighborhoods for 2009.

Other winners of the 2009 GPA Chapter Awards were:

· Chattahoochee County Safe Routes to School, Outstanding Planning Process Small Community
· West Bay Street Hudson Hill Study, Outstanding Planning Process Large Community
· Oakwood 2030 The Shape of Life to Come, Outstanding Planning Document Small Community
· Gwinnett County 2030 Unified Plan, Outstanding Planning Document Large Community
· The Westobou Vision, Augusta, GA and North Augusta, SC Urban Area 2009 Master Plan, Outstanding Planning Document Large Community Honorable Mention
· Warm Springs Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail, Columbus, Outstanding Plan Implementation –
· Zoning Handbook, Columbus, Outstanding Educational Tool
· Regional Snapshots, Atlanta Regional Commission, Outstanding Educational Tool Honorable Mention
· Green Communities Program, Atlanta Regional Commission, Outstanding Initiatives/Special Projects
· Sustainable Fellwood, Savannah, Outstanding Initiatives/Special Projects
· Comprehensive Transportation Plan Program, Atlanta Regional Commission, Outstanding Initiatives/Special Projects Honorable Mention
· Georgia Tech Community Development Planning Studio on the English Avenue Neighborhood, Outstanding Student Project
· One Town, One Goal, Thomaston Mill Neighborhood, Griffin, Grassroots Initiative

The Georgia Planning Association (GPA) has provided resources and services to planners and communities for more than three decades, offering education, legislative support, the Community Planning Institute and other resources. Each year, GPA rewards local communities and regional commissions for their work to make Georgia a better place to live. The Georgia Planning Association presents its Chapter Awards at its fall conference.
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