ARC Lifelong Communities
The Lifelong Communities Charrette was a nine day intensive design workshop focused on the challenge of creating places all people, no matter age or ability, can live. Sponsored by the Atlanta Regional Commission, the charrette built on the preceding two years of work, organizing community meetings in each of the region’s ten counties. These diverse gatherings of professionals, residents and elected officials focused on the opportunities and challenges the aging population presents. While many local communities responded with new programs and policies to meet the coming need, this work would have to “scale up” in a relatively short period of time.
The charrette was created to do just that-- grab the attention of the region, explore new ideas and challenge old assumptions at a much larger scale. DPZ led a cross disciplinary team of aging and healthcare professionals, urban planners, architects, transportation and mobility experts, developers, public health and local elected officials as the issues were examined. Over the nine days, this group examined a wide range of issues focusing on how to provide the housing and transportation options, access to basic and preventive healthcare and opportunities for social interaction and physical activity that older adults need to lead active and engaged lives.
DPZ developed conceptual master plans for five different sites, representative of the diversity of the metro region and crafted a set of standards to guide future policy and development across Atlanta towards more diverse, walkable, and accessible urbanism. The charrette also developed new designs for senior centers and supportive housing models that can be integrated into a neighborhood as well as strategies for transforming low performing retail centers into mixed use communities. Over 1500 people participated in the charrette work sessions, presentations and design studio.
DPZ and the Atlanta Regional Commission will continue to work with the five study sites over time to facilitate the implementation of the designs. Embarking on an extensive education and outreach campaign ARC will share the results of the charrette with residents, developers, planners, designers and local officials in the region.