Since its founding, Atlanta has always aspired to greater heights. In its brief history, Atlanta has risen from ashes to an economic engine for the South and the cornerstone of the U.S. civil rights movement.
Atlanta’s leadership in economic development and social equity embodies two of the three pillars of sustainability. Completing the triad of sustainability by intentionally planning for the environmental health of our city presents the next opportunity for Atlanta’s growth. By doing so, we will also ensure Atlanta’s economic prosperity and civil rights legacy for generations to come.
Early in the effort to develop a blueprint for making Atlanta a more viable and competitive city, a group comprised of environmental, government and economic experts from both public and private sectors researched best practices, policies and programs in several peer cities. Out of this research one of the overarching takeaways was that for a city like Atlanta and its stakeholders to truly become sustainable, City government had to lead by example. Environmental sustainability was identified as a critical factor in making Atlanta a more competitive and viable city. In 2007, city leadership was charged with creating a community dedicated to sustainability and Sustainable Atlanta was born.
With the help of city officials and expert consultants, Sustainable Atlanta’s first step was to assess current sustainable practices for the City of Atlanta and recommend a course of action to implement new-high impact policies and programs. Now Sustainable Atlanta continues this work through its focus on convening leaders from academic, business, civic, governmental sectors and non-profits to develop sustainable policy and programs for those who live, work and play in Atlanta.
Sustainable Atlanta is now a 501(c) (3) not for profit organization. With an active board of business and civic leaders and a small staff led by Executive Director Suzanne Burnes, the organization works to advance a comprehensive vision for Atlanta’s future as a healthy, just and economically thriving city by developing actionable policies and programs, measuring progress and convening diverse coalitions. Sustainable Atlanta works closely with the City of Atlanta and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. They are all essential collaborators and partners in both facilitating a forward thinking culture of prosperity as well as driving the public/private partnerships that make the collective vision of being a sustainable city in the 21st Century an attainable reality – particularly in the face of such trying economic times.
For more information, visit www.sustainableatlanta.org