On Second Thought For Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Before the end of his term as Atlanta mayor, Kasim Reed announced the expansion of Piedmont Park. The Atlanta City Council recently approved the $100 million expansion. It would require $80 million from the private sector and $20 million would be given by the city of Atlanta.

 

 


Even though the majority voted in favor, some council members were apprehensive.

“I’m uncomfortable with the funding sources,” councilwoman Natalyn Archibong told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong said. In the end, she voted for the expansion.

We spoke with Sean Keenan, associate editor for Curbed Atlanta, and with Mario Cambradella, urban agriculture director for the City of Atlanta, about the impacts this new expansion will have on the city. We also looked at the impact urban greenspaces have on a community's physical and mental health.

 

We sat down with Jimmy Dills and Michelle Rushing, both research associates at the Georgia Health Policy Center. They talked about some of the policies they have worked on to create a healthier environment for the metro Atlanta area. We also spoke with research scientist Viniece Jennings about her efforts to bridge the gap between public parks in urban developments and well-being.

In one way or another, access to green space — or lack thereof — affects all 10 million Georgians. Around the state, communities are looking for ways to help everyone be healthier. In Macon, there’s Georgia’s first urban agrihood. In Savannah, there’s a campaign underway to make bicycles more accessible and safe roadways more available. And in Athens, a network of community gardens and farmers markets helps educate and empower everyone from schoolchildren to seniors.

To learn more about these initiatives, we spoke with John Bennett, executive director of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. We also checked in with Danny Glover, founder of Macon’s agrihood and ONE South Community Development Corporation. Heather Benham, executive director of Athens Land Trust, also joined the conversation.