Atlanta’s Planning Commissioner Won’t Tolerate Bad Design Any Longer

Tim Keane says quality design isn’t negotiable and developers need to aim higher.
December 23, 2018, 11am PST | Camille Fink
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Atlanta Planning Commissioner Tim Keane came from Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, and he is on a mission to raise the city's design standards. He says design has not been a priority in Atlanta, and he has sent projects back to developers telling them they will not be approved until improvements are made, reports Maria Saporta:

It is his attempt to stop the development of "Mr. Potatohead" buildings – structures where architects add different design features to try to make an ugly building better. Keane would rather architects start out with a simple building design with high quality materials and amenities.

Keane wants developers to think about features like a building's relationship to the street and its proportions. He also thinks historic preservation is crucial in helping Atlanta develop its architectural character, and the design of new buildings should match the quality of older ones. 

Keane's focus on design is part of a larger strategy to integrate and balance different facets of the city. "He has been working on a host of institutional changes – the zoning ordinance, a new tree ordinance, an urban ecology framework plan, a more pedestrian-oriented transportation plan and now better design standards," says Saporta.

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Published on Monday, December 17, 2018 in SaportaReport
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