Building For Livability

From the Sandy Springs Revitalization Milestone newsletter and web site -- April 2001. 


[This graphic was the opening page for a special section on the Livable Centers Initiative on the Sandy Springs web site.   The places in the insets, while not found  in Sandy Springs today, represent  the vision outlined in the Sandy Springs LCI plan completed in July of 2001.]


Sandy Springs is blessed with many advantages – a central location in the heart of north metro Atlanta, an excellent climate, beautiful neighborhoods, a well-educated population, an abundance of job opportunities, and above average household incomes.  Real estate experts rate Sandy Springs as one of the top ten business and merchandising markets in the country.


With all these advantages, some parts of Sandy Springs just do not work.  Everything about our urban design says this is a place for cars, not for people.  The community’s main street is cluttered with signs, poles and poorly maintained commercial structures.  Affordable residential options close to the commercial district are limited.  And where are the parks, fountains, benches, cafes, and arts and cultural activities that make a community interesting?  


At the Stakeholders’ sessions in March, participants discussed their concerns, and listed what they liked and what was missing in Sandy Springs.  They learned that a successful community is one whose physical form reflects the core values of the people who live there -- when our community reflects what is important to us, we experience quality of life.  And when the things we hold important are not there, it detracts from our quality of life, and can contribute to the eventual decline of the community.


It is the goal of the Livable Sandy Springs Plan to reclaim the heart of Sandy Springs for its people.  Let us know what is important to you?  What do you value?  What is missing?  What should our town center be like? 


Take the “Walkability Survey” on page 6, or contact us in writing with your ideas and input by May 1st.  More information including an interactive “Visual Preference Survey” will be available in April on the Sandy Springs Community Web Site at


Sidebar:  What works in successful communities?  Studies show that communities that survive and thrive over time are those that (1) encourage public transportation, and (2) a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial development; (3) have high enough density to nourish pedestrian life; and most important, (4) have maintained a sense of place.  These conditions occur only where there has been farsighted planning and a long-term commitment to implementation.