equitable development & sustainable design technical assistance: MACON, GA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Macon Arts Alliance (MAA), with assistance from the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Agency (UDA), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative (SC2), is engaging community leaders and local residents to build a coalition of support for the redevelopment of Macon’s Mill Hill neighborhood. Macon-Bibb County and the MAA are planning to reinvent and revitalize this neighborhood, using an arts-driven approach to redevelopment, by creating Mill Hill: East Macon Arts Village (Arts Village) - a creative place making and community development initiative serving the residents of the Fort Hawkins Neighborhood and all of East Macon.

Renaissance provided a team of specialists to conduct a three-day design workshop and a series of organizational meetings with stakeholders to develop the concept plan for the Mill Hill residential block and Arts Alley, a specific site in the Arts Village. The team developed a strategy to connect both community members and visitors to the site and the technical assistance team addressed one of the foremost design challenges facing the Alley: designing a space that accommodates the key groups of people integral to making the Alley a lively and vibrant cultural center, including resident artists, community members, and visitors. During the workshop, Renaissance focused on ways that spaces could accommodate these groups and encourage interactions among them. Renaissance also generated viable concepts for structuring the ownership and governance of the Mill Hill artists-in-residence and Arts Alley aspects of the Arts Village.

We created a place-based community development strategy for implementing other components of the Arts Village and revitalizing the Fort Hawkins neighborhood. Topics covered in the final report include transportation and multimodal access and circulation issues, renovation and reuse of a historic auditorium, public park development, neighborhood stabilization, housing and the structure and function of local community development organizations.