During 2010, the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and the Georgia Cities Foundation engaged the University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute to conduct a comprehensive study of downtowns in Georgia. The year-long study has included survey research, fourteen “stakeholder” focus group sessions, and case study research on fourteen downtowns in Georgia.
The findings from this assessment were presented during GMA’s Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta on January 24, 2011. These findings include the following:
- Downtowns need a vision, a plan & leadership;
- Downtowns are economic engines;
- State and local collaboration in support of downtowns is needed; and
- Georgia needs a state strategy for downtowns.
Additionally, the study recommends that GMA and the Foundation create a joint task force to review all of the study’s findings and develop specific recommendations for consideration by the GMA membership and the Foundation’s Board of Directors.