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Exploring Atlanta: Mobile Workshops



Smart Growth Planning in Action in Decatur, Georgia 

Wednesday, 9am-1pm

Located just 6 miles from the heart of Atlanta, the City of Decatur, GA is known for its strong sense of place, walkability and fantastic events such as the Decatur Craft Beer Festival.  Hailed as a 20-year overnight success, Decatur has taken an incremental approach to smart growth planning and implementation with a focus on historic preservation, transit oriented development, complete streets and building community partnerships. With over 200 retail and restaurants locations, this 4-square-mile city has a long history of community based planning as can be seen in the most recent 10-year Strategic Plan.

Decatur-Sycamore-East- 2

Photo courtesy of City of Decatur.

Put on your walking shoes, hop on the MARTA rail line just across from the convention center, and join the tour as we ride to this Southern Living Magazine destination to explore their efforts getting to smart growth. The walking tour will highlight commercial and mixed-use projects in downtown, contemporary buildings that respect tradition, public art, and planning to encourage walking and pedestrian activity. You’ll hear from community leaders who have been instrumental in the community’s transition and have lots of opportunities to ask questions. This tour will also a make a stop at historic women’s college Agnes Scott College to learn more about the active energy conservation study. After the tour, you are invited to enjoy local entertainment and restaurants, many of which are located on redeveloped brownfields. 

                         MARTA is a proud sponsor of this Mobile Workshop


Paddle With A Ranger! - Chattahoochee River Tour 

Wednesday, 9am-1pm

The water quality of the “Hooch” has undergone a huge improvement in the last 15 years and the City is actively working to re-orient the river to serve as the City’s front door. On this tour, join Ranger Jerry Hightower for a leisurely float on the Chattahoochee River.  Discover the beautiful spring wildflowers and ferns as we float a three mile section of the Chattahoochee River from Powers Island to Paces Mill at US Highway 41.  There are three mild class 1.5 rapids suitable for beginners along this part of the river.  The Palisades have narrow floodplains and steep ridges rising to over 1,000 feet. The area offers a great diversity of habitats and includes oak-hickory forest, steep north facing slopes, mesic ravine forest, and floodplain forest. Created by the geologic action of the Brevard Fault, the river, and the effects of weather this rugged and beautiful section of the river is habitat to an extraordinary array of wildlife and wildflowers.  Look for paw prints in the soft mud or see a majestic heron take wing. This will be a slow moving float with a number of stops along the way.

Bring: Remember to dress in comfortable quick drying clothes and wear good river shoes. No flip-flops! Bring adequate water.  Have a nylon bag to secure your valuables in your boat.  Place valuables in zip closure freezer bags or dry bag. You may wish to bring binoculars and camera.  Don’t forget a hat, rain jacket, and sunscreen! 

Difficulty:  Easy paddling suitable for beginners, but persons must have some basic canoeing or kayaking experience. Although the river is slow moving, attendees will be required to sign a waiver.




Highway to Health: From CDC to Emory

Thursday, 11:15am-1:30pm


What can brownfield communities learn and apply from the experts at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as we work to build more sustainable communities through land revitalization? This tour intersects with two renowned Atlanta institutions, each looking at how the whole neighborhood, including Emory and CDC, are making smart redevelopment changes that incorporate the needs of the community.


First, the group will drive through Clifton Corridor, a proposed large-scale transit initiative to connect an area with little access to public transportation to the rest of the metropolis. Then, attendees will visit the Design with the Other 90%: CITIES exhibit at the CDC Museum, which highlights how communities around the world are meeting the challenges of urban planning, affordable housing, non-formal education, public health and more. While visiting the CDC Museum, attendees will have an opportunity to discuss Climate Change with George Luber and talk about the CDC's Sustainability efforts with Liz York.

Lastly, attendees will take a walk around the Emory University campus, where sustainability has been identified as a top priority. Learn from the Emory University place-based sustainability efforts that can be applied in any brownfield community. 



Adaptive Reuse at its Finest: Ponce City Market Emerges 

Thursday, 11:15am-1:30pm

Join this tour to explore the next Chelsea Market of the south. Ponce City Market is the largest adaptive reuse project in Atlanta's history, restoring 2.1 million square feet of the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse into a mixed use development for office, retail and residential living.  This tour will also feature historic Fourth Ward Park.


Atlanta BeltLine Experience 


beltline tour Photo courtesy of

The Atlanta BeltLine is not just some whimsical concept that only exists in the minds of planners. The Atlanta BeltLine is happening right now. It is already a living, breathing part of the fabric of Atlanta, and it is impossible to appreciate its importance to the community without experiencing it first-hand.

Take a ride around this 22-mile loop while you learn about the Atlanta BeltLine concept, its history, and updates on project planning, implementation and development. Witness first-hand the transformative effect the Atlanta BeltLine is having on the surrounding neighborhoods.  For more information, visit


Atlanta’s Best-Kept Secret: The Goat Farm

Thursday, 1pm-4pm

goat farm
Photo courtesy of Camilla Warren.

Atlanta’s Goat Farm is a former 19th century manufacturing facility turned artist’s haven and performance space located just behind the vibrant Westside Urban Market. Once home to a cotton gin and sheet metal factory, the mixed use development now hosts musical concerts, theatrical performances, and film screenings, along with studio space for over 300 artists.  Join Anthony Harper, one of the owners of the space, as he provides a brief tour of this repurposed West Atlanta treasure. 

Goat Farm Handout




Area-Wide Planning in Atlanta: A Revitalization Action Tour

Friday, 11:15am-1:30pm

ft mc
Photo courtesy of McPherson Redevelopment.

Fort McPherson is one of several catalyst sites you will visit on this tour that will show how brownfields redevelopment and land revitatlization supports community needs while creating new economic engines, all while utilizing proximity to the Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

"Ft. Mac," a 488-acre Army installation located in southwest Atlanta, was selected to close under the 2005 round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and closed in September 2011. Now, redevelopment is being planned to grant Fort McPherson new life as an urban center, including a science center, which will provide a range of employment opportunities, retail, park space and residential neighborhoods. Come see how the EPA Pilot Area Wide Planning Grant has moved this new era of revitalization as we tour movie sets, future job incubators and other catalyst sites.


Proctor Creek Watershed Mitigation Tour

Friday, 11:15am-1:30pm

Proctor Creek
Photo of Proctor Creek courtesy of Debra Edelson

Proctor Creek is a 10,600-acre urban watershed that covers a large portion of downtown Atlanta. The watershed's headwaters include icons like the Georgia World Congress Center and Georgia Dome which subsequently flow northwest through residential and industrial neighborhoods to a confluence with the Chattahoochee River. On its 9-mile course to the river the creek washes 42% of the pollutants generated by the City of Atlanta into the Chattahoochee River. 

A handful of local and federal agencies, including the USEPA, Corps of Engineers and Federal Highways, among others, have become engaged in assessing and mitigating issues in this troubled watershed. The Proctor Creek tour will highlight locations that exemplify both the issues of flooding, pollutant generation and public health as well as some of the opportunities for their mitigation through the implementation of innovative green infrastructure, investment and policy solutions.

Proctor Creek Tour Map


                     Emerald Corridor LLC is a proud sponsor of this Mobile Workshop




Instructions for Mobile Workshop Registration

For detailed instructions on mobile workshop registration, click here.


Limited tickets for mobile workshops may be available onsite. Please check with the Mobile Workshop Counter.


Your ticket will be included with your name badge when you check in at registration. If you need additional assistance, please visit us at the Mobile Workshop Counter. 


Please plan to meet at the designated departure point for the Mobile Workshops at least 15 minutes before your tour is scheduled to leave. All Mobile Workshops will leave at their scheduled times. We do not hold Mobile Workshops for late arrivals. The location for tour departures will be noted in the onsite guide and on your ticket. If you need additional assistance, please visit us at the Mobile Workshop Counter. 


Once a Mobile Workshop is sold out, a wait list will be available. Each wait list is limited in capacity. Once you are added to a wait list, you will be notified as space becomes available.


Mobile Workshop registration may be cancelled by e-mail, fax or in writing directly through Brownfields Registration, without penalty, until 5:00 pm ET April 24, 2013. If cancellations are received after April 24, 2013, a $25 processing fee will be incurred. No refunds will be issued after May 3, 2013.


FAX: 678-341-3099

MAIL: QMS Services, Inc.
Attention: The National Brownfields 2013 Conference
6840 Meadowridge Court
Alpharetta, GA 30005


For more information regarding Mobile Workshops, please contact Emily Dodson at (202) 962-3662 or by email at