SoNo Urban Lab

The SoNo Urban Lab was held on January 15th thanks to the support of The Sustainable Cities Institute of the Home Depot Foundation and Cousins Properties.

A team of experts from the design, development, planning, public health and transportation professions spent a half-day concepting and discussing recommendations and projects to advance the existing Imagine Downtown plan toward a more sustainable, healthy and livable future specifically through the exploration and examination of the SoNo district.

What is SoNo?

An abbreviation for “South of North Avenue,” SoNo refers to the area of Downtown bounded by North Avenue, Central Park Place and the Downtown Connector (Interstate-75/85.) This mixed-used neighborhood is home to assets such as the Atlanta Civic Center, Emory University Hospital – Midtown, Bank of America Plaza, One Georgia Center, St. Luke’s Episcopal and North Avenue Presbyterian churches and the Shakespeare Tavern

What is an Urban Lab?

The ‘Urban Lab’ program of the Congress for the New Urbanism is designed to advance the design and development of healthy places. During an Urban Lab, a hand-picked team of invited new urbanist designers and other experts from the fields of public health, policy, transportation and sustainability provide key suggestions, advice and even sketch alternatives as a peer review of existing plans and projects.

Check out the action yourself.....

 John Norquist  on "Why Atlanta?"

Stefanos Polyzoides on Atlanta as a model


SoNo Vision and Goals

A revitalized SoNo will connect the thriving Midtown and Downtown communities to the north and south by building on the current activity along Peachtree Street. Opportunities abound to increase the retail mix along Peachtree and to build additional high- to mid-density housing to provide a transition from the dense commercial activity along Peachtree to the established single-family community of the Old Fourth Ward to the east. The Atlanta Civic Center site provides a significant opportunity for SoNo to accommodate additional commercial and residential growth with the added benefit of transformational civic and cultural amenities. Emory University Hospital - Midtown will also serve as a catalyst for increased investment in healthcare and research facilities.

New Sustainable ‘Big Ideas’ from the SoNo Urban Lab

  • SoNo should be a ‘model’ for district-level water conservation techniques
  • Buildings in SoNo should be the most energy-efficient in the City of Atlanta
  • Be a Walking Neighborhood
  • Demand ‘Complete Streets’
  • Focus on Urban Character
  • Get Started Now!

To learn more about each of these Big Ideas, click here to review the SoNo Urban Lab Summary.