Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community Grant

In April 2016, Central Atlanta ProgressSouthwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) and Project for Public Spaces announced a joint effort that will maximize Woodruff Park’s unique potential to become a popular and exciting downtown gathering place. A catalytic grant, valued at $200,000 including monetary and technical support, from the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program will enable Central Atlanta Progress to implement its plan to improve perceptions, increase park usage, and enliven this key public space in the “heart” of Downtown Atlanta with the help of the people who work, study, live in and care about downtown.

The Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program focuses on placemaking, a movement that is revolutionizing cities around the world by boosting community participation in the creation, design, and programming of their unique public spaces. Southwest Airlines believes that public spaces, whether neighborhood parks, small plazas, or downtown squares, are the true hearts of communities, as the places where people gather, connect, and enjoy each other and the cities they live in. The placemaking process highlights the capacity for ordinary spaces to achieve excellence by becoming vibrant, authentic, functional, and well-loved places that will benefit the community socially, culturally, and economically for years to come. The Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant will allow Central Atlanta Progress to fully engage the community through workshops, visioning, interviews, surveys, pop-up activities and other placemaking events on enlivening Woodruff Park.

By bringing the communities together around building a shared vision for Woodruff Park, Central Atlanta Progress will strengthen the connections between people and place and generate a greater sense of belonging and inclusion through the co-creation of a great public space where everyone feels welcome and comfortable.

Read the full press release here

Since April, Central Atlanta Progress and Project for Public Spaces have surveyed community members and facilitated focus groups and a community workshop to formulate plans for the grant's implementation in the park. 

Stay tuned for forthcoming updates on this Heart of the Community project!