January 27, 2020
CONTACT: Kelli Bennett
ATLANTA – Nine cities from across Georgia received the inaugural Visionary City Award presented by Georgia Trend magazine and GMA during the association’s Cities United Summit in Atlanta on Sunday, Jan. 26. Representing three population categories: small (under 4,999), medium (5,000-24,999) and large (25,000 and over), these cities have created positive community change through effective civic engagement and collaboration and have fostered healthy working relationships that make their communities places where people truly love to live and work.
“It’s our privilege to honor the elected officials, city staff and community leaders of these nine cities who’ve led these initiatives and projects,” said GMA Executive Director Larry Hanson. “These cities exemplify what it means to be forward-thinking for their residents and generations to come and also serve as inspiring examples of civility, collaboration and creating communities of positive change across Georgia.”
Inaugural Visionary City Award Winners:
Small City Category
• Hogansville: Recognized for honoring the legacy of Isaiah Lofton, former African-American Hogansville postmaster from 1897, who was nearly assassinated
• Donalsonville: Recognized for the eDonalsonville initiative, which made affordable, fixed wireless broadband possible for residents and businesses in this rural city
• Winterville: Recognized for the community involvement used to transform the Winterville Auditorium into a home for the arts
Medium City Category
• Adel: This Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia city is recognized for facilitating a plan to sell its excess electricity by teaming with six other cities and attracting a large business to purchase the excess. This project is expected to bring over $15 million dollars in gross sales annually.
• Thomasville: Recognized for the development of the city’s history-rich “The Bottom” creative district
• Decatur: Recognized for its Better Together initiative, which brought together more than 800 residents who contributed more than 1,300 hours to the yearlong visioning and outreach project aimed at creating a more diverse and welcoming city
Large City Category
• Marietta: Recognized for the creation of the Elizabeth Porter Park to honor a beloved community member and give a historic African-American community improved recreation options
• Chamblee: Recognized for their Mid-City Strolls, an engaging approach to gathering community feedback and spreading awareness around city projects
• Sugar Hill: Recognized for the sense of place created by and community involvement responsible for the creation of the city’s E-Center, a 180,000-square-foot mixed-use development
Judges for the 2020 Visionary City Award represented influential entities including Georgia Power, the Department of Community Affairs and the Atlanta Regional Commission. In addition to being recognized during GMA’s Cities United Summit, winning cities will be highlighted in the February issue of Georgia Trend.
Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, research, training, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its 538 member cities.