Jonathan Gelber, as Part of ULI Technical Assistance Panel, to Address the Future of Savannah's Civic Center

I am heading to Savannah, GA next week as a member of the Urban Land Institute's technical assistance panel to assess redevelopment opportunities for the Civic Center site. The City of Savannah proposed redevelopment of the site to better meet the needs of the city and surrounding communities.

 Savannah’s Civic Center under construction. Source: Savannah Morning News.

Savannah’s Civic Center under construction. Source: Savannah Morning News.

The major priorities of any proposals for the Civic Center are to respect Savannah's historic district and adhere to the Oglethorpe Plan as closely as possible, while reconnecting neighborhoods and determining the best mix of uses on the site. The City shared a survey asking Savannah residents to rank what characteristics for redevelopment of the site they value most: green space, arts and culture, community diversity, preserving historic character, and promoting employment opportunities and economic development.

Ogleshorpe’s Savannah Plan is the one of the most iconic things in the field of planning. It is our Mona Lisa. It is featured on the first day of any Urban Planning class and on the first page of any Urban Planning book. As a planner, I am honored to be entrusted to participate in such an important discussion.