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IMPROVING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN ATLANTA

 
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The NPU Initiative is a independently-led, multi-year review of the City of Atlanta’s official system for community engagement — the Neighborhood Planning Units (NPU).

 
 
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The NPU Initiative is an effort by the Center for Civic Innovation to improve community engagement in Atlanta. Our mission is to address issues of inequality in our city through solutions built from the ground up, and we believe that finding and supporting community solutions to community problems starts with making sure that everyone can be heard.

Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Units were conceived for exactly that purpose back in 1974, but how well are they working 45 years later? Together with a growing coalition of like-minded community groups across Atlanta, we’re taking a look at the state of the NPU system and thinking big about how it could be better: more accessible, more inclusive, and more representative of the communities they serve.

 

 

Neighborhood Planning Units

 
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The City of Atlanta is divided into
25 NPUs.

Each contains at least two individual neighborhoods and has been assigned a letter of the alphabet from A to Z.*

*Except for U, because that would be confusing.

 
 

How does the NPU System work?

  • City officials provide information to and get feedback from the NPUs on public safety, public works, permits, parks, and other neighborhood planning matters.

  • Everyone over the age of 18 who lives in Atlanta’s city limits is a member of an NPU.

  • Property owners, business owners, and organizations can have a representative member, too.

  • NPUs typically meet once a month to conduct business.

  • Each NPU has its own bylaws so there’s no one-size-fits-all description.

  • NPUs help prepare the Comprehensive Development Plan dealing with the physical, social, and economic aspects of our city.

 

SINCE 1974

THE NPU SYSTEM HAS BEEN THE CITY OF ATLANTA’S OFFICIAL WAY TO ENGAGE WITH RESIDENTS


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Who came up with NPUs?

 
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RESIDENTS

In the early 1970s, community activists demanded a greater voice at city hall to save their neighborhoods.

Representative  Grace Towns Hamilton

Representative Grace Towns Hamilton

state legislators

In 1973, state legislators included requirements for citizen participation in the City of Atlanta’s new charter.

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city leaders

In 1974, Mayor Maynard Jackson and the City Council created the NPUs to ensure residents would be heard.

 
 
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AN INDEPENDENTLY-LED, MULTI-YEAR STUDY AND REVIEW OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA’S HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING UNIT SYSTEM


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How the NPU Initiative will work

 
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Find your NPU!

 

NPU Initiative FAQs

 

+ 1. Is this a City of Atlanta initiative?

While we forever love Atlanta, the NPU Initiative is independent from the City of Atlanta government. It is led by a growing coalition of partner organizations seeking to improve community engagement in our city.

+ 2. How is the NPU Initiative being funded?

Initial funding for this initiative has come from foundations including Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Annie E. Casie Foundation, Kendeda Fund, and Blank Foundation.

+3. How can I get involved in the NPU Initiative?

We have lots of ways for you to get involved! To start, fill out the form below and someone from our team will be in touch!

+4. How are you engaging stakeholders?

We have spent the past year conducting historical research and meeting with key stakeholders, including elected NPU leadership, city council members, mayoral representatives, and community-based organizations. Over the next two years, the NPU Initiative will educate our fellow Atlanta residents about the history of community engagement in our city, analyze what is how engagement is happening today, and evaluate improvements to make it better in the future.

The next few months will continue to be focused on meeting with potential partners that can inform the work. The next phase of the NPU Initiative will involve a city-wide survey of Atlanta residents on how they engage with local government, including interactions with the NPU system. Simultaneously, the coalition will attend meetings and conduct a thorough assessment of all 25 NPUs, work with key stakeholders to gain deeper insight into community engagement challenges and opportunities, and develop and implement a city-wide education program of “NPU 101” events to educate Atlantans on the past and present of NPUs.