Macon-Bibb County – working with multiple authorities, foundations, organizations, departments, and more – want to ensure that all people have easy access to the shopping, entertainment, food, recreation opportunities, and services offered Downtown. A network of trails and parks is being created that will allow people to walk, run, and bike throughout the urban core in more enjoyable and safer ways.

To make sure that network meets the needs of people in and around Downtown, the group needs to learn more about the current and desired uses of the parks that will ultimately be connected. (See picture below) A quick three-minute survey has been created to help collect that input.

Click here to complete the survey and be a part of planning a more connected, safer city!

This effort is part of Macon-Bibb being asked to joining national Reimagining Civic Commons, a national initiative to advance ambitious social, economic, and environmental goals through public spaces. Macon-Bibb's project is focusing on expanding the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail through Downtown using existing median parks and expanding into the inner core neighborhoods, transforming a well-used recreation space into the spine of a sustainable and equitable transportation network.

To learn more about Reimagining the Civic Commons and explore plans for the initiative across all 10 cities, please visit:

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About the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail Expansion Effort

As with many cities, in the 20th century, roads and highways became the main planning and economic development tools for Macon-Bibb, resulting in blighted and disconnected neighborhoods and a struggling Downtown. Macon-Bibb is looking to continue reversing this trend by focusing on connecting all residents to the assets that sprawl left behind: a walkable downtown and beautiful inner core homes and buildings.

While downtown has seen a renaissance of housing and small businesses, its public spaces are still lacking. Macon-Bibb and its partners are focusing efforts on investing in a network of trails that will connect disinvested neighborhoods to downtown while expanding economic opportunity to more people.

The Ocmulgee Heritage Trail is a recreational trail along the Ocmulgee River. Already well-used and diverse, the trail has the potential to provide more than recreation. Upgrades and new connections will create a network of trails to connect more neighborhoods to downtown in a safe, fun, and robust way. Pop-up events will welcome people to underutilized spaces, and new biking and walking infrastructure will support healthy communities and improve connections to downtown. The planned expansion will also reimagine a median park system throughout downtown and connect other urban core parks that have been overlooked and under-programmed for generations.

By using the trail as a backbone, Macon is working to create public spaces where everyone feels a sense of belonging and ownership, helping lower barriers to wealth creation and social equity in a community that has not seen much socioeconomic mixing in the past.

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About the Reimagining Civic Commons in Macon-Bibb

In March 2020, Macon-Bibb County was selected as one of 10 cities nationally to join a national initiative to advance ambitious social, economic, and environmental goals through public spaces. Reimagining the Civic Commons has invited Macon to join as part of a five-city expansion in its efforts.

As part of the Reimagining the Civic Commons effort, Macon will join with innovative civic leaders from across the country to pioneer new ways to design, manage and operate public spaces for the benefit of all. "Participating in the civic commons network will give us a toolkit and process to ensure quality public space that drives value and equity in our community," says Alex Morrison, the project's co-lead convener and Executive Director of the Urban Development Authority. "This effort will help us reconnect with the type of design that our city founders laid out as our community approaches its bicentennial."

The Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority is the convening agency for this effort. Active and engaged partners working together include the AARP, Bike Walk Macon, Causey Construction Consulting, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, Friends of Rosa Parks Square, JBK Southern, Inc., Macon-Bibb Community Enhancement Authority, Macon-Bibb County Consolidated Government, Main Street Macon Christmas Lights Extravaganza, NewTown Macon, Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, the Peyton Anderson Foundation, Rhythm and Jazz, WT Designs, the JPB Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation.stats

Filed Under: Government, City

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