“The New Normal. Connecting Across Boundaries.”

The New Normal. Connecting Across Boundaries
By Judy Yi, Director of Education, Trees Atlanta

“This is not normal. This sort of collaboration amongst jurisdictions. This is unique.” Dr. Shawn Gillen, City Manager of Doraville, added, “I want to tip my hat to the mayors.” Dr. Gillen acknowledged the panel of mayors who launched the Peachtree Gateway Partnership, an innovative coalition among Metro Atlanta municipalities for strategic planning and development for their cities. The partnership demonstrates how smaller metro-area cities can work together for the mutual benefit of their region, resulting in more comprehensive greenspace projects.

Mayors John Ernst (Brookhaven), Eric Clarkson (Chamblee), and Denis Shortal (Dunwoody), along with Dr. Gillen representing Mayor Donna Pitman (Doraville), discussed the benefits of their formal partnership at the 2017 Mayors Symposium and Statewide Arbor Day Celebration hosted by Trees Atlanta, Georgia Forestry Commission, and the Georgia Urban Forest Council.

Using tree planting to improve storm water management, mitigate pollution, and lower urban heat island effect can be an effective (and cost-saving) tool for cities, but it requires collective effort. These issues do not stop at city boundaries. What if this collaborative model across city borders could be the new norm?