Challenging Cultural Norms: Lenox Road and Retrofitting Urbanizing Communities

Some of the most challenging work within the Complete Streets movement is to create healthier, walkable, sustainable communities where the road network is limited. Where there is less of a network, residents cling to what they know best, driving in their cars. This creates resistance and challenges practitioners to find new ways to advocate for equitable public infrastructure. The Buckhead community of Atlanta, Georgia, has become a laboratory for challenging these cultural norms. Long known for its elegant estates, local nightlife, and two of the highest grossing shopping malls in the country, Buckhead is at a crossroads. Competing not just with other neighborhoods like Midtown or Sandy Springs, it is part of a global economy as it attempts to draw new businesses and residents into the area. Traffic and a lack of mobility are two of its challenges, and Lenox Road is a microcosm of the story. The iconic corridor is only located in Buckhead but rather than reflect the community, it has been engineered to act like a highway discouraging pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit.


To address these challenges Livable Buckhead, the Buckhead Community Improvement District, and the City of Atlanta are working to implement real change within the public realm. The Buckhead REdeFINED movement is the latest effort to codify how the community can preserve its identify and allow for growth while using complete streets concepts as the medium for change. This includes incorporating affordable housing into the discussion as a tool to maximize the success of multiple modes of transportation. This session will provide a contextual overview of the rapidly urbanizing Buckhead community, discuss the Buckhead REdeFINED master plan, and showcase Lenox Road as a case study that will help challenge the traditional modes of transportation people are used to in Atlanta.



  • Andrew Kohr, Senior Associate (Stantec)

  • Craig Lewis, Principal (Stantec)

    • ​​Wednesday, April 4 (1:45pm - 3:15pm)

© 2018 Smart Growth America | National Complete Streets Coalition

Nashville Music City Center

201 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203