Monday, January 11, 2010

David Byrne to help kick off Atlanta new urbanism conference

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 11:14 PM

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Musician, writer and all-around artiste David Byrne will sit on the opening night panel at the Congress for New Urbanism's “Rx for Healthy Places” conference that's coming to Atlanta in May.

Byrne will join Georgia Tech architecture professor Ellen Dunham-Jones, Glenwood Park developer Charles Brewer and former Buckhead Community Improvement Executive Director Scottie Greene to discuss how well-planned cities where people can walk, bike and roam freely can benefit public health and overall quality of life.

Byrne, a well-known lover of velocipedes, will surely offer some splendid non-wonk insight about how mobility can enhance one's life. (His recent book Bicycle Diaries chronicles the musician's two-wheeled tours through some of the world's great cities — and how those jaunts changed the way he views the places we live, work and play.) We're tempted to try and coax Byrne into joining us on a lazy tour of Atlanta's hellish roads, but are afraid his fans would forever despise us for putting his life in danger. We're still gonna try, though.

As my muse Ken Edelstein correctly states, the May 19-22 conference is a huge get for Atlanta. Organized in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the summit will feature some of the nation's top thinkers when it comes to smart growth. Maybe some of those intelligent folks could give Atlanta (and Georgia) the solid jab it needs to start getting its act together.

(Courtesy Perry Julien)

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