Author Topic: Learning From Georgia I: Centennial Olympic Park  (Read 3998 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Learning From Georgia I: Centennial Olympic Park
« on: June 01, 2007, 12:00:00 AM »
Learning From Georgia I: Centennial Olympic Park



While Jacksonville is known for having the largest urban park system in the country, it doesn't take much to see that we struggle to get the most out of our parks.  Let's take a look at how Atlanta, another Sunbelt Sprawler, has created one of the most successful urban public spaces in less than ten years.

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http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/452

zoo

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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2007, 08:10:48 AM »
I worked on the Olympics in 96, met Billy Payne on a few occasions, and was aware of the goals/success of the "Brick" program. It was not the Brick program that provided any real funding for the Park -- it was largely the "donations" of Atlanta's corporations, as you mention, and their willingness to follow a very strong leader (Payne). The city, too, got on board, and filled any remaining gaps in manpower/resources (though these weren't large b/c the city's companies knew they needed to be the money). These companies also got back in the form of sponsorship marketing and Patron packages, that included tickets, to the Games.

Where are Jacksonville's companies, other than working with the city to figure out ways to shuttle their employees to the suburbs?

John Culbreth, who our fine city just let go, was also involved in the Games and the Centennial Olympic Park project.

World of Coca-Cola? Where is our Maxwell-House museum?

And, I know McCormick & Schmick's is technically a "chain", but they're one of the best seafood restaurants in the world. I would just about give an arm to have one downtown (and please not ANOTHER steakhouse!!!)

Adam B

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sweet
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2007, 09:26:51 AM »
a maxwell house museum would be killer!

vicupstate

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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2007, 09:37:18 AM »
Don't forget Firehouse Subs ....

The sad thing is, so many local companies have been swallowed up by out of town companies and no longer consider Jax there HQ/home.

Barnett Bank -- now in CLT
Independent Life - now in Nashville
American Heritage Life - out in the burbs, practicaally St. John's County
and now Florida Rock can be added to the list  

Did anyone see the article in the last week where Jerry Mallot downplayed the lost of such companies while Bill Foley of Fidelity spoke the truth about the situation.  
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

JJ

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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2007, 10:07:16 AM »
The Centennial Olympic Park was helped because of the OLYMPICS!! We don't have that. Nor do we have the corporate support needed to build anything close to this. The fact that this type of urban atmosphere can strive in Atlanta is impressive. After all, Atlanta is the sprawl king. But this will never happen here. We will never have anything like this as long as the good ol boys are in charge. We will be stuck with pointless pocket parks and a boy mayor that wants ferris wheels and cotton candy downtown.

02roadking

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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2007, 10:12:44 AM »
Interesting timing, I'm going to  Ga. Aqarium in the morning and probably the WOCoke too. The Varsity, a Braves game may also be on the agenda. If I have time, the Grant Park area may be in the game plan, I have not been there since my teen years. By the way, I have a brick in Centennial Park too.
Springfield since 1998

thelakelander

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Is Jax ready to grow up?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2007, 11:00:06 AM »
Quote
The Centennial Olympic Park was helped because of the OLYMPICS!! We don't have that. Nor do we have the corporate support needed to build anything close to this.


One thing I've come across since working with Metro Jacksonville in the past few years is that this community is very good at coming up with excuses to why it continues to settle for second class results and visions.

While, the park was funded for the olympics, it's current layout opened in 1998, two years after the games.  Most of the uses you see there today have nothing to do with the olympics and everything to do with "clustering" and creating a "critical mass" of complementing development within a compact setting.

Over the next few weeks, look for additional examples of successful urban public park spaces from cities that didn't get the olympics and are smaller than Jacksonville.  

Quote
The fact that this type of urban atmosphere can strive in Atlanta is impressive. After all, Atlanta is the sprawl king. But this will never happen here. We will never have anything like this as long as the good ol boys are in charge.


The city's government is only a by-product of it's people.  If the community wants better, it will do the things needed to achieve those results.  That's why Riverside's parks look a lot better than many others across the city.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

downtownparks

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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2007, 11:22:16 AM »
Private Money can make all the difference. There are plenty of local companies and home grown folks who are willing to make things happen. We just have to have the right people in place to ask for the help. The things that are desired must also make sense. We cant expect Fidelity or anyone else to give us money willy nilly. We (Jacksonville) have to have a plan. Im not sure we have one right now

Michael-Lee

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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2007, 11:37:31 AM »
As somebody who has lived in Atlanta and Jacksonville in recent years, it is not even close when it comes to urban renewal. Atlanta is kicking out butts. And housing prices are cheaper in Atlanta. You get more house for less. Jacksonville is turning into a microcosm of the United State. The gap between the upper and middle class in Jacksonville is growing, housing prices are outrageous, foreclosures are embarrassing and education is pathetic.

thelakelander

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Having a plan
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2007, 11:43:04 AM »
Quote
The things that are desired must also make sense. We cant expect Fidelity or anyone else to give us money willy nilly. We (Jacksonville) have to have a plan. Im not sure we have one right now


Does SPAR and the Springfield community have an official plan or vision for the park system linging Hogan's Creek?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

I-10east

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It's not the end of the world
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2007, 05:02:46 AM »
As usual in these learning from threads, it can turn into a negative feast very rapidly. Remember guys, this is ATL, an olympic city we are talking about; I'm quite sure that they can kick alotta cities butts (probably all in FL in many catergories). As soon as I saw this thread I knew that people was gonna beat up Barbaro; ATL really put us to shame; Really!!! No S**t! While I agree that our city has poor government, I still think that it's crazy to compare us to a Olympic city in every freakin' realm; Suddenly what supposed to be talk about urban parks, turned into a comparison between these two cities in every catergory. Michael-Lee, you said that ATL has lower housing costs than Jax; How can that be? ATL's cost of living (which includes housing, grocery items, utilities, transportation, heatlh care, and goods and services) was higher than Jax's in 2006; I seriously doubt that ATL's housing is lower than Jax's; I'll be the first to admit if I'm wrong.

zoo

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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2007, 08:44:29 AM »
Yes, ATL is an "Olympic city", but it wasn't prior to the Games being awarded. They did not sit around and say "we can't compete at that level" like Jacksonville does. They said let's give it our best shot; city got on board, companies got on board, citizenry got on board.

When they were awarded the games, they thought about it on two levels -- how can we make this the best summer games ever (which might have been accomplished were it not for a home-grown terrorist), and how can we do it in a way that will leave the city with lasting, positive improvements?

Is being a superbowl city that much worse? what lasting, positive improvements did Jacksonville create? Jacksonville approached that event as a one-time party, and none of the things that made that event work remain (at least in the downtown). I'd even say the remaining attitude feels as great as a hangover!

thelakelander

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Interesting comments by zoo
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2007, 09:10:39 AM »
The only thing we have from the superbowl was the lighted bridges and a week long circus down Bay Street.  Like the fair, when the clock struck midnight, all the clowns and fanfare packed their bags up and hit the road.  

By comparison, Houston constructed a seven mile light rail system (all with their own city money) and a new convention center.  Now both are paying off big time for that city, especially the light rail.  It's spurring transit oriented development and creating an urban lifestyle that no one could imagine ever rising in one of the most sprawled out cities in America.

As for Detroit, they created Campus Martius Park, in the heart of downtown, as well as a complete revamp of Woodward Avenue.  Today, that area is the epicenter of downtown's rapid revitalization.  Despite being one of the most economically depressed cities in the country, Detroit's downtown is now outpacing ours.

These are just two of many examples, that show at some point you have to stop making excuses for yourself and seriously strive to become a better place.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Michael-Lee

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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2007, 09:38:51 AM »
Lakelander, awesome post. And your post points out some reasons we will never get another Super Bowl.

I-10east

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Super Bowl cities
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2007, 04:53:21 PM »
So I guess all of those condos sprouting up in DT Jax doesn't mean anything. Lake, I know you just didn't mention Detroit with all of those job cuts with the auto industry there. Let me see, what overshadows what, a park in DT Detroit, or all of those people losing jobs in Detroit's auto industry.