The city of Decatur, a flourishing model of urban planning, is a “30-year overnight success story” | ArtsATL: The decision by the citizens of Decatur in the early 1800s was a fortuitous one. While they could not have envisioned the unbridled growth the terminus would bring, their decision allowed for this inner-city suburban enclave to retain the charm and character that now draws people to its streets. The decision by the citizens of Decatur in 1982 was deliberate. In naming Decatur a “great neighborhood,” the American Planning Association recognized as much, attributing its success to “more than three decades . . . of planning, commitment, patience, and investment.” The city, and specifically the planners who helped create and advocate for the plan in the early 1980s, have been in it for the long haul.
At the State of the City address, the mayor recognized Menne for 30 years of service and Saxon for 35 years. Both received standing ovations. As Menne said that day, Decatur is a “30-year overnight success story.”