The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is coordinating a series of downtown revitalization projects in northwest Georgia cities through a $100,000 grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation. The philanthropic foundation is based in Chattanooga, Tenn., with a service area that encompasses five Georgia counties. The foundation grant is supporting downtown revitalization work by 18 landscape architecture students enrolled in the UGA College of Environment and Design that began Jan. 11 in the city of Rossville. The grant is also supporting economic development planning work that will start Feb. 1 in the city of Chickamauga, a summer fellowship in the city of Chatsworth, and planning for an inland port being developed in Murray County. The projects are an outgrowth of the Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership, an institute collaboration that supports downtown development efforts throughout Georgia.

The Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership combines the resources of the Institute of Government, the Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia Cities Foundation and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to assist city leaders’ work to foster vibrant downtowns. The partnership includes the Renaissance Strategic Visioning & Planning (RSVP) process and the Downtown Renaissance Fellows program. Cities selected for the RSVP program work with UGA faculty and students over four months to create a development strategy designed to guide each city’s downtown revitalization efforts. The Downtown Renaissance Fellowship provides Georgia cities with technical and design services from students enrolled in UGA’s College of Environment and Design.