The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and the Georgia Cities Foundation (GCF) recently named the City of Rome as a new community joining the Georgia Placemaking Collaborative’s 2023 program.

GMA and GCF joined the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Georgia Conservancy, Electric Cities of Georgia and Georgia Power to help selected cities develop durable, local partnerships to address their most important economic and quality of life issues. Each city team is comprised of representatives from city and/or county government and a broad group of key stakeholders from the public and private sectors in their immediate community.

“Attracting and retaining talent is critical for Georgia to prosper in a knowledge-based economy, and placemaking can serve as an effective economic development tool to draw talented workers and entrepreneurs,” said GMA CEO and Executive Director Larry Hanson.

Largely modelled after the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing program, the collaborative consists of a two-year program with two retreats per year. These retreats are a critical component of the Georgia Placemaking Collaborative. During the retreats, participants will receive training from expert presenters, along with facilitated work sessions and networking opportunities with other communities.

This collaborative seeks to bring or restore prosperity through the creation of a community and economic development strategy. These strategies will capitalize on local assets to create healthy, appealing, and unique places for people to live, work and play.

Downtown Development Director, Aundi Lesley who submitted the application said, “We are thrilled to have been selected for this program. We already have a collaborative relationship with the Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Cities Foundation and we look forward to working with them over the next two years.” Lesley added, “My hope is that through this program, we can develop a comprehensive strategic plan to incorporate authentic, engaging public art throughout downtown and city-wide.”

The Spring Retreat will be conducted in March of this year, featuring an Open Plenary Session on a current Placemaking topic that will be open to all. For more information about the Georgia Placemaking Collaborative please contact Sadie Krawczyk at 678-528-0938 or [email protected]

About the Georgia Municipal Association: Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to all of Georgia’s 537 cities. GMA anticipates and influences the forces shaping Georgia’s cities and to provide leadership, tools and services that assist municipal governments in becoming more innovative, effective, and responsive. Created in 1933, the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) is the only state organization that represents municipal governments in Georgia. For more information, visit

About the Georgia Cities Foundation: The Georgia Cities Foundation seeks to assist cities in their community and economic development efforts to revitalize and enhance underserved downtown areas, by serving as a partner and facilitator in funding capital projects, and by providing training and technical assistance. The foundation was originally established in 1999 by the Georgia Municipal Association as a 501(c)(3) organization.   In December 2010, the Foundation was designated as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the United States Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund.