When the U.S. Army announced its intention to close Fort McPherson, a 486 acre U.S. Army Base in Southwest Atlanta, the Georgia STAND-UP Alliance quickly recognized the impact this base closure would have on the surrounding residential communities. The leaders of these neighborhoods that are mostly low to moderate income communities of color that had been struggling to revitalize the commercial districts in their neighborhoods recognized both the opportunity and challenges that the redevelopment could present. While the redevelopment could serve as a catalyst for revitalization in the area, it may also serve as a catalyst for the involuntary displacement of long-time community residents and businesses in the surrounding area.
In order to ensure that the redevelopment provided benefits to the surrounding communities and served the needs of the existing residents, Georgia STAND-UP launched a community benefits campaign to develop a community led plan for redevelopment both on and off the base after the closure. In 2009 STAND-UP partnered with a studio class led by Professor Michael Dobbins and a team of graduate students from the Georgia Institute of Technology School of City and Regional Planning and more than 75 community leaders living around the base to conduct community participatory research project to develop that plan. This plan made recommendations for ensuring that the Fort McPherson Redevelopment provided community benefits in seven core areas:
- Economic Development and Jobs,
- Education and Culture,
- Environment and Health,
- Land Use and Zoning,
- Public Safety, and
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During the organizing surrounding the development of the plan, a core group of community leaders recognized the need for a separate non-profit entity that could represent the interests of the multiple neighborhoods surrounding the base. As a result, the McPherson Action Community Coalition (MACC) was created with technical assistance and support from Georgia STAND-UP, to bridge the needs and interests of the many neighborhoods that would be impacted by the Fort McPherson base closure and redevelopment. Georgia STAND-UP and MACC are currently working with community residents to implement the recommendations of the Fort McPherson Community Redevelopment Plan.