AVE Ecodistrict

An EcoDistricts Target City

Atlanta’s University Center Vine City (AVE) Ecodistrict has the highest number of historically black colleges and universities in a single area. The 229-acre AUC district is home to Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, the Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, Morris Brown College and the Interdenominational Theological Center. The district is also home to 21,146 residents, 11,320 of whom are currently enrolled in local colleges and universities.

Vine City is a dense urban neighborhood in Atlanta’s downtown core with 43 percent of the residents living in poverty and earning a median annual household income of $24,374. Just across the street from this predominantly low-income, African American neighborhood, sits the stadium of the Atlanta Falcons professional football team. Stadium owners are actively developing plans to update their stadium, presenting an opportune moment to leverage the incoming private capital to build a highly inclusive planning experience, bringing elected officials and community stakeholders come together to envision this area as a future ecodistrict.

The AVE Ecodistrict will necessitate a public-private partnership to equitably close the social, economic and physical gaps that separate Vine City from AUC in order to make it one cohesive ecodistrict. Addressing transit connectivity issues is a priority project that the ecodistrict aims to mitigate through the establishment of a Multimodal Passenger Terminal facility.

Additionally, updating the physical hindrance of the Georgia World Congress Center will help to reconnect the vulnerable Vine City community to vital jobs, housing, education and health improvements and needed environmental improvements located in the downtown core. The project area includes 9.3 acres of greenspace. A directive from the Urban Waters Federal Partnership will support cleanup and maintenance of the Proctor Creek watershed — this restoration is a major environmental sustainability priority for the project and will require the help and coordination of local agencies.