Planapalooza event encourages Athens citizens to speak up, speak out about future

by Holly Hollman
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ATHENS-When Athens turns 222 years old, what will the city look like?

Citizens can help shape that future by joining the City of Athens for its Planapalooza on May 15-19.


Planapalooza focuses on updating the City’s comprehensive plan, Athens 2040. Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative is the consulting group working with city officials on the update. The planning consultants are hosting Planapalooza as an opportunity for citizens to work directly with friends, family, neighbors, city officials to build a stronger future for the City of Athens.


“The community kickoff meeting in April garnered much interest, and citizens shared their ideas and concerns about our future from more entertainment venues for youth to protecting our small-town appeal,” Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said. “We need that interest to continue as we dive into more detail about shaping our future.”

On Saturday, May 15, the team will hold an interactive mapping workshop at 3:30 p.m. Citizens can attend in person at City Hall in the Council Chambers.


May 16-19 the planners and some city staff will work in a temporary design studio on The Square at Athens State University’s Center for Lifelong Learning from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to allow citizens the opportunity to stop by and share ideas or ask questions.


In addition, on May 16 and 17 there will be time set aside for focus meetings where residents can share their hopes and concerns related to transportation, economy, housing, parks and recreation, character, growth, development, conservation, culture, history and heritage. These meetings will be at the Center for Lifelong Learning.


On the final evening of Planapalooza, the team will present its findings and discuss how community input is shaping the recommendations the team likely will incorporate into the updated comprehensive plan. This meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on May 19 at City Hall in the Council Chambers.


An interactive website,, is available to provide more information and offer the community an opportunity to provide feedback throughout the planning process. The website has a number of features including, forums and discussions. The website has a detailed schedule for Planapalooza and links to register to participate via Zoom.


For more information, please call or email:

Lakeisha Johnson – City of Athens Planner at or 256-262-1412.


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