Re-Open Centennial Olympic Park

Re-Open Centennial Olympic Park

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Heidi Johnson started this petition to Georgia World Congress Center Authority

We, the residents and business owners of Downtown, and concerned citizens throughout Atlanta, are asking that the Georgia World Congress Center Authority re-open Centennial Olympic Park immediately. 

For the 5,000 permanent residents of the core of the city, Centennial Olympic Park is our front lawn, which is currently barricaded for use in exercising or walking our dogs. For the many business owners around the Park, they rely on visitors coming to enjoy the Park and then frequenting their businesses. The economic impact of COVID-19 is hurting Downtown's businesses enough without the added hit of the loss of the Park. 

Centennial Olympic Park has been Downtown's central greenspace since the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games recommended that the city create a large gathering space in downtown that would serve as a central gathering space during the Olympic games and leave a lasting legacy for Atlantans to enjoy. 

Closing off the Park also goes directly against Downtown's Master Plan and its key goals of 1) Improving Quality of Life, 2) Preserving Downtown's Heritage, 3) Growing Downtown's Neighborhoods, 4) Reinforcing Downtown's Role as an Economic Center, 5) Restoring the Forest in the Center of the City. 

In the City of Atlanta's Urban Development Plan one of the clearly stated objectives is: "Protect and enhance Centennial Olympic Park as an Olympic legacy and one of several significant regional civic resources; as well as promote the development of other recreational amenities in conjunction such as safe accessible parks and plazas for active and passive use with a comprehensive system to assisting in sustaining the community."

And finally Mayor Bottoms is quoted as saying on our greenspace: "We simply have to find a balance between economic growth, development, and our quality of life. Communities have to know why it matters to them....whether it be because asthmatic children will have better health or simply property values will increase, there are a number of reasons that we all should and must care. Moreover, green space improves the overall quality of life for us all."

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority is a state agency entrusted as a steward of the Park as a state-run asset. By closing the park it is failing in its stated duty of enhancing the quality of life of every Georgian. 

Our local leaders recognize the vital importance of Centennial Olympic Park to Atlanta and to Georgia, please join us in imploring them and the GWCCA to work together to re-open the Park for the betterment of Atlanta's residents, business owners, and visitors. 

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