Our students come to Georgia Tech from across the United States and around the world. Their varied academic experiences and professional interests create a web of social connection that helps support strong bonds with their peers and continued connections throughout our School's vast alumni network. From late nights in the studio to presentations at City Hall to tours across the Great Wall, our students are able to experience both an exciting and academically challenging tenure at Tech.
Student Planning Association
The Student Planning Association (SPA) is a volunteer organization comprised of graduate students in Georgia Tech's School of City and Regional Planning. Throughout the year, SPA conducts a variety of social, academic, and community outreach events to enhance students' personal, educational, and professional development. We are formally affiliated with the Georgia Planning Association and the American Planning Association.
SPA has gained recognition within the Atlanta community through its Social Justice Committee (SJC). The SJC identifies real-world projects in the community related to city planning that allow students to apply their education and experience within underserved neighborhoods in Atlanta. Projects completed by the SJC to date include a community garden, gateway area plan, benefit concert for Haiti, community organizing film festival and symposium, and an environmental design crime study. Students who participate in these projects gain valuable leadership skills, get exposed to advocacy planning, and connect with professionals in the industry.
Members of SPA also benefit from attending numerous social and educational events in diverse settings. These range from regularly scheduled guest speakers from the field to coordinating the annual World Town Planning Day, a major international event. Lastly, the Social Chair of SPA plans casual and fun social events allowing students to interact in an informal environment. In the past, these events included football game tailgates, Braves games, bowling parties, and white water rafting.
Life in Atlanta
Life a at our School is not just about academics. Georgia Tech's campus is situated in the heart of midtown Atlanta, a vibrant, bustling city that provides a wealth of social activities, an ever-expanding food scene, year round festivals, and a rich music milieu. Venture just a few steps off campus and you find yourself in a hotbed of historical sights, a hub of innovation, and the verve of the 9th largest metropolitan area in the country.
Our students, faculty, and alumni have helped fuel Atlanta's evolution throughout the years, and now current area residents and visitors can take advantage of the fruits of their labor.
The Atlanta BeltLine
Originally a concept of one of our graduate students, the Atlanta BeltLine is the most comprehensive revitalization project in Atlanta's history and is among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs currently underway in the United States. Once a circuit of old railroad track, the 22 mile-loop is now being transformed into a multi-use trail and transit line. Many of our faculty and students have been involved in the project, and use the BeltLine everyday during their commute. Learn more about the BeltLine here.
Atlantic Station sits on what used to be the old Atlantic Steel Mill, right down the street from Georgia Tech in the Home Park neighborhood. Now a "Live Work Play" development also conceptualized by one of our graduate alumni, Georgia Tech students can enjoy the number of shops, restaurants, and the movie theater within walking distance of campus. Learn more about Atlantic Station here.
A project of two of our alumni, Freedom Park connects Inman Park, Candler Park, Druid Hills (designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of landscape architecture and designer of New York’s Central Park), Poncey-Highland, Virginia-Highland, Morningside, and Lake Claire. It is the largest linear passive park in the City of Atlanta at just over 200 acres. Learn more about Freedom Park here.
Ponce City Market
Opened in 2015, Ponce City Market is housed in the newly-renovated Sears, Roebuck & Company building. The project was completed by Jamestown Properties and headed up by an alumna within their firm. PCM links directly to the Atlanta BeltLine and is situated across from Old Fourth Ward Park, and houses a number of shops, restaurants, lofts, and offices. Learn more about Ponce City Market here.
This is just a sample of what Atlanta has to offer. Start planning a visit!