Join us as Global Atlanta's Trevor Williams presents a live edition of our Authors Amplified podcast series, in conversation with Mike Dobbins, FAICP, FAIA, author of Atlanta's Olympic Resurgence: How the 1996 Games revived a struggling city (2021).
As a planner, urban designer, architect, and teacher, Mike Dobbins has practiced mainly in the public sector over the last 50 years. He has directed planning, design, and development programs in New York City, New Orleans, Birmingham, UC Berkeley, and he was the Commissioner of Planning, Development, and Neighborhood Conservation for Atlanta during the Olympics and for six years following. He taught architecture for two years at Tulane, had teaching assignments at Columbia, Birmingham Southern College, and UC Berkeley, and presently is a professor of practice in the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech’s College of Design.
Through this practice, he believes that ordinary citizens can, will, and must be the ones who make the difference in improving the shape and livability of our urban environment. In these chaotic times, the interplay between the private sector, the government and the citizenry is out of balance, tilting away from meeting everyday people’s needs. People must use available information sources as well as commonsense to be heard and to insist that their real life needs guide public policy. We need to be wary of the latest wave of “experts” whose “solutionism” often comes without an understanding of the problem, threatening communities in ways similar to the urban renewal and other top down so called “solutions” from the past.