Is Atlanta's "Curbless" City Debate Over? Meet Alta Planning + Design
The answer to Atlanta becoming a "curbless" city might be located right here in FlatironCity! Meet Britt Storck, a FlatironCity tenant and Principal at Alta Planning + Design's Atlanta office. If anyone can end the debate on whether Atlanta is bike friendly enough, it's Britt!
Alta Planning + Design is a mission-driven active transportation company dedicated to creating active, healthy communities through planning, landscape architecture, engineering and education/encouragement programs. Founded in 1996, WAY before scooters and rideshare services were a thing, Alta was answering the cry from cities and communities for safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists.
As non-motorized transportation developed into a profession, Alta pioneered the field of active transportation, evolving its planning and design work into a visionary global practice that empowers people to live active, healthy lives and helps them get to where they need to go.
FlatironCity spoke with Britt Storck, ASLA, PLA, Principal / Landscape Architecture Practice Area Leader on got a little more insight into what makes Alta tick.
Who is Alta Planning + Design?
Alta has offices in three time zones, and found that the pandemic resulted in making them connect and listen more regularly. According to Britt, “We are seeing a lot of growth generally in our industry - observing the communities around us show deep appreciation for trails and greenways, bicycle facilities and public space. With COVID, these spaces became a core part of what kept people's physical and mental health stable, so we are seeing more federal and local investment in active community infrastructure.”
Alta vs. COVID
Like many small businesses that adapted to market volatility during the pandemic, Alta made a point to stay flexible and keep moving forward. Throughout the pandemic, the company’s leadership was totally committed to the staff, and they even pulled off a brand refresh. As a global leader in mobility innovation for more than 24 years, Alta dedicated even more effort toward communicating the company values and their dedication to connecting people to places by working across disciplines and scale to address social justice, safety, and environmental resilience. They found that the brand refresh really increased their share of voice on core issues and helped them better communicate their brand and mission to clients and prospects!
Is Atlanta Moving Forward?
According to Britt, “Atlanta is moving forward but there is still a lot of work ahead. Proper funding to truly retrofit Atlanta's active transportation infrastructure, so that biking and walking are comfortable for all people demands dedication and leadership to each project. We are making progress, but it's going to take time. And it's also not just about Atlanta proper. We must come to terms with the fact that many people work and play in the city but live in the metro area. We must improve our transit system and provide a multi-jurisdictional regional trail system into the city. So many large urban cities have this infrastructure. It's not about no cars. It's about more transportation choices. We need to find a better balance here in the ATL.”
What’s Alta’s Culture Like?
Britt grew up in Atlanta, but relocated five years ago to run Alta’s office. Not only does she love the City of Atlanta and its people, she loves the vibrancy, the diversity of individuals she sees every day as she walks the streets around FlatironCity and Atlanta. “People are just warm and friendly. Having lived in other cities, I can say there is no comparison.” According to Britt, “We live our company’s work. We are empowered by transportation choices, and all do some combination of mode share to get to the office. About half of us take transit and the other half bike to work.”
Why FlatironCity? Was it Love at First Sight?
Britt told us that the company leadership fell in love with FlatironCity from the moment they spotted the building. “We love its size and location, and in a burgeoning part of town. Many of our staff have found homes nearby because of FIC's location. We're expanding because we're growing our staff, and we love being a part of the FIC community. The owners have provided us with incredible flexibility from day one,” she added.
Fav Community Perk?
When asked her favorite community perk – Britt’s response was, “We can't pick a favorite perk - there are too many! We love the community feel, the history and the staff. I personally love rubbing elbows in the elevator with start-ups and other creatives and innovators. It's inspiring!”