Decatur Next

2020 Strategic Plan

A community-driven opportunity to map out priorities, policies, and projects for the next ten years

Every ten years, looking towards the decade to come, Decatur applies its best community thinking to a guide for making our city an even better place to live, work, and play.

That guiding framework for the future is Decatur’s Strategic Plan. Residents come together to update it every 10 years — with this 2020 Strategic Plan charting our way towards 2030. 

To make the most of the opportunity, the process also aligned two other important guiding documents – Decatur’s Comprehensive Plan and our LCI (Livable Centers Initiative) update – and compiled them all in one fully integrated document. 

Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, residents, businesses, City staff, the project consultant team, and others shared their expertise. There were conversations of all sorts, big and small, in a variety of forums.

The process began with a standing-room-only kickoff in January of 2020, setting up Citizen Roundtables, a series of small group discussions where neighbors drilled down on their ambitions and concerns. In 2010, over 600 people committed their time and enthusiasm to these conversations. In 2020, 800 signed up.

The comments and themes that emerged shaped agendas for four Decatur 202s, drill-down sessions where regional experts provided context for Zoom break-out groups.

To ensure everyone had the chance to weigh in – regardless of whether they could join the Roundtables or make the scheduled 202 online sessions – an additional input platform was added, the interactive Virtual Forum. 

The Decatur City staff and the consulting team worked to shape all sources of community input into a framework for the three complementary plans. As those recommendations emerged, they were posted over the course of May and into June, 2021 for community review and reaction.

Finally, on June 21, 2021 a presentation of the draft plan was made to both the City and planning commissions, opening a 5 week comment period for the full document thereafter, including a pop-up event on June 26 and an online, open comment period concluding July 23.

Ultimately, the plan was unanimously adopted by the City Commission on October 18, 2021. It has since become the foundation of the Commission’s workplan each year, as well as the basis for all city department budgeting.


Decatur 2020 Strategic Plan (55mb PDF)
Adopted October 18, 2021.


Review all community news posts associated with the effort, posted in reverse chronological order, here.


Decatur 2020 Strategic Plan (44mb PDF)
Working draft, released August 27, 2021.


Activity One (PDF)
Share your ideas about what you do and don’t like about Decatur.

Activity Two (PDF)
Draw your vision for Decatur’s future.


Age-Friendly Community Survey (PDF)
Conducted in partnership with Decatur’s Lifelong Community Advisory Board.


Roundtables Round 1
Discussion framework for group meetings scheduled February 8 through February 13.

Roundtables Round 2
Discussion framework for group meetings scheduled March 9 through March 14 (and partially concluding in August).

Roundtables Round 3
Discussion framework for group meetings conducted in September.


Transportation and Mobility
Discussion guide for session held Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Housing Affordability
Discussion guide for session held Thursday, December 10, 2020.

Equity and Racial Justice
Discussion guide for session held Thursday, January 14, 2021.

Climate Change
Discussion guide for session held Thursday, February 11, 2021.


Roundtables Round 1
Comment summary and analysis for group meetings held February 8 through February 13.

Roundtables Round 2
Comment summary and analysis for group meetings held March 9 through March 13, then concluded in August, 2020.

Roundtables Round 3
Comment summary and analysis for group meetings held September, 2020.

Youth Roundtables
Comment summary and analysis for group meetings held October, 2020.

Decatur 202 Sessions
Breakout discussions summary and analysis for topic-specific online meetings held November, 2020 through February, 2021.


Transportation and Mobility
This session was held Thursday, November 19, 4-5:30pm.

Featured panel (left to right): Jen Price, Sycamore Consulting; Jack Kittle, Decatur Active Living Board; Heather Alhadeff, MARTA; and Charles Brown, Rutgers University.

Housing Affordability
This session was held Thursday, December 10, 4-6:15pm.

Featured panel (left to right): Geoff Koski, Bleakly Advisory Group; Elke Davidson, Decatur Affordable Housing Task Force; and James Alexander, Mercy Housing Southeast.

Equity & Racial Justice
This session, presented in partnership with the Better Together Advisory Board, was held Thursday, January 14, 6-9pm.

Ed Lee, EdD, senior director of the Alben W. Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation, and Dialogue, Emory University, leads this collaborative session with the help of local partners, including City Schools of Decatur, Agnes Scott College, and the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights. After a Welcome by Mayor pro tem Tony Powers, we revisit the City of Decatur’s Anti-Racism Speaker Series with short video clips from speakers Jane Elliott, Catherine Meeks, and Tim Wise, then explore real world options for change in the coming decade.

Climate Change
This session was held Thursday, February 11, 6-9pm.

Featured panel (left to right): Jen Price, Sycamore Consulting; Dr. Michael Black, Chair, Decatur Environmental Sustainability Board; Bahiyyih Grant, Decatur Youth Council; Dr. Brian Stone, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Kelly O’Day Weisinger, Emory University.


Ramp Up Begins for Decatur’s 2020 Strategic Plan: You can help!
Decatur Next, Wednesday, November 6, 2019

City of Decatur in search of Engagement Squad members for the 2020 Strategic Plan
Decaturish, Thursday, December 19, 2019

Register Now for the 2020 Strategic Plan’s Citizen Roundtables
Decatur Next, Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A Week Out, Have You Registered for the Citizen Roundtables?
Decatur Next, Tuesday, January 14, 2020

City of Decatur to launch strategic planning process with community meeting Jan. 23
Decaturish, Thursday, January 16, 2020

600+ Residents Kicked Off Decatur’s 2020 Strategic Plan
Decatur Patch, Friday, January 24, 2020

Let the Conversation Begin: Huge turnout for Roundtables opener
Decatur Next, Monday, January 27, 2020

Roundtables Wrapped: Let’s review what we learned
Decatur Next, October 10, 2020

The Community Conversation Continues: Welcome to the Virtual Forums
Decatur Next, Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Decatur launches virtual forum for strategic planning process
Decaturish, Wednesday, October 21, 2020

After long COVID interruption, Decatur continues with 2020 Strategic Plan
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Share your thoughts on Decatur’s 2020 Strategic Plan
Decaturish, Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A Vision Coming Into Focus: Decatur 202 sessions set to dig deeper
Decatur Next, Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Decatur to begin hosting more detailed meetings about 2020 Strategic Plan
Decaturish, Thursday, November 12, 2020

2020 Strategic Planning Process Talks Housing this Thursday
Decatur Next, Monday, December 7, 2020

Decatur Strategic Plan 202 session will focus on housing
Decaturish, Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Decatur Strategic Plan 202 session on Climate Change scheduled for Feb. 11
Decaturish, Monday, February 8, 2020

Into the Home Stretch: Applying What We’ve Learned
Decatur Next, Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Decatur seeks public comment on Strategic Plan vision, mission statements
Decaturish, Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Decatur invites public to vote on Strategic Plan recommendations
Decaturish, Monday, May 3, 2021

Decatur updates deadlines for Strategic Plan input
Decaturish, Monday, May 24, 2021

Full Decatur Strategic Plan Draft Ready for Community Review
Decatur Next, Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Decatur hosting strategic plan pop-up events this weekend
Decaturish, Friday, June 25, 2021

Full draft of Decatur’s strategic plan is ready for public review and comment
Decaturish, Wednesday, July 7, 2021


2010 Strategic Plan
Everything you need to know about our last Strategic Planning effort.


Summary Presentation (PDF)
As presented at the Strategic Plan Kick-Off meeting, January 23, 2020.

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