Local
6:00 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Downtown Decatur Named Top Neighborhood

20,000 Decatur residents can't be wrong. The spot in metro Atlanta is named one of the top neighborhoods in the nation.
Credit John Lorinc / WABE

Mayor Jim Baskett has lived in Decatur for 40 years.  

He's been beating the city's drums for quite a while.

"We are a walkable, bicycle-friendly, sustainable community that believes in planning, adheres to the plans that we develop and has done this for a very long time."

And now, a national organization is backing Baskett.

The American Planning Association names downtown Decatur as one of the Top Ten neighborhoods in the nation.

An audio version of this story.

The Association says Decatur deserves the nod because of its sustainability, transportation abilities and long-term commitment to revitalization.

An example of that, according to Decatur Economic Development official Lyn Menne, is the expansion of housing within the heart of Decatur.

"That brought people downtown.  It really increased our foot traffic, and that helps our retailers, it helps our restaurants and brought a vitality to downtown that we had been lacking.  It used to be a city that closed at 5:00, not anymore," says Menne.

Some people enjoy Decatur because of its fun atmosphere.

"It's safe, and yeah, there's a lot of good beer and good food and, you know, things that people my age are interested in.  So you don't necessarily have to go to (Atlanta) to get stuff like that," says Emily Bartlett, who works at Cakes and Ale in her late-20's.

Downtown Decatur was the only Georgia neighborhood on the Association's list this year.