The Bottom District, City of Thomasville, Georgia
DescriptionWest Jackson Streetscape project, this is a part of the Creative District Vision Plan, which is a major revitalization effort in the historic area of Downtown Thomasville. “The West Jackson business district Known as The Bottom District, which was envisioned to become our Creative District, is one with rich history that is significant to our African-American community, and establishing a plan that would embrace the area’s cultural heritage while also leveraging the energy of the business community for this area was important,” Main Street and Business Development Director April Norton said.
GreenBlue Urban worked along side Greens Backhoe and the City of Thomasville to provide a system that supported the long-term health of the 18 (Highrise Live Oak / Quercus virginiana `Highrise`) street trees that were planted in the RootSpace Soil Cell System, as a result these trees will have access to in excess of 380 cu/ft of uncompacted nutrient rich soil to thrive and grow whilst providing unmatched structural support and protection to the sidewalk above.
These street trees will provide multiple benefits including beautification to the district, Cooling Effects – One mature tree can produce the same benefits as 10 room sized air conditioners. This makes urban trees an effective tool in reducing urban heat islands and hot spots in cities and towns. Trees can save up to 10% of local energy consumption through their moderation of local climate, improved air quality up 60% reduction in pollutants to every 10% increase in tree canopy just to name a few.
The Bottom District project has received awards in recognition of the efforts of many in the community who believed in the vision for the area of West Jackson Street, most recently, it was recognized as the 2020 Small Cities/Rural Communities Award Winner for Historical Restoration/Preservation by the Georgia Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project has also received 2 awards from the Georgia Downtown Association. The first award recognizes the Creative District Vision Plan for Best Design/Placemaking Project, the second award received was for the West Jackson Streetscape Project in recognition of an Outstanding Promotional Campaign, it also received the inaugural Visionary City Award from Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Trend magazine.
“To date, The Bottom District has seen over $8 million in public and private investment and a net gain of 30 new businesses, providing over 160 new job opportunities,” Norton said, adding that it is important to have the city’s downtown connect to surrounding neighborhoods, creating a walkable and bike-friendly thoroughfare. “This revitalization is one our entire community can be proud of, as we honor and preserve the history of the area while sparking economic growth and improvements for the coming generations.” said April Norton Main Street and Business Development Director.
“These awards celebrate the execution of the community’s vision for this important, historic commercial area in Thomasville,” said Wayne Newsome, city engineer. “A central focus of the design was to preserve the historic character of the area. In addition to re-using the original historic bricks, we also introduced pedestrian scale lighting to enhance the safety of the street. The project utilized innovative technologies to promote the health of street trees and prevent tree roots from cracking sidewalks and streets.”
Another successful revitalization project, providing a long-term investment in green infrastructure for all those who live work and shop in The Bottom District.