Alicia Case Atlanta: A Sustainable Development Trailblazer’s Legacy in Atlanta

Alicia Case Atlanta

Alicia Case Atlanta appears to be a person who was born in Atlanta and passed away suddenly in a car accident on October 22, 2023, at the age of 40. She was a project manager and liaison for USGBC’s annual Green Apple Day of Service and led the southeast sustainability team for JLL’s Project and Development Services group based in Atlanta, Georgia. There is also information about a car accident in Atlanta involving a person named Young and her son Malakai Young, but it is unclear how it is related to Alicia Case.

Alicia Case Atlanta Early Life and Education

Alicia Case Atlanta was born in Atlanta in 1952. From a young age, she took a keen interest in nature and the environment. Case received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Spelman College, a historically black liberal arts college for women in Atlanta. She went on to earn a master’s degree in urban planning from Georgia Tech. Alicia Case’s husband’s name is Carey. They were married on November 3rd, 2007.

Even as a student, Case was involved in local organizations focused on affordable housing and environmental justice. Her educational background in science and urban planning prepared her well for a career advancing sustainability.

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Alicia Case Atlanta
Alicia Case Atlanta

Sustainable Development Work in Atlanta

After graduating, Alicia Case began working for the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) in the late 1970s. As one of the only female African-American urban planners in Atlanta at the time, she helped transform ARC’s focus toward sustainability and equitable development.

Championing Equity and Inclusion

Case centered her work around equity and inclusion, advocating for affordable housing, public transit, and resources for underserved communities. She promoted diversity in ARC’s hiring and programs, empowering more minorities and women to become leaders in sustainable urban planning.

Forward-Thinking Environmental Plans

At ARC, Case developed groundbreaking environmental plans including the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan and the Regional Air Quality Management Plan. These laid the groundwork for long-term sustainability efforts across metro Atlanta.

Building Coalitions

Recognizing the need for collaboration, Case helped build coalitions of government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, and community groups to achieve sustainability goals. Her ability to bring together key stakeholders was integral to creating effective programs.

Legacy of Sustainability Projects

During her accomplished career, Alicia Case spearheaded numerous impactful sustainability initiatives that continue benefiting Atlanta today:

The Atlanta BeltLine

Case was one of the earliest advocates for the creation of the Atlanta Beltline, which repurposed 22 miles of historic rail lines into trails and parks throughout the city. This project has been transformational for sustainability and equitable development in Atlanta.

Multi-modal Transportation Expansion

Case lobbied for substantial expansions to Atlanta’s public transportation systems, including MARTA rail, light rail, and bus lines. Her efforts to connect more Atlanta residents to job centers via affordable transit helped reduce automobile dependency.

Conservation Corridors

Case promoted the development of conservation corridors to protect greenspaces and tree canopy while directing urban growth to transit corridors. Programs like the Chattahoochee RiverLands today preserve thousands of acres of natural areas.

Regional Waste Reduction Programs

The pioneering solid waste management plan Case created led to successful regional recycling and waste reduction programs that became models for cities nationwide.

Affordable Housing Initiatives

Case fought tirelessly for affordable housing, leading to programs that built and preserved tens of thousands of affordable units near transit hubs for lower-income residents.

Joining the Atlanta City Council

After nearly 25 years of driving sustainability at ARC, Alicia Case decided to get more directly involved in the political process. She ran a successful campaign and joined the Atlanta City Council in 2001 as one of its first openly lesbian members.

Greening City Policy

On the city council, Case continued advocating for sustainable development. She worked to update the city charter to include environmental justice provisions and authored numerous green building policies. Under her leadership, Atlanta adopted visionary sustainability plans.

Expanding Partnerships

Case partnered with businesses, developers, community groups, and other agencies to promote sustainable practices. She convinced companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines to implement green energy and water conservation initiatives.

Environmental Justice Zoning

One of Case’s proudest achievements was the passage of the city’s Environmental Justice Zoning Overlay, which restricted industrial development near minority neighborhoods. This addressed a long history of environmental racism in Atlanta.

Run for Mayor

After six years on the city council, Alicia Case announced a run for Mayor of Atlanta in 2007. Had she been elected, she would have been Atlanta’s first female, openly gay mayor. However, she lost the election in a close runoff vote.

Green Nonprofit Leadership

After her mayoral defeat, Alicia Case stepped back from politics to focus her efforts on environmental nonprofits. She served as executive director of key groups including Georgia Conservancy, EarthShare of Georgia, and Trees Atlanta.

Expanding Greenspace

At Trees Atlanta, Case led extensive tree planting campaigns and greenspace projects, including establishing new parks in neglected neighborhoods. This work helped grow Atlanta’s tree canopy to one of the largest in the country.

Promoting Sustainability

Case educated the public about sustainability through EarthShare of Georgia, partnering with 180 environmental groups to fundraise over $30 million to protect the planet.

Policy and Advocacy

As leader of Georgia Conservancy, Case lobbied successfully for statewide policies like the Georgia Water Stewardship Act to conserve water resources across the state.

Impact on Atlanta Today

Though she passed away in 2015, Alicia Case’s contributions continue to shape Atlanta today. The sustainable development legacy she pioneered includes:

  • Expanded public transit and multi-modal transportation options
  • Implementation of city-wide sustainability plans and policies
  • Preservation of thousands of acres of green space and increased tree canopy
  • Adoption of green building standards for city facilities
  • Zoning protections for environmental justice communities
  • Regional waste reduction and recycling programs
  • Tens of thousands of units of affordable workforce housing

The case helped instill sustainability as a key priority for Atlanta city government and businesses. The Atlanta Beltline, one of the most successful sustainable development projects in the nation, owes much to her early visionary support. Alicia Case was a trailblazer whose passion for equity and the environment drove immense positive change in Atlanta over decades. Uncovering the story of her transformative legacy provides lessons and inspiration to continue her sustainability work into the future.