The cities of Lawrenceville and Suwanee are receiving a combined $310,000 from the Atlanta Regional Commission to pay for planning for projects in their respective jurisdictions.
The funding is coming to the cities in the form of Livable Centers Initiative, or LCI, grants that were announced Tuesday. Lawrenceville is getting a $150,000 to update its Downtown Master Plan while Suwanee is getting $160,000 to draw up conceptual plans for a pedestrian and bicycle loop.
“For nearly two decades, LCI grants have empowered communities across metro Atlanta to become more livable, walkable, and sustainable,” said Sam Shenbaga, Manager, Community Development Group at ARC. “The 2020 LCI grants are sure to spark innovation and creative thinking to foster an improved quality of life for residents.”
Lawrenceville and Suwanee are two of 11 LCI grant recipients from across metro Atlanta, but they were the only two from Gwinnett County, according to the ARC’s announcement. The 11 grants total about $1.43 million.
The ARC said Lawrenceville’s Downtown Master Plan is intended to build on the city’s existing LCI study. The update is expected to include an extension of the study area’s boundaries to increase opportunities for redevelopment in the downtown area. It will also look at parking and transportation in downtown Lawrenceville as well as ways to incorporate Smart City solutions.
Meanwhile, the contiguous pedestrian and bicycle loop whose conceptual planning would be covered by Suwanee’s grant looks to be part of an effort to increase walkability and connectivity in the city. The ARC said the loop would serve as a connection between neighborhoods and both the Suwanee Greenway and downtown area around the Suwanee Town Center. It would also serve as a connection between downtown Suwanee and regional trails that are planned for the area.
“The grants are designed to help communities become more vibrant, walkable places that offer increased mobility options, encourage healthy lifestyles, and provide improved access to jobs and services,” ARC officials said. “Upon completion of the studies, communities will be eligible to apply for federal transportation funding for projects such as sidewalks, multi-use trails and smart corridor improvements that help implement their plans.”