Student Fellowship

Revitalizing Neighborhoods Through Zoning

Project Area:

Economic Recovery

City:

Savannah, GA

Reporting to:

Deputy Assistant to the Mayor

The Challenge

While zoning regulations allow for high-density alcohol establishments in downtown Savannah, the city would like to curb the proliferation of alcohol establishments in other parts of the city, particularly in the historic African American neighborhoods that flank both sides of downtown. Current zoning ordinances do not allow the city to restrict businesses from obtaining alcohol licenses. In historically underinvested African American neighborhoods, which are already experiencing a lack of investment and healthy food options, these types of establishments contribute to further neighborhood deterioration. In order to change regulations and promote legislative changes that would prevent such establishments, Savannah needs a summer fellow to pull together data and analyses to understand the impact of alcohol establishments in residential neighborhoods and offer recommendations based on promising zoning practices from other cities.

What You'll Do

The fellow will be expected to:

  • Assess the efficacy of the current zoning overlay and review recent citywide rezoning.
  • Gather data and conduct analyses to understand the impact of alcohol establishments on low-income neighborhoods.
  • Interview community advocates and neighborhood stakeholders.
  • Research city zoning best practices and make recommendations.
  • Align with ongoing cross-departmental work on a related issue of food deserts that the city is engaged in as part of the Bloomberg Harvard Innovation Track, which helps cities engage stakeholders and residents in ideating, prototyping, testing, adapting, and scaling creative ideas.

What You'll Bring

  • Urban planning experience (e.g. previous work at a planning consulting firm or planning government agency)
  • Data analysis skills
  • Research and policy analysis skills
  • Community engagement experience
  • Appreciation and respect for the integrity of historic spaces
  • Financial modeling beneficial, but not required
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