Newton County Planning Work Receives National Attention

This past fall, Newton County-raised and MIT-educated Ruth Miller won a grant from MIT to produce a video series on Newton County’s comprehensive planning process. In December, Miller’s video/blog series, and the forward-thinking community planning efforts on which it is based, garnered national acclaim on the Natural Resources Defense Council blog and the Atlantic Monthly’s Atlantic Cities blog.

The four-part series is now online at It features members of the Newton County Leadership Collaborative discussing their experiences with comprehensive planning and sharing advice for planners, residents, and representatives in other communities.

“When given the opportunity to highlight any community or project in the world, I didn’t hesitate to use this opportunity to bring the spotlight to the Center,” said Miller. The Newton County native is working towards a master’s degree in urban planning at UC Berkeley, but she’s quick to praise Newton County for the ability of its leaders to commit to an enjoyable and sustainable future with the 2050 plan. “Sometimes it feels like academic planning is quick to write off small towns as unplannable and irrational. I love being from such a strong counterexample. Newton County and its cities are pioneering this field, and it was a real treat to have this excuse to talk to people about it.”


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