Civic Planning and Development


M. Scott Ball, Principal
Scott has over 25 years of experience in architecture, planning, and housing development in private, non-profit, and public sectors.  Scott has been actively engaged in the promotion of the independent living and health of aging citizens, and has authored “Livable Communities For Aging Populations: Urban Design for Longevity”, the “Aging In Place Tool Kit” and “Lifelong Communities: A Regional Guide to Growth and Longevity” for the Atlanta Regional Commission, as well as co-authored the “Land-use and Public Health Toolkit” for the National Association of Local Boards of Health.  Prior to his work with Commons, Scott served as Senior Project Manager with Duany Plater-Zyberk Architects and Town Planners (DPZ) were he managed planning and zoning code projects through out the nation. Before his work with DPZ, Scott served as The Louisiana Road Home Program’s Director of Rebuilding and Construction Assistance for ICF International where he helped stand up Louisiana’s $11 billion huricane recovery program. Before that Mr. Ball served for six years as the Executive Director of Atlanta’s Community Housing Resource Center where oversaw the design and construction of over $10,000,000 in development focused primarily on the needs of older, long-term residents in the rapidly gentrifying city. 

Ellen Dunham-Jones, Board Member

Ellen Dunham-Jones is an award-winning licensed architect and professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she coordinates and teaches in the M.S. In Urban Design program. As co-author with June Williamson  Retrofitting Suburbia; Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley & Sons, 2009/2011). Her work has received significant media attention in The New York TimesHarvard Business Review, Harvard Design Magazine, Urban Land, Planning, Architectural Record, TEDx, NPR and PBS and other venues. The book received the 2009 PROSE award for architecture and urban planning from the American Association of Publishers and was featured in Time Magazine’s March 23, 2009 cover story, “10 ideas changing the world right now.” Her research continues to focus on trends, strategies, and performance metrics of suburban redevelopment projects.

She has published over 50 articles and 10 chapters in books, consults on urban design projects, and lectures widely. She serves as on the AIA Design + Health Leadership Group and is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

David Goldberg, Board Member
David is the communications director for Transportation for America  a nationwide coalition based in Washington, D.C., that advocates for transportation policy reform.  Before helping to create and then represent Transportation for America, David was communications director for SmartGrowth America  where he helped in the formation and start up of the organization. In 2002, David was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University, where he studied urban policy. David served as 13 years on the editorial board of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he created the Horizon section of the paper that reported on planning and growth in the Metro Atlanta Region. David got his start in communications and journalism with the Macon Telegraph, where he served as a reporter and editor for 3 years. 

Al Outland, Board Member
Al has served for 16 years as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Georgia Municipal Association  Before coming to GMA, Al served for seven years as the Director of Governmental Relations. Policy, and Communications for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Jeff Rader, Principal
Jeff has led a wide-ranging, 30-year career in community service. Currently serving as Commissioner for District 2 of Dekalb County, Georgia, Jeff is experienced in the processes which build and manage common resources. Before joining Commons, Jeff served as a planner with multinational Jacobs Engineering, consulting on large scale projects across the country. Earlier, Jeff played a critical leadership role in creating the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, and served as its first Director of Planning, pioneering the agency's role in linking transportation and land use. Later, as Executive Director of the Regional Business Coalition, Jeff helped to bring the Region's continuing water crisis to the attention of business leaders, contributing to the formation of a Water Planning District.  Jeff has worked as a planner for Cobb and Fayette Counties, served as the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce's Vice President of Transportation Programs, and served as the Policy Director for the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders, where he helped develop and implement the EarthCraft certification program. As a member of the Metro Atlanta Quality Growth Task Force, Jeff continues to advocate for smart growth and an increased emphasis on affordable housing. As a director of the Mixed Income Communities Initiative, he has been active in linking jobs to homes for all, shortening commutes, and building stronger neighborhoods.  A resident of the historic, Olmstead-planned Fernbank/Druid Hills neighborhood, Jeff has served his civic association on the Board and as President. He served two years as a business partner on the Brockett Elementary School Council and is a Founding Board Member of the Regional Atlanta Civic League

Lynn Richards, Board Member
Lynn Richards has had a distinguished career as a policy maker at the EPA in Washington, D.C. Her work has been instrumental in framing the national debate about the role of density and development in storm water management practice. She has played a major role in building path-breaking linkages and coordinating funding among HUD, DOT, EPA and other agencies that have impact on the built and natural environment. Lynn has been a Harvard Loeb Fellow researching regional and urban planning and exploring the nexus of policy, regulation and community design. Lynn has also been awarded a Fellowship at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

For more about our leadership, download our introduction packet by clicking here.