Civic Planning and Development


Commons Planning, Inc (Commons) is a non-profit civic design and development organization. Commons supports public interests in the built environment, often coordinating diverse jurisdictions and constituencies to reach common goals. Specific activities include:

  • providing and supporting quality public space in underserved communities; 
  • providing service learning opportunities for Atlanta area universities and university students;
  • supporting individuals and communities with professional design and construction services and technical assistance directed towards preserving existing public space and ensuring that access to public space includes all people regardless of age or ability;
  • serving low-income individuals (primarily seniors and disabled individuals with access problems) and communities that are not served by traditional markets; and 
  • serving the design professions by providing opportunities for public interest work.

Commons was formed in May of 2013 by Scott Ball and Jeff Rader. Scott and Jeff first worked together in 2004 and 2005 when they teamed with Alexander Garvin & Associates on the initial green space study of the proposed Atlanta Beltline done for Trust for Public Land. Both Jeff and Scott continued to support and facilitate various community efforts to create common urban resources, Jeff through work as a transportation planner and elected official and Scott as an urban planner and government consultant.

Commons recognizes that the creation and management of urban space and environmental resources are specialized skills. Both spaces and the organizations that maintain them need regular tending for collective resources and community attachment to them to remain vital. Bringing together a wide range of expertise in public sector operations and management, built environment design and development, and natural environment preservation, Commons has been formed to support communities interested in growing, maintaining, and better celebrating their commons.

For more information on our mission, download our firm introduction packet.

426 Sinclair Avenue | Atlanta, Georgia 30307 | 678.999.6605 |