The Decatur Clean Energy Public Forum is a Community-Driven Success

City of Decatur staff and members of the consulting teams outline pathways to 100% Clean Energy. Photo credit: Greg White

On March 8 and 9, more than 50 community members joined Southface Institute and Greenlink Analytics at the Decatur Recreation Center for the Decatur Clean Energy Public Forum. Equipped with resources and information about the Clean Energy Plan, students from Decatur City Schools canvassed downtown Decatur and engaged the public as people arrived, explored, and asked questions. While residents learned a lot about the inner workings of Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan, the most valuable takeaways were the insights the planning team gained from the community.

Mayor Patti Garrett speaks about Decatur’s commitment to a clean energy transition at the charrette open house.

During the open house, presentations dug into many different aspects of Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan. Mayor Patti Garrett underscored the importance of a community-wide commitment to clean energy and related it to the City’s broader 2020 strategic plan, Destination 2030, which identifies climate action, racial equity, and enhanced mobility as top community priorities. The Decatur faith community, city officials, and residents concerned with the public health effects of fossil fuel emissions engaged in special planning sessions to explore a diversity of perspectives.

City of Decatur staff and members of the consulting teams discuss clean energy scenarios. Photo credit: Greg White

As attendees engaged with decisionmakers and informational displays, they placed green dots on specific policies and pathways that won their vote for inclusion in the Clean Energy Plan. They placed orange dots to indicate questions or reservations about certain policies and added their thoughts on notes throughout. With direction from Southface and Greenlink team members, attendees also used the Advanced Clean Energy Scenario (ACES) tool to measure and explore the impacts of various clean energy pathways.

Green dot voting results display community input for proposed clean energy policy solutions.

Ultimately, this valuable dialog will be reflected in Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan to ensure the goals are clear and attainable and meet the community’s needs. All materials, presentations, and the results of the dot voting process are available at Thanks to everyone who ensured the public forum was a success. The planning team looks forward to sharing the finalized Clean Energy Plan with the community soon!


Decatur Clean Energy 202: Climate Change & Health

Join Decaturite, Preeti Jaggi as she walks us through how burning fossil fuels can affect your health and the health of those you love.


Decatur Clean Energy Roundtable 3: The Built Environment

On Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, the City of Decatur, Southface, and Greenlink staff lead the last session of the clean energy roundtables.

See the full powerpoint presentation here.

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What is the Integrated Planning Forum?

Forums are planning sessions where residents, planners, and others collaborate on a community vision. They are organized to encourage the participation and ideas of all involved and offer the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the planners. More importantly, forums allow everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan. 

A forum allows you to provide input and to witness your input be compiled into the plan. The Decatur Recreation Center was selected to host the forum to maximize exposure to downtown residents and visitors and encourage their participation in the visioning process. Additionally, previously interviewed stakeholders and subject matter experts are invited to participate in plan development to help translate our community’s vision into actionable policies and programs. 

Why Participate? 

The result of an effective forum will be a Clean Energy plan containing programs and initiatives where all participants have ownership and will provide support as the Plan is implemented in long term. The City of Decatur will play a critical role as host of the forum with the Southface and Greenlink Analytics Planning Teams coordinating participants, as well as inputting opportunities and deliverables. Stakeholders, City staff, and elected officials (as may be needed) will be available for scheduled meetings during the charrette. 

What is the Decatur Clean Energy Plan? 

On October 28th, 2021 the City of Decatur launched Clean Energy Decatur, our initiative to develop Decatur’s plan for a clean energy future. As part of an ongoing effort to protect the city and community against the negative impacts of climate change, Decatur is creating a Clean Energy Plan to help the City move away from its reliance on fossil fuels and towards a resilient, renewable future. This Clean Energy Plan is an element of Decatur’s 2020 Strategic Plan, Destination 2030, which identifies climate action, racial equity, and enhanced mobility as top community priorities. 

While our electricity provider, Georgia Power, will add more renewable energy to its portfolio in the years to come, their current plans only have them increasing from their current 7 percent in 2021 up to 24 percent renewables by 2035. This would leave the remaining balance of 76 percent coming from non-renewable energy sources like coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. During our Destination 2030 development process, Decaturites firmly told us that more action is needed, and that Decatur needs to develop a Clean Energy Plan to accelerate the transition to a clean energy future.

How you can join us! 

Come join us for open house sessions and drop-in hours while the team is working. 

  • Learn about Clean Energy issues
  • Interact with ACES: a tool to plan Clean Energy efforts and measure impacts
  • View planning progress posted throughout the day
  • Ask questions of team members and see your input shape Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan

Forum Schedule

March 8

7:00am -10:00am: Opening public session: Come hear about the Decatur Clean Energy Plan’s progress and findings to date

11:00am – 6:30pm: Lobby open for walk-ins for all community members 

March 9 

8:00am – 3:00pm: Lobby open for walk-ins for all community members

4:00pm – 7:00pm: Open House, Decatur and its team members will review the completed plan elements 

Your Safety Matters! 

The City will have the following safety precautions in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus and create a safe environment for in-person participation:

  • Temperature checks and contract tracing sign-in required for entry
  • Regular sanitization of common surfaces and furniture
  • Masks worn by all participants throughout the event

Decatur Clean Energy 202: Georgia Tech’s Kendeda Building

Join us as we tour through Georgia Tech’s innovative Kendeda Building and its unique features that allow it to be regenerative — giving back to the environment rather than taking.


Decatur Clean Energy Roundtable 2: Clean Energy and Economy

On Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, the City of Decatur, Southface, and Greenlink staff lead an interactive discussion on clean energy and Decatur’s economy.

See the full presentation here.

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Greenlink Equity Map Tutorial

City of Decatur residents have free access to the Greenlink Equity Map or GEM. GEM is an online map that helps visualize equity issues and shows burdens (such as energy burdens) across different neighborhoods. This video helps walk you through using this essential tool and you can follow the steps here to make your own account on the GEM platform.


Decatur Clean Energy Roundtable 1: Community and Equity

City of Decatur, Southface, and Greenlink staff lead an interactive discussion on different aspects of equity in clean energy and what Decatur should or should not do as it develops its clean energy plan.

See the full presentation here.

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Decatur Clean Energy 202: King Day Weatherization and Equity

Decatur resident and energy efficiency expert, Mike Barcik, discusses his work with Decatur’s Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project, which provides home maintenance and repair, free of charge, to Decatur homeowners.

See the meeting’s full presentation here.


Oct. 28 Kickoff Meeting Video and Presentation

In October 2021, the City of Decatur kicked off the planning process for Clean Energy Decatur, the City’s Clean Energy Plan process. The Clean Energy Plan will set goals and outline steps to efficiently and equitably transition Decatur away from fossil fuels. The Decatur Community identified climate change as a top priority and this plan will guide the City’s response to this pressing concern. We had a great first meeting and are excited for the upcoming workshops!

See the meeting’s full presentation here.