Westside Atlanta Land Trust: A Community Mapping and Design Collaboration

Carl DiSalvo
Amanda Meng, Andrew Nelson

A few Fridays ago, the Public Design Workshop (PDW) led a Design and Policy Jam with the Westside Atlanta Land Trust (WALT) Program. WALT's mission is "to organize the community's power for self-determination; to serve and preserve in-place residents, small business owners, and their successive generations in redeveloping areas." The jam session supported this mission by tasking participants with researching and producing an argument for a city-wide community land trust (CLT) policy. This argument would take the shape of maps, infographics, draft policy texts, and a powerpoint presentation to be presented to the City of Atlanta's Community Development and Human Resources Committee.

PDW lab members Andy Nelson (Master's HCI) and Amanda Meng (Ph.D. INTA) work on a weekly basis with WALT to continue supporting data collection and mapping efforts. The team will also implement an online document editing platform to crowdsource policy texts that support a city wide Community Land Trust model.


The Public Design Workshop is pedagogical structure created to explore new ways to teach, learn, and do social design within the university. We explore how design contributes to the construction of publics, articulates contemporary social and political issues, and fosters new forms of engagement with technology. We do this through participatory workshops & events, speculative design, and theory & criticism. We design events, workshops, objects, and systems. We also do theory and criticism.We are always open to new collaborators.Current topics of interest include: food and food systems, hackathons, infrastructure, visualizations, tools, and maps.