Places We Protect

Nature in Atlanta


A young woman stands, arms spread wide, in front of a f
Atlanta LEAF intern Dondra Fergerson at Woodruff Park © Joanna B. Pinneo

Imagine an Atlanta that is not apart from nature, but a part of nature.

Across the globe, people are moving into cities at a faster rate than ever in our history. The population of metropolitan Atlanta is projected to grow to ten million—twice the current population—by 2060. This puts “The City in the Forest” in a precarious position—rapid growth has the potential to make cities like Atlanta deeply unlivable places, at the mercy of floods, droughts and storms. We know that nature can help cities like Atlanta manage the challenges they face.

Our vision is to fundamentally change the relationship between Georgia’s cities and nature, so that both can thrive. Encouraging smart urban development is key to saving the planet. Many people think that urbanism is the opposite of environmentalism, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Mass transit, urban density and good planning all create opportunities for more efficient use of natural resources.

The Nature Conservancy plays an important role in linking scientists, decision makers, and community members so that, together, we can strengthen the connection between the city and its surroundings, protecting the planet while improving the quality of life for Atlanta-area residents.