The students of Dr. Jay Mittal's urban economics class worked on a community outreach project with the City of LaGrange, GA and Troup County, GA during Fall 2016 to analyze urban changes from a historic view, identify critical events that shaped the city and evaluate urban policies.
Four groups of students worked on three stages for this project. The groups focused on different topics such as: Historic Growth and Geo-Demography of the region; Land, Housing Markets and School Districts; Jobs, Business and Economic Climate; Image Building, Social Infrastructure and Quality of Life betterment to retain families in the region. The students identified Troup County's key strength (economic, environmental,ecological and others) and how those strengths can be leveraged, key issues of concern, opportunities that exists in the region and those that can be created.
Students went to LaGrange, GA for site visit and they were welcomed by the Chamber of Commerce, where a speeches were delivered. Students met the County Commissioner, President of the Callaway Foundation, Chief Ranger, US Army Corp of Engineers, a Health Expert from WellStar West Georgia Medical Center and the Director of the Strategic Planning Group.
Ms. Kendall Butler, Owner of FLI Properties shared Statistical Data on Economy, Demographics and Housing in LaGrange with Students.
The final presentation was held at the Chamber of Commerce. The students also prepared their own individual project which focused on developing strategies to make LaGrange Competitive and Livable. A poster presentation session was held to showcase the students' individual work. The results revealed a wide variety of concepts and implantation ideas for the city and emphasized creative ways for it to expand on its growth capabilities. Topics included sustainability, transportation, social equity, real estate development, and education.