No matter how so-so your 2021 has been, it was probably at least moderately better than the coal in the cosmic stocking that was 2020.

In that spirit, it’s time to look back at the things that made Atlanta great this year, in terms of its physical evolution, big ideas, and maturation as an urban environment.

And yes, also in terms of the neighborhoods that make the Capital of the South one of a kind.

It’s been about 10 months since Urbanize Atlanta rose from the ashes of a website that liked to celebrate this city in a similar way come December. (Rhymes with “Blurbed a Fanta.”) But we won’t be retracing those steps.

Instead, beginning soon, we’ll publish a series of fun tournaments that ask metro Atlantans (or anyone who’s interested from afar) to vote for the best in the region’s architecture, development, parks and trails, project proposals, transportation, and more from 2021.

What projects, neighborhoods, and new attractions were the best of 2021? Soon, it'll be up to Atlantans to decide. Photography by Jonathan Phillips, Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

We’ll also embark on a voter-based quest to crown Atlanta’s “best” neighborhood of 2021, but in a way that accentuates the positives, without encouraging the bashing of thy neighbor.

So please, tell your friends and neighbors to take a moment and reflect on what’s inspired them about rapidly changing metro Atlanta in 2021. The new facets that are fantastic—and the old parts of neighborhoods that matter more than ever.

It’s a time like no other in this town. And it’ll be time to spotlight the best of it soon.

Welcome to Urbanize Atlanta (UA)