Report from Georgia Tech — “Ready for the Smart(er) City: How Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) are Building the Future”

While Community Improvement Districts (CID) have become increasingly effective over the decades around traditional roles of mobility, public safety, and beautification, the authors of a new study—Ready for the Smart(er) City: How Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) are Building the Future—conducted this effort see if these roles are versatile and how they may be evolving.

Authors pay particular attention to technological innovation, as this will have a tremendous impact on the built environment. Considering a rapidly changing world, organizational ecosystems that meet the needs of tomorrow’s infrastructure through public-private partnerships will help mitigate risk while pursuing innovations necessary for economic prosperity.

To do this, authors explore various areas of study. The research approach analyzes and compares CIDs collectively and also pioneers a rich peer analysis concept to make relevant comparisons where none previously existed. Authors utilize the “peer group” concept as an important organizational framework within which to collect, visualize and analyze data and to present findings.

In the past, differences among CIDs limited comparisons with each other. A clustering algorithm, however, allows for the first CID group analysis and identifies three primary peer groups: Established Markets, Pioneer Markets and Industrial Markets. This brand-new peer analysis approach is particularly insightful as it reveals micro-trends that may otherwise be lost when averaged across all CIDs. Interviews, third-party research and public records further inform the process and the research results.

The analysis is done within a particular region, specifically Georgia, as Metro Atlanta has experienced substantial CID growth and development over the past three decades. Over the years, the region has observed a progressive acceleration of CID formation. Twenty-four new CIDs formed in the last 15 years, a four-fold increase over the first 15 years.

Currently, 34 legal CIDs operate under 30 CID umbrella organizations. This provides a robust environment supporting different CID organizational models in a wide variety of commercial product types, from Class-A office to dense industrial centers.

Access the full report.

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