About Us

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We're All About Quality Growth

Quality growth is about creating vibrant, equitable, sustainable places that balance today's needs with tomorrow's promise. It's about promoting a dynamic economy, while enhancing our health, being good stewards of our natural resources, and creating places that offer equal opportunity for all. The effects of globalization, emerging technologies, and economic competition at multiple scales make it more challenging yet more crucial to achieve resilient, sustainable growth in the 21st century.

What do we do?

The Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) is dedicated to the study, dissemination, and implementation of ideas and technology that improve the theory and practice of quality growth. Through our research projects, presentations, and academic publications, we evaluate and advocate for policies, planning practices, and technologies that foster quality growth.

At CQGRD, we bring together the expertise and resources to develop innovative, responsible, and efficient solutions to achieve quality growth. We work with others -- governmental, legal, health, engineering, architecture, environmental, policy, planning, and nonprofit partners -- to create and promote a new vision, whether at neighborhood, city, regional, or megaregion scales.

Over our 24-year history, our work has become increasingly comparative and integrated in nature as we have put ourselves at the forefront of global trends. At the same time, we continue to serve communities, particularly those in the Southeastern United States, through research, education, and wide-ranging outreach.

By bringing together the resources and expertise of the governmental, residential, commercial, development, academic, nonprofit, and cultural communities, the Center seeks a balanced vision for the region and works in partnership for its implementation.

When was CQGRD established?

The idea for the Center emerged in 1993 at the conclusion of the Atlanta region's VISION 20/20 process, where local leaders identified the need for an interdisciplinary "think tank" to address the challenges and opportunities posed by development. In response, John A. Williams, the founder of Post Properties, Inc., created the Harry West Chair of Quality Growth at Georgia Tech with a $1.5 million endowment. The chair is named in honor of Harry West, who served for 26 years as director of the Atlanta Regional Commission. The Center was officially established in 2003.


The Center today is led by Professor Catherine Ross, who also serves as the Harry West Professor in the School of City and Regional Planning and an adjunct professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The Harry West Chair was created and funded by Post Properties founder John Williams. The Center also serves as nexus for the transportation division of the School of City and Regional Planning.

Who We Are

We have a committed staff of faculty, researchers, and graduate students all focused on various areas of city planning.

Our Network

Besides partnering with units across the Georgia Tech campus, we partner with academic, governmental and nonprofit organizations.

Our Academic Role

CQGRD faculty and researchers teach and advise students in the degree programs in the School of City and Regional Planning.