Imagine millennials rushing to small towns for career growth. Retirees relocating for social life. Corporations saving millions by hiring talent in rural communities, instead of looking to urban centers.

We can help you lure the new technologies, new artistic amenities, and new business models that are looking to invest in communities like yours—the one place in America where there is ample space, land, and property—rural.

who we are

Atlas is a team of problem solvers, artists, and innovators.

Our approach is different.

We focus on bringing people together to plan for growth and identify creative solutions that will fit your community’s needs.

We are connectors who find the right people, the right resources, and the right places and bring them together to help transform communities.

Our services

Key Building Revitalization

Identify underused downtown buildings and create amenity concepts (restaurants, coworking spaces) to fill these spaces.

Workforce  Development

Work with educational and training institutions to plan for the needs of local employers and job seekers.

Housing Strategy

Determine future housing needs and create funding model to incentivize developers; create blighted housing remedy plan.

Branding + Marketing

Create or update a community brand identity; develop a high-level marketing plan to reach your audience.

Economic Development

Analyze your community’s competitive position for employment and talent to determine strategies to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities for growth.

Public Art + wayfinding

Site identification and artist criteria for public art installations; development of wayfinding designs in keeping with branding.

Featured projects

As part of a larger placemaking project, Atlas created this site as a one-stop-shop for quick access information about moving your business to Main Street in Murphysboro, IL.

Ninety-Seven percent of the country is rural, yet 80% of the population lives in urban centers. We don’t think the center will hold, the time is now to invest in rural.

testimonials

  • “The return on our investment in [Atlas'] services is a new-found enthusiasm in up-to-date development planning, which was precisely our aim. For a number of years, we’ve urged local leaders to appreciate the role of the creative economy in community development. With [Atlas'] message, they now get it and we forged new alliances to take this work forward. In addition, his connections produced wider recognition of our community and placed it on regional and statewide radars on which we previously did not appear. Two words: worth it!”

    Scott Buchanan Algona, Iowa
  • "The community of Stanton, Iowa was introduced to [Atlas] in the fall of 2018. The team was dedicated to making every step of our community's growth process unique, detailed, and concise. If your community is interested in rural growth and development then [Atlas] should be your first call!"

    Sally Stoakes Stanton, Iowa
  • "[Atlas] understands that small communities can thrive when they think creatively and plan for the future. From 2017-2018, Several communities in Hardin County, Iowa worked with [Atlas] on a regional creative placemaking plan. Throughout the process, residents, businesses, organizations, schools, and leaders throughout the county were able to connect--often for the first time--to identify ways to mobilize assets and affect positive change. [Atlas'] team was sensitive to local issues and culture. The plan they provided reflected this while incorporating strategies for sustainable community and economic development. When fully implemented, these strategies will connect the assets in Hardin's communities to the betterment of their residents, workers, and visitors, and Hardin as a whole will have a stronger, more resilient economy."

    Dustin Ingram Hardin County, Iowa
  • "The community of Stanton, Iowa has had the privilege of working with [Atlas] on a variety of Stanton projects! With their knowledge, effort and willingness to jump in, they were able to set the stage for Stanton to be a part of the Creative Placemaking process and lead us to success!"

    Jenna Hart Ramsay Stanton, Iowa
  • "Working with [Atlas] has been a wonderful experience. They understand small rural communities and the challenges we face. Their open-mindedness and approach to helping find creative solutions and looking at things with fresh eyes has helped our town tremendously."

    Sonia Outlaw-Clark Brownsville, Tennessee