Real change doesn’t just happen. It requires smart strategy, sharable design assets and lots of sweat equity.

That’s why when creating real change, non-profits and city officials turn to Aha Strategy, because we can see through the challenges, and map out a plan that is bound to get results. We help turn ideas into movements, and movements into lasting change.

One way we’ve done this is through working with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. Since September, 2011, we’ve been the strategic advisor to ABC working to help make Atlanta more bicycle-friendly. Our first project was Atlanta Streets Alive, an event that closes public streets to cars and opens them to everyone to walk, bicycle, dance and tumble. We felt this was the perfect opportunity to help flip a car-centric culture into a bicycle-loving city.

Our plan of action started with creating a steering committee for Atlanta Streets Alive, filled with community leaders, elected officials and business owners in the area. We mapped out a three and five year plan, asking “What do we want people saying about ASA years from now.” Once we had the plan, we launched a new identity, one that wouldn’t scare people away from the event, but rather invite them in by offering “Human Powered Amusement” — the ultimate fun-filled Sunday on the streets. We built a brand on wonder, amusement and community.

But just a new logo and identity wasn’t enough. We had to make sure we had sponsors, and people to show up for the event. So a website was designed and created, a fresh narrative was told, and social media launched.

The event went from just barely 1,000 people on Edgewood, to over 61,800 people on Atlanta’s signature street — Peachtree Street, in just two years. Now, Atlanta Streets Alive has the support of Mayor Kasim Reed at the $50,000 level, and we’re sure it’s launched greater public awareness for cycling in our lovely city. Since 2011, Atlanta is poised to add 26 miles of bicycle infrastructure and now our mayor wants to be on the Top 10 Sustainable Cities in the U.S.

Now we’re being asked by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to focus on Connecting Atlanta, through an advocacy campaign to put bike lanes on Peachtree Street, Lee Street and DeKalb Street, and other flat roads in Atlanta.

We believe small changes in how an event is branded and managed can transform not only organizations, but cities.

See more about Atlanta Streets Alive here on the website:  http://atlantastreetsalive.com