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Atlanta Documentary Part 1: Atlantic Station

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This will be the first of many threads to come about Atlanta.  The Atlanta region receives tons of positive press around the nation, and when you speak of it positive reactions are the norm.  Well I am living here for the next 3 months and figured that I would examine this region for myself...debunking myths and confirming truths.

 

This first part is over the much discussed Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta.  The Banks in Cincinnati is being developed by the same group (AIG) who developed Atlantic Station...and it was a big part in the selection of their development team.  Atlantic Station sits adjacent to the 18 lane wide I-75 and includes condos, apartments and offices built on top of street level retail...imagine The Greene (in Dayton) but 10 times larger.

 

Once you leave this area there is an area that consists of residential only buildings that surround this park inbetween east/westbound traffic for 17th Street.  If you head westwardly along 17th Street you will eventually run into IKEA.

 

 

The first group of photos are of the main shopping/retail area.  This is where most of the tourists congregate.  I found this area somewhat boring, and it reminded me of The Greene and Newport on the Levee.  It consisted of mostly mall type shopping, with nothing unique to Atlanta.  There was a movie theatre and a Publix Grocery store (which was quite nice).  I went inside some of the stores, but found nothing of interest (much like at a mall) and I was surprised to find out that there is NO book store around.  It was mainly clothing, home decor, and eateries.

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I found the central park/gathering space to be disappointing, and it almost came across as an after thought.

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Urban or suburban...your call?

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I like this picture a lot...

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This next part covers the residential only area that eventually leads you to the IKEA.  I found this area to be quite nice, and it had a surprisingly cosmopolitan feel to it.  The park and streetscaping were very nice, and there were many residents out and about enjoying the nice weather (93 degrees).

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A couple views back towards Midtown...

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Back to the residential stuff around the park...

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There were some nice little courtyards for residents that came right up to the sidewalk (of course separated by a locked gate).

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This is someones patio that is right at street level, and has direct access to the sidewalk.  I could have walked inside the little walls, but I thought I would be respectful.

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IKEA in the distance:

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blah

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*trumpets sound* I present you...IKEA!

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Across the street from IKEA.  Parking!!! with a tiny bit of residential.

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More housing as we head back towards the mall *cough* I mean uhh...

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That park area was nice, but slightly unusable as it had a steep grade that led down to the pond.

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Back to the housing stock...

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Balconies galore!

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Overall I found Atlantic Station to be pleasant.  Sitting atop multiple levels of parking made driving there a breeze, but also made it a tourist trap that full-time residents almost seemed to avoid.  The retail portion was average and didn't seem all that special, but it was quite busy and I could only imagine what it would be like during the work week when people are there for the offices as well.

 

The residential only portion was nice, but I thought it could have had some more varying architecture as well as some more masonry materials (brick, stone, etc) to give it a more enjoyable residential atmosphere.  The contemporary architecture became too much at times.  IKEA was huge, and it was great that they had two levels of underground parking (free) beneath the store as to minimize the surface parking offered.  It was also a plus to locate IKEA where they did, because it is somewhat isolated and surrounded by unattractive feature (some industry, freight rail line, etc, wide roadway, overpass, etc).

 

It would have also been nice to see some more 'filler' buildings.  It seemed that you either had a 25 story monster or a 4-5 story building.  More filler buildings would have added to the feel, because once you left the roughly 4 block area of retail the building heights plummeted and you felt like you just walked out of a mall (there's the mall thing again).  Those filler buildings would have mitigated that impact that you felt as soon as you reached the periphery.

 

 

ATLANTIC STATION GRADE = B

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great job, thx for showing us this area.

 

i found it sterile and depressing, definitely not for me....but also not as bad as i expected. balconys are always good tho.

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I've been to this ghost town many times.  Did you notice there are no people walking.  I mean the apartments are right above the retail and stores.

 

Many of the apartments have turned rental as the sales didn't go as expected and it is built on several huge parking lots, which defeat the purpose of rail transportation near by.  I know that the shuttle that goes between AS and the MARTA is a joke, but still it truely defeats the purpose. 

 

I've noticed that people come from other areas to shop on weekends, but check this place on a week day.  And lastly, the place come complete has a dastardly Dillard's!  ugh!

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I've noticed that people come from other areas to shop on weekends, but check this place on a week day.  And lastly, the place come complete has a dastardly Dillard's!  ugh!

 

That was one of the first things I noticed...no joke

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notice how the people at As will diss downtown Atlanta and the eastern Midtown section.

 

Granted AS is noting but a suburban development inside an industrial area.  but then again, what in atlanta isn't?

 

for the folks in cleveland imagine building crocker park or legacy village with the homes of the avenue district on top, built on 55 street with access directly from I-490 right into the place.

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Overall I found Atlantic Station to be pleasant.  Sitting atop multiple levels of parking made driving there a breeze, but also made it a tourist trap that full-time residents almost seemed to avoid.  The retail portion was average and didn't seem all that special, but it was quite busy and I could only imagine what it would be like during the work week when people are there for the offices as well.

 

The residential only portion was nice, but I thought it could have had some more varying architecture as well as some more masonry materials (brick, stone, etc) to give it a more enjoyable residential atmosphere.  The contemporary architecture became too much at times.  IKEA was huge, and it was great that they had two levels of underground parking (free) beneath the store as to minimize the surface parking offered.  It was also a plus to locate IKEA where they did, because it is somewhat isolated and surrounded by unattractive feature (some industry, freight rail line, etc, wide roadway, overpass, etc).

 

It would have also been nice to see some more 'filler' buildings.  It seemed that you either had a 25 story monster or a 4-5 story building.  More filler buildings would have added to the feel, because once you left the roughly 4 block area of retail the building heights plummeted and you felt like you just walked out of a mall (there's the mall thing again).  Those filler buildings would have mitigated that impact that you felt as soon as you reached the periphery.

 

 

ATLANTIC STATION GRADE = B

 

I noticed no one was walking around in the residential area.  thats because atlantic station is an island unto itself. 

 

I was there a week earlier and would have given it a D, a grade less than newport on the levee, which I would give a C.

 

randy, how do you feel about the levee?  and how does that square with your Atlantic station grade?

 

and what about the dress codes at almost every nightclub, bar, and resturaunt in the station?

 

and the overpriced 7.5 mins a quarter meters, at those rates, just allow swiping a credit card. 

 

And AtSt is completely unaccessabile (sic) except by car.

 

it is a pretty poor development in my opinion.

 

the residential pieces just seem like soviet architecture but sunnier.

 

and a severe lack of on street parking in the residential areas.  just sad.

 

but they have ikea, the envy of west chester.

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I noticed no one was walking around in the residential area.  thats because atlantic station is an island unto itself. 

 

I was there a week earlier and would have given it a D, a grade less than newport on the levee, which I would give a C.

 

randy, how do you feel about the levee?  and how does that square with your Atlantic station grade?

 

and what about the dress codes at almost every nightclub, bar, and resturaunt in the station?

 

and the overpriced 7.5 mins a quarter meters, at those rates, just allow swiping a credit card. 

 

And AtSt is completely unaccessabile (sic) except by car.

 

it is a pretty poor development in my opinion.

 

the residential pieces just seem like soviet architecture but sunnier.

 

and a severe lack of on street parking in the residential areas.  just sad.

 

but they have ikea, the envy of west chester.

 

I give AS a B for what other projects I have seen similar to it, and how it compares.  It is better than NOTL which I would give a D...mainly because NOTL lacks any residential component and very little office.  AS can be successful in a multitude of ways, much like a true mixed-use project should.  I would also say that they tried to mix up the architecture a bit in the main part, but the residential left something to be desired.

 

As I said, the residential only part was my favorite...and The Banks will not have this.  It will only have the other part which I felt was very touristy and somewhat fake...similar again to NOTL and The Greene.

 

 

Now, with that said...if you were to take this exact same product and put it where The Banks is going to be; it would get a better score.  That's because it would be better connected with downtown, be more walkable, not be isolated, it will have the draw of 3 major venues, and include more cultural amenities (parks, museums, etc).

 

They still need to work out the architecture bit in my opinion, but if they don't...I'll still be happy with something similar to this in Cincinnati.

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Thank you for posting this!!!!!  These pictures are excellent, providing a street level view of what the banks may look like.  If the banks project is modeled after this development, I would not be upset in the least.  It may feel a bit a cheesy and touristy, but that is somewhat the nature of the beast.  I agree that location of the banks is far superior to that of Atlantic Station.  The banks site is bordered by:  Downtown to the North,  Great American Ballpark to the east, and Paul Brown Stadium to the west.  This site will have more built in foot traffic than Atlantic station.  The banks is going to be a cash cow!

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Nice photos, I haven't seen that many of Atlantic Station from street level.  Now that I have, I seriously hope that they don't pull the same stunt with the architecture at the Banks.  There is nothing remotely inviting or comforting about it.

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Nice pics URando.  Look forward to many more interesting photo threads and insights into Atlanta's urbanism this summer.

 

Atlanta and urbanism in the same sentence.  Funny!

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Nice pics URando.  Look forward to many more interesting photo threads and insights into Atlanta's urbanism this summer.

 

Atlanta and urbanism in the same sentence.  Funny!

 

So what would you consider an urban environment?

 

While it may not be the type of architecture you like, etc... Atlanta has some very urban areas, mass transit, mixed use developments, and a rapidly growing density in its urban core (one of the fastest growing urban City's in the US). I not sure anyone is saying Atlanta is perfect, but the city is working towards a more sustainable future. I agree Buckhead still has work to be done. But, it has come a long ways over the last 10 to 15 years when it was mostly two malls and some parking lots. Lets hope all urban malls can create the density that Buckhead is becoming. I also think its great for communities to have multiple urban cores. This allows for the population to have better access to these denser areas. This is the concept that is being used in Europe. Don''t just have one urban downtown, but multiple urban, dense downtowns.

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I noticed no one was walking around in the residential area.  thats because atlantic station is an island unto itself. 

 

I was there a week earlier and would have given it a D, a grade less than newport on the levee, which I would give a C.

 

randy, how do you feel about the levee?  and how does that square with your Atlantic station grade?

 

and what about the dress codes at almost every nightclub, bar, and resturaunt in the station?

 

and the overpriced 7.5 mins a quarter meters, at those rates, just allow swiping a credit card. 

 

And AtSt is completely unaccessabile (sic) except by car.

 

it is a pretty poor development in my opinion.

 

the residential pieces just seem like soviet architecture but sunnier.

 

and a severe lack of on street parking in the residential areas.  just sad.

 

but they have ikea, the envy of west chester.

 

Definitely worth considering.  I'd have given it a B minus just cause its so mundane where I'm at.  Not the best but definitely better than what I have to look at on a daily basis.

 

It seems like all new development looks like this. Everything is flat rectangles, i.e designed in sketchup LOL.

 

Might have been designed in sketchup ;p.  Or possibly a very poor user of Community Viz.

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What an awful awful environment.  That housing looks so cheap... looks like the student apartment buildings in State College, PA... but this is what Amerikans think they want, I suppose.

 

I hope the Banks looks and functions nothing like this. 

 

 

UGH...

 

Thank you, Rando.

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hmm.. It appears that this is a very unpopular development model for the banks.

Personally, I think that the commercial areas pictured will work well for the banks.  The open-air areas would be large enough to host Cincinnati's many festivals.  Adjacent to the stadia, one would think that the commercial spaces would be successful even if they exclusively housed bars. 

 

 

What existing developments would everyone like the banks to look like?

 

or

 

The banks is being developed by the same developer as Atlantic Station.  What should be added/removed from the Atlantic Station development to where it would be acceptable?

 

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The 40 acre riverfront park would probably be the better place for the festivals. 

 

I was there about two days before randy, and I felt the open areas felt like an afterthought.  they really aren't that usable.

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Nice pics URando.  Look forward to many more interesting photo threads and insights into Atlanta's urbanism this summer.

 

Atlanta and urbanism in the same sentence.  Funny!

 

Why the beef with Atlanta? You remind me of the people who bash Cleveland by calling it the "dumps of the US / mistake by the lake". Atlanta may not be as urban as you'd like, but you don't need to unnecessarily bash it.

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Why the beef with Atlanta? You remind me of the people who bash Cleveland by calling it the "dumps of the US / mistake by the lake". Atlanta may not be as urban as you'd like, but you don't need to unnecessarily bash it.

 

I don't like the city or the south.

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I know someone who lives (she says in, I say near) atlanta that told me atlanta has the most wasted potential of any US city.

 

 

 

Probably because with all that growth they could be doing some big things, at least bigger than annexing Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina into its metro area via sprawl :D

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Newbie here from South Carolina.

 

I thought this thread was pretty representative of Atlantic Station, as I've been there several times. I think it should also be kept in mind that it is not fully built out yet, and I believe it will be better incorporated into the urban fabric of Atlanta as the city grows up around it.

 

Secondly, I have to say that I'm not surprised that some see certain pictorial representations on an Internet message board as being 100% representative of everything Atlanta, which couldn't be further from the truth. Atlanta didn't grow up in the age that cities like Cleveland and other Rustbelt cities did (many of which have seen their best days come and go), so it won't have an extensive mature urban fabric like those cities, but it does have areas and neighborhoods worth mentioning in this regard, such as Virginia-Highland, Fairlie-Poplar, Five Points, etc. There are also a lot of truly urban developments happening in the city, and not just highrises either (here is a good example). Atlanta is a city that has recognized the mistakes it has made in the past and is working vigorously to try and correct those mistakes.

 

Another point I think we fail to overlook on forums such as these is that while the built environment is important, a city is much, much more than that. For one, a city represents and embodies the ideals of economic prosperity and advancement, and Atlanta has done one of the best jobs of this in recent years. Job growth and housing affordability are two of the area's strengths, and this has resulted in a large influx of college graduates among others. For all it's done wrong, the city has also done and is doing a lot of things right, but this will never be recognized by the "damned be the South/Sunbelt" crowd.

 

Speaking of that crowd, it's funny to me that someone can be so dismissive of an entire region that encompasses distinct subcultures and even built environments. I'm glad my life doesn't revolve around principles of urbanism, transportation policy, etc. The South is a culturally distinct region with just about any type of vibe you can imagine. From New Orleans to Charlotte to Charleston to Louisville, it has much to offer across the board, and I'm glad to call the region home. But hey, what can you expect when people speak of what they know not of?

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Job growth and housing affordability are two of the area's strengths, and this has resulted in a large influx of college graduates among others.

 

Yay! Cities with no growth boundaries are cheap! So is building a house in the middle of nowhere! We can all sit in our cars for two hours on the way to the BMV!! Pass the Kool-aid!!

 

I'm glad my life doesn't revolve around principles of urbanism, transportation policy, etc.

Well its a matter of morals, and ours does. Are you suggesting its a BAD THING?

 

The South is a culturally distinct region with just about any type of vibe you can imagine. From New Orleans to Charlotte to Charleston to Louisville, it has much to offer across the board, and I'm glad to call the region home. But hey, what can you expect when people speak of what they know not of?

We already made Louisville an honorary northern city, too late.

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Job growth and housing affordability are two of the area's strengths, and this has resulted in a large influx of college graduates among others.

 

Yay! Cities with no growth boundaries are cheap! So is building a house in the middle of nowhere! We can all sit in our cars for two hours on the way to the BMV!! Pass the Kool-aid!!

 

What in the world do you mean by "no growth boundaries"? If that means that Atlanta is some annexation-hungry municipality, then I suggest you do your research. As a matter of fact, within the past week, an area in south Fulton County voted for incorporation and another is seriously considering it. Atlanta hasn't done any substantial annexations for decades now. The ones that have occurred mostly came about because neighborhoods requested to be annexed.

 

And what's a BMV? I don't think we have those in the South.

 

I'm glad my life doesn't revolve around principles of urbanism, transportation policy, etc.

Well its a matter of morals, and ours does. Are you suggesting its a BAD THING?

 

So is job growth, income growth, housing affordability, etc.--all areas in which Atlanta excels. And let's not even talk about the plethora of opportunities that Atlanta has afforded for minorities, particularly Blacks, to succeed, both historically and presently. And you may be surprised to know that several Rustbelt metropolitan areas, including Ohio's two largest, have higher percentages of household expenditures going towards transportation than sprawl-plagued Atlanta (see here). So I would advise you to not be selective with your morals, and I certainly would say that you hardly speak for all Midwesterners or even Ohioans when you authoritatively proclaim that the lives of each person in that geographical region revolve around those issues (and even if so, that number appears to be rapidly dwindling across large swaths of your region). At any rate, what I am suggesting is that life is more than a bunch of categories of indicators, and if that's what someone ultimately and solely bases his/her worldview and sense of place upon, then that's sad indeed.

 

The South is a culturally distinct region with just about any type of vibe you can imagine. From New Orleans to Charlotte to Charleston to Louisville, it has much to offer across the board, and I'm glad to call the region home. But hey, what can you expect when people speak of what they know not of?

We already made Louisville an honorary northern city, too late.

 

Who is this "we"? I do suggest that y'all tell them, because apparently they didn't get the email. And neither did these people. At any rate, the point is that there are dense, urban cores in the South reminiscent of those found in the Rustbelt. So remove Louisville and insert Birmingham or Savannah or Memphis. The point yet remains, which you obviously missed.

 

Moral of the story? Again, know that of which you speak.

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>the point is that there are dense, urban cores in the South reminiscent of those found in the Rustbelt.

 

No there aren't, especially after New Orleans took it on the chin.  I've been to every city in the south except Dallas and San Antonio.  I've been to many small towns and cities like Florence, AL, Macon, GA, and Johnson City, TN.  I've been to Atlanta at least 10 times.  Nothing in the south compares to Cincinnati or Pittsburgh let alone Boston or New York City.  Cincinnati literally tears down more 100 year-old buildings every year than Atlanta even has.   They're not even close. 

 

>But hey, what can you expect when people speak of what they know not of?

 

Overwhelmingly everything built in the south in the last 50 years is automobile oriented and made out of pastiche materials.  Many individual houses built in the countryside are nice and some suburbs but there's hardly anywhere you can walk on a sidewalk. 

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>the point is that there are dense, urban cores in the South reminiscent of those found in the Rustbelt.

 

No there aren't, especially after New Orleans took it on the chin.  I've been to every city in the south except Dallas and San Antonio.  I've been to many small towns and cities like Florence, AL, Macon, GA, and Johnson City, TN.  I've been to Atlanta at least 10 times.  Nothing in the south compares to Cincinnati or Pittburgh let alone Boston or New York City.  Cincinnati literally tears down more 100 year-old buildings every year than Atlanta even has.   They're not even close. 

 

>But hey, what can you expect when people speak of what they know not of?

 

Overwhelmingly everything built in the south in the last 50 years is automobile oriented and made out of pastiche materials.  Many individual houses built in the countryside are nice and some suburbs but there's hardly anywhere you can walk on a sidewalk. 

 

The City of Miami is very dense in population and could compare to many NE and Midwest cities in density. I also think you have to factor in the future direction of a core city. Cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Providence, Buffalo, Detroit, etc... continue to bleed population (which continues to decrease their density numbers) while place like Altanta, Miami, Dallas are growing rapidly in their populations (which continues to increase their density numbers). Looking at the last 20 years I would say Atlanta is well on its way to becoming a more dense urban environment while places like Cleveland and Pittsburgh continue to see that density slowly erode. In the world of population and density is not so much about were you have been but were you are going.

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Actually I forgot about Miami, and actually Miami Beach is one of the most village-like cities in the United States.  However Florida, and certainly Miami is a totally separate cultural and demographic zone from the rest of the south. 

 

>Cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Providence, Buffalo, Detroit, etc... continue to bleed population (which continues to decrease their density numbers)

 

Well I know this fact really fires people up but the "decline" of city populations in those cities correlates almost precisely with the introduction of birth control pills and the legalization of abortion in 1973.  There is a very strong argument to be made that the declining population of older cities has much more to do with shrinking family size than with people moving out to suburbs or slum clearance.  In fact a few years ago I added up what numbers are available on the internet and abortions since 1973 almost single-handedly match population loss in Cincinnati not counting numbers of pregnancies avoided by modern contraceptives and birth control pills.  The overall US population is at least 10% smaller today than it would have been with illegal abortion and probably 20-30% larger with no abortion and no birth control pills.  That would have meant more of everything -- more schools, more Wal-Mart's, more Starbuck's, more jocks, more hipsters, etc., and Atlanta would be even bigger that it is.  Hardly any cities would have lost significant population, including Detroit. 

 

And Atlanta's gain is the rest of the south's loss.  I went to college in the south, Atlanta was like the emerald city to people, and New York, etc., weren't even on people's minds.  In fact people didn't believe me when I casually told them Chicago and New York are still much bigger than Atlanta.  There is some in-migration from the north, but most of the transplants to Atlanta are from other areas of the south.  And by drawing people away from other southern cities, it contributes to the perceived decline of those places, speeding the out-migration.   

 

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>the point is that there are dense, urban cores in the South reminiscent of those found in the Rustbelt.

 

No there aren't, especially after New Orleans took it on the chin.  I've been to every city in the south except Dallas and San Antonio.  I've been to many small towns and cities like Florence, AL, Macon, GA, and Johnson City, TN.  I've been to Atlanta at least 10 times.  Nothing in the south compares to Cincinnati or Pittsburgh let alone Boston or New York City.  Cincinnati literally tears down more 100 year-old buildings every year than Atlanta even has.   They're not even close.

 

I meant relative to their size. If you pair up Richmond with Rochester or Charleston with Toledo, cities that are comparable in terms of their urbanized areas, you will find they compare favorably. Furthermore, Katrina left many of the dense, historic portions of New Orleans' urban core intact. At any rate, there aren't going to be many comparisons with Rustbelt cities in this regard, since Rustbelt cities grew up during a different time than Sunbelt cities, for the most part. There are historical reasons as to why the cities of this nation grew up as they did.

 

Overwhelmingly everything built in the south in the last 50 years is automobile oriented and made out of pastiche materials.  Many individual houses built in the countryside are nice and some suburbs but there's hardly anywhere you can walk on a sidewalk.

 

You act as though suburban sprawl doesn't exist in the Rustbelt (and it does; I've seen it for myself), or that there have been absolutely no genuine efforts to urbanize by Sunbelt cities, which is patently false. This is about as disingenuous as it gets, really. The walkable areas aren't going to compare with what you'd find in Baltimore or Milwaukee, but those areas most certainly DO exist.

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Well I know this fact really fires people up but the "decline" of city populations in those cities correlates almost precisely with the introduction of birth control pills and the legalization of abortion in 1973.  There is a very strong argument to be made that the declining population of older cities has much more to do with shrinking family size than with people moving out to suburbs or slum clearance.
 

 

That's an interesting thought. I think it's due to a variety of reasons, including the fact that most Northern/Midwestern states don't have very flexible annexation laws, so the growth occurring at the fringes couldn't be brought into the city. It would still constitute the core losing people, but at least they could still contribute to the tax base.

 

And Atlanta's gain is the rest of the south's loss.  I went to college in the south, Atlanta was like the emerald city to people, and New York, etc., weren't even on people's minds.  In fact people didn't believe me when I casually told them Chicago and New York are still much bigger than Atlanta.  There is some in-migration from the north, but most of the transplants to Atlanta are from other areas of the south.  And by drawing people away from other southern cities, it contributes to the perceived decline of those places, speeding the out-migration.

 

The only cities that Atlanta is negatively affecting due to its large appeal are the smaller cities of the South. The larger cities are really beginning to hold their own. I live in the Charlotte metropolitan area, and more and more people are choosing to settle down here as opposed to Atlanta. I'm forever seeing New York, New Jersey, and Ohio license plates down here. The days of Atlanta being the sole dominant city in the Southeast are coming to a close. Of course it will still be big as hell, but there are other up and coming cities that are starting to hold their own. You could also throw in cities like Raleigh, Nashville, and Jacksonville that are posting very high domestic migration figures.

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Walkability in Atlanta is a funny thing.  Many areas are total crap to try to walk around, but there are some that at least make an effort at building sidewalks and traffic calming techniques.  But, those only last for so long and are more isolated than connected.  Therefore you rarely see anyone walking to get somewhere.

 

When I was in the Buckhead area this was clearly the case.  It was a very dense area, but scored about a 1 for walkability.  The densly built areas in Atlanta are not consistantly walkable...so if you can't create a walkable environment there, what is going to drive the issue in the 'burbs.

 

Whereas in the midwest/eastcoast...the dense urban cores are EXTREMELY walkable, and were built for precisely that.  Guess what when you have a culture of expecting walkability, and look at it as a valid alternative...you actually do it.  In Atlanta that is not the case, and even an outsider (like myself) who would prefer walking/taking transit...it's just not a realistic alternative the vast majority of the time.  You almost have to become imbedded into the culture that surrounds you.  Kind of like the people that move to NYC.  They might have never riden transit in their previous hometown, but they are certainly more inclined to take transit and walk in a city that is used to doing it.  Everyone expects to drive in Atlanta...and this can probably be summed up for most southern cities (with the exception of places like Savannah and the like).

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HI!  I am from Atlanta and had to post.  Basically Atlantic Station was allowed Section 8 housing, Atlanta is SO dangerous, NOBODY rides Marta because you can get shot or accosted (RTA is SO much better!) and Atlanta is CROWDED!!!  I like this city, I like Atlanta, but I rather be WAY out in the Atlanta suburbs.  Reason #1 the traffic is hell is that people wish they could live in the city, but once they do they move back out.  There are some good parts though and I may be back there one day because of family.

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I have lived in Atlanta for over a decade now when Atlantic Station was just an idol old steel mill site.

I was thrilled to hear of a walkable mixed use development, but when it opened earlier this decade I was disappointed by its island like separation from the city along the vast parking underneath it. Of course the "hidden" parking might sound good, but it plays out like a concrete island which is very distant from Midtown across the connector (downtown portion of interstate where 75 and 85 are one)

 

I am critical of Atlanta on many things. That said there have been many positive developments to make the city more dense. Atlantic Station missed the mark, but the individual developments in Midtown and beyond have been productive.

 

And no, Atlanta does not have the density of the Northeast or some Midwestern cities, but it was a big enough city pre-war to have several large old neighborhoods.  Tourists usually don't see them and transplants often end up in the burbs, but they exist.

 

NOBODY rides Marta because you can get shot or accosted

 

That statement is not accurate at all.

 

 

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