Category: Featured

No City Left Behind: How Atlanta's Success Raises Concerns for the Region

We’ll likely see an increase in the number of poorer suburban communities. While Cobb and North Fulton will still have enclaves of wealthier residents, they will increasingly become the destination of lower-income individuals when they are priced out of the walkable Atlanta area. While quality-of-life is an issue even for wealthier residents in auto-centric communities, it is much more of a problem for their poorer residents. Try getting to the grocery store or your job when you don’t have a car and your community doesn’t support sidewalks or alternative transportation. While sitting in traffic on the way to work is stressful, having no transportation options to safely get to that place of work is arguably more stressful.

One Church Too Many

Mosques are all the rage right now down in Newton County, Georgia. In order to prevent the county from being overrun by mosques the Newton County Board of Commissioners placed a moratorium on the construction of all new places of worship. They had no choice; without a moratorium the county faced the risk of being consumed by mosques. Not really, though. What’s actually happening is that one organization purchased a piece of land in Newton County with the intention of building a mosque and, in response, the county issued a temporary moratorium on the construction of all new places of worship.

Japanese Zoning: The Solution to NIMBYism?

Japan

Removing zoning to a larger regional authority would undoubtedly be met with fierce political opposition, though it’s likely just what the doctor ordered for many metro areas to grow in more organized and reasonable manners. Making counties and cities compete among each other when we all freely travel between jurisdictions on a daily basis makes little sense. The bureaucratic inconsistencies and infrastructural headaches that ensue degrade our comprehensive regional planning efforts while cultivating a fractured political atmosphere and an overall distrust of one another.

Georgia's Universities Are Reporting Fewer Crimes, but More Incidents of Rape

It’s clear that many incidents of rape aren’t reported to the police. We know that. UGA’s 2014 policy attempted to correct this by reporting on information provided by agencies that help victims. Since many victims are less inclined to report sexual assaults to the police, but more inclined to report those assaults to agencies and organizations that provide aid, it seemed like a good policy. Unfortunately, if everyone else doesn’t also adopt this policy, it makes UGA look pretty bad comparatively. The school’s experiment in trying to report more accurate numbers revealed a truth it doesn’t want to publicly acknowledge when other schools don’t also have to publicly acknowledge that same truth.

Tybee Island Provides Useful Examples of Good Urban Design

Aside from being a geographically small city, Tybee creates walkability through a grid network of narrow, shared streets. Additionally, most streets on Tybee eschew the implementation of sidewalks. The narrow streets encourage slow driving and the lack of sidewalks requires pedestrians to be in the street. The shared street concept requires drivers to be more cautious, which produces a more relaxed street atmosphere that increases accessibility for walkers and cyclists.

Transit-Oriented Development Can Put A Stop to Metro Atlanta's Growing Pains

Density doesn’t have to be a bad word. Allowing more people to live in strategic and desirable areas in closer proximity to one another doesn’t necessarily mean turning all parts of the region into Manhattan. While we aren’t talking about San Francisco or New York levels of density, we are talking about raising the density levels in certain parts of the region to something a little less Mayberry and a little more DC or Seattle.

Ten Ways to Look at Metro Atlanta's Population Growth

Overall, 23% of metro Atlanta area residents live in one of the major metro Atlanta cities. Excluding the major cities from all the counties results in Gwinnett County, without Peachtree Corners, having the largest share of the area’s population at 19%. It also makes Atlanta the fourth largest jurisdiction in the area and vaults Cobb to the number two position.

Streetcar Critics Can't See the Forest for the Trees

The resulting economic growth is something that must be discussed when analyzing and critiquing the streetcar system. If you spend $100 million on a transit project and it results in $500 million in economic investment then you are getting a pretty good return. The neighborhoods get upgrades in infrastructure and the city increases its tax base. Mr. Arum completely fails to take this into consideration. I’m not so sure fixing potholes and adding left turn lanes would result in the same return on investment.

Major US Cities Threaten to Erase Their Population Deficits of the 1950's-1980's

Look no further than almost any film produced or set during that time period. While Taxi Driver and Blade Runner are less subtle in their portrayal of the city as a place of terror, even films such as Ghostbusters, Back to the Future II, and Woody Allen’s cache during that era can’t help but show the city in poor form. Certainly cities back then had many charms, but there really is no avoiding the fact that they were largely in a free fall, a decline that society assumed to be perpetual.

Well a lot has changed over the past 20 years.

The Fictional Alcohol Law That's Destroying Lives

This confusion is so widespread that some states, including California and Michigan, have gone so far as to issue official statements informing the public that the requirements do not originate from the state or local government, but from the retail establishments themselves. Georgia could do the same, but relevant organizations like the Georgia Alcohol Dealers Association could also address this issue without any need for government intervention; the intended result would not necessarily be the banning of bags, but the elimination of widespread forced bagging and the notion that establishments need to supply bags.