Pervasive light pollution prevents most Americans from seeing the night sky. As Carl Sagan and others have recognized, a clear view of the night sky can encourage curiosity, promote cooperation, and increase the respect we have for our planet. It’s time we open our cities to the universe.
The Georgia Supreme Court Believes People Need Sidewalks
The Georgia Supreme Court recently seemed to endorse the idea that sidewalks are necessary to promote the health and safety of residents. Well, kind of. At the very least, the Court’s ruling highlights the necessity of adopting urban planning policies that are focused less on cars and more on the well-being of residents.
If Buckhead’s the Jewel of Atlanta, Why Does it Feel So Dull?
Buckhead has sometimes been referred to as the Jewel of Atlanta, though this title is severely threatened by its increasingly underwhelming user experience. Its lack of vibrancy, identity, and walkability make the neighborhood a shining example of poor urban design and undercut its ability to attract residents and businesses. In its attempt to remain relevant, Buckhead should look to Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, Virginia’s Tyson’s Corner, and Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood.
The Time Paddy's Pub Nearly Fell Victim to Zoning
What happens when your neighbor claims they own part of your property and threatens to evict you? Well the gang in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia found themselves in just such a situation. Adverse Possession law offers a better, and legal, alternative to how the gang handled their situation.
Atlanta Music Studios Prevail in Zoning Dispute, This Time
Home and small music studios are the lifeblood of the Atlanta music scene. Recent violence in city neighborhoods has given rise to an ordinance to eliminate studios from residential areas. While an updated regulatory scheme may be necessary, the proposed Atlanta ordinance is a step in the wrong direction.
When it Comes to Zoning Changes, Time Waits for No Plan
This is an important question since structures built under the auspices of an old zoning code that are now excluded from the current zoning code are at odds with the updated vision for the community. This may not be a big deal when, say, a house is constructed a year after an area is rezoned for commercial use. However, it becomes increasingly problematic when that house is now a power plant and the one year has increased to ten. This ability to develop based on a 10 year old zoning code creates uncertainty for potential residents and developers who may find the nonconforming development to be an undesirable neighbor.
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.