Weekly Links: This week, facing pressure, MARTA adds more light rail for the Beltline while cutting funding for Emory rail. Also, this month is on pace to be the hottest September on record in Atlanta. Plus, Georgia finally got its very own model solar zoning ordinance!
Atlanta’s historic population growth this decade accelerated over the past two years according to the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau. Growth was not shared evenly in the state, though, as 77 of Georgia’s 159 counties lost population.
In just six years Atlanta has added half the number of people it lost during the great urban exodus of the 1950’s-1980’s. Between 2015 and 2016, Atlanta was one of the fastest growing cities in the metro area and one of the fastest growing large cities in the country.
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.
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.
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.
America’s big cities continue to outpace the overall nation in population growth and Atlanta is no slouch. Several months ago the US Census Bureau released official 2013 population estimates for counties, which […]