Sometimes we get a shocking reminder of why we are working for Complete Streets. That reminder comes this week in the manslaughter conviction delivered by a jury to a woman in Atlanta who lost her child to a drunk driver.
Today in New York, The Ford Foundation is holding a 75th anniversary event to explore how fairness, opportunity and equity can serve as defining features in the development of megacities and metro regions this new era of urbanization. The event includes speakers working on all kinds of issues related to cities, including mayors, transportation experts, academics, artists, business leaders, journalists, governors and federal lawmakers.
A demographic shift is happening in Atlanta: young, educated professionals are moving in to the city and bringing economic development with them. This new wave of talented workers isn’t looking to live just anywhere though. As an article in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains, these new residents want to live in neighborhoods close in to the city, with apartments in walking distance to pubs, shops and restaurants. This emerging, economically powerful demographic wants smart growth features.
The article comes in the wake of CEOs for Cities‘ recent report The Young and the Restless in the Knowledge Economy, which explains that Atlanta is not alone in this trend. Young, talented workers are flocking to areas that use smart growth strategies – and employers are following them. As Joe Cortright, senior research advisor explains, “If you have [young, educated professionals], you attract employers and grow your economy. If you are attracting them, it’s usually a sign that your community is getting stronger.”
The fact that young, talented workers are moving to town centers and urban cores across the country is a major shift from the trends of the last generation, and one which CEOs for Cities believes will be crucial for the U.S. economy in years to come. Creating places where the vanguard of the 21st century economy want to live and work – places that are walkable with transportation options and shops and jobs – is helping Atlanta thrive, and it is a model for other regions across the country to follow.
An energy has taken hold in the city of Atlanta, driven by young, college-educated professionals who want – and can afford – a lifestyle rich in variety, diversity and excitement, all close to home. They are moving in by the thousands, transforming abandoned warehouses into lofts, vacant lots into dog parks and communities long in decline into neighborhoods of choice.
At a rally yesterday in downtown Atlanta, the Livable Communities Coalition (LCC) launched its Fair Share for Transit campaign. Speaking at the rally, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed voiced his support for the initiative which is designed “to explain the benefits of and need for significantly increased investment in transit service for the metro Atlanta region.”
Atlanta is in the process of identifying major transportation projects for the region for the next decade, and Fair Share for Transit wants to make sure transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects are included. LCC Executive Director Ray Christman explained these transportation choices will help Atlanta economically: “We have to invest now in transportation alternatives that will boost the region’s economic competitiveness, help attract good jobs and improve the region’s quality of life.” Fair Share for Transit backers include private business groups and representatives of the health, disability, social equity, environmental, transit, bicycling and pedestrian communities. More than 20 businesses and groups have signed on to the campaign to date.
The Georgia General Assembly recently passed the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, and next summer residents of Atlanta’s 10-county region will vote whether to raise sales taxes one percent for 10 years in order to finance a number of much anticipated and much needed transportation projects. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, today “is the deadline for MARTA, the Atlanta region’s 10 counties and its cities and towns to get their desired projects to the state.” MARTA is not expected to set priorities until this summer, after the projects are initially reviewed by the state Department of Transportation’s director of planning and area elected officials. The campaign will continue until October 15th, when the final list of projects is announced.
Fair Share for Transit supporters include Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Buckhead Community Improvement District, Cherokee Area Transportation System, Citizens for Progressive Transit, CHA, Coalition for the People’s Agenda, Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Georgians for Passenger Rail, Georgia STAND-UP, Georgia Transit Association, Hedgewood Realty, Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Resources for Residents and Communities of Georgia, RouteMatch Software, Southern Environmental Law Center, and Sustainable Solutions Georgia.
Formed in 2005, the Livable Communities Coalition is the Atlanta region’s smart growth advocate and catalyst. It unites nearly 60 organizations working to change the way metro Atlanta grows by focusing on land use, transportation, housing, and conservation of open green space and natural resources. Member organizations include regional leaders in the areas of aging, building and development, business, urban and landscape design, government, housing, planning, sustainable development, the environment, and transit and transportation alternatives.
Blueprint America takes a look at Buford Highway in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, where pedestrians risk injury – and even death – just trying to cross the street.
The makers of a viral sensation from last year (Built to Last) are back with a new video series that takes a hard look at America’s collective frustration with sprawl and the smarter alternatives for growth and development happening in communities across the country. “With ugly sprawl everywhere you look in America, it’s time for a … Continued
The makers of a viral sensation from last year (Built to Last) are back with a new video series that takes a hard look at America’s collective frustration with sprawl and the promises it failed to deliver on and the smarter alternatives for growth and development happening in communities across the country. [VIDEO]