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Newnan

234,000 people in one year!

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According to the new CSA and MSA estimates, metro Atlanta grew from 5,034,362 people in 2004 to 5,266,134 people in 2005. If my math is correct, this is an increase of 232,000 people. This increase is incredible especially when you compare it with all the other growing sunbelt metros. What is the reasonf for all this growth, and how does Metro Atlanta continue to attract so many people even with the obstacles we face?

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=23339

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Keep in mind the Atlanta CSA covers 10,000 sq miles and includes part of Alabama. So this isn't really that unusual when you consider this is a significant portion of Ga, and the area that most people immigrating to the state are going to head to.

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For a CSA the size of Atlanta's, the population stats are pretty meaningless. Sorry for being a pooper, but due to edge cities & exurbs - the CSA could hypothetically extend forever. The reasoning - it's primarily based on commuting patterns. So that county in Alabama, the residents aren't neccessarily driving to downtown Atlanta to work, but 10 to 15% are driving somewhere in the MSA to work. In many cases, you will have one county that does have a large commuting pattern into the CBD, like Clayton or Coweta (already an exurban county). But there are people from Merriweather County that drive to Coweta County for work. Not to mention there are a number of southern metro counties like Lamar that drive to various other fringe counties - like Spaulding. As for Spaulding, the majority works in Griffin, there are few commuters driving outside of the county - just like Carrollton & Cartersville. But just enough.

As long as you have a rural economy that is broken, you will have this pattern of 'sprawl'. It's not suburban sprawl, consider it an economic commuting sprawl which encourages rural residents to drive towards the biggest city for some type of work.

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As long as you have a rural economy that is broken, you will have this pattern of 'sprawl'. It's not suburban sprawl, consider it an economic commuting sprawl which encourages rural residents to drive towards the biggest city for some type of work.

Brad, you hit the nail on the head. We don't talk about it that much in these forums, but the "Two Georgias" really do exist. There's Metro Atlanta and everywhere else. A large portion of the state's economy flows through or as a result of Atlanta's economy. However, when you get to extreme rural Georgia life is very different. Try visiting Terrell County (It's between Columbus and Albany) or Wilkes County (Between Athens and Augusta). These were thriving cotton farming communities. Now, they are barely making it.

We complain about the state legislature's lack of support for issues around the Metro Area, but many of the Senators and Reps are from these places and have a very different agenda. Yes, there is a certain amount of sentiment for the "rising tide lifts all boats" theory, but some of the state needs a little more than that. If we can come up with ways that Atlanta's successes can better help the rest of the state, I think we'd see more cooperation.

Sorry for the rant, but the local Newnan paper published an editorial floating the idea that the Kia Plant locating in West Point could be signalling the end of the "Two Georgias." I just don't see it yet.

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I agree, in southern GA - it's a completely different part of the country compared to northern GA standards. You had might as well be in Alabama or Mississippi when you're around Albany - it's desperately poor.

But this is the case in most rural regions of the country - most metro areas are expanding due to detiorating economic conditions due to the end of America's industrial era & long past the end of the independant agriculture era. All that is left for these marginally educated & semi-skilled workers is retail.

I do believe - not due to development or growth, but the CSA of Atlanta could cover a larger territory in the future. Just as SC could also be nearly completely covered by the largest metro areas. Charlotte's is expanding as well just like Nashville's (which is large for a city it's size).

What is ironic this is all occuring after the numerous theorists that proclaimed the end of urbanization due to technological advances that no long requires people to live near other people. But now, at least ex-urbanization, is just starting to really fire up. We live in a greater global economic age, which means that the little towns off the freeway in between the larger cities, are no longer econimically independant - we are becoming more & more linked to one another.

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What is ironic this is all occuring after the numerous theorists that proclaimed the end of urbanization due to technological advances that no long requires people to live near other people. But now, at least ex-urbanization, is just starting to really fire up. We live in a greater global economic age, which means that the little towns off the freeway in between the larger cities, are no longer econimically independant - we are becoming more & more linked to one another.

Sounds like you're discrediting Joel Kotkin and to a lesser degree Dick Florida. :) Good, I never liked their pompous theories anyway.....way too academic.

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Especially Joel Kotkin's anti-urban theories, though I do agree that edge cities are for now on a major component of the traditional urban environement. But these exist due to the proximity of population & an existing CBD - not the crackpot ecotopian communities that some theorize will pop up in the Cascades. Or other politician's assesment that due to telecommuting, the need for transit & urban infrastructure investment is no longer needed.

Poor people can't telecommute, especially for their job behind the Walmart register. Poor people still need urban areas far more than wealthy - who theorists too often place too much stock in their involvment in urban development.

Again - my gripe with current Atlanta projects & planning, we prefer to plan for the wealthy in terms of retail & condo developments & are planning our way out of industrial / warehouse land uses. It's not pretty, but places like Fulton Industrial Blvd are as important to the metro's economy as Perimeter or Cumblerland.

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If you go to the Census Bureau website and check out the newly released 2005 county estimates and add up the 28 counties in Atlanta's MSA (not the larger CSA), you get 4,917,717. In other words, Atlanta is on the verge of 5 million in the MSA. The MSA now makes up 54% of Georgia. Georgia has also passed 9 million now with 9,072,576 residents. Gwinnett had the largest 2004-2005 one-year gain among the MSA counties (in terms of number not percentage) with around 24,000 new residents. Cherokee and Fulton both added around 10,000 each. Interestintly, North Carolina and Georgia were neck and neck in terms of population in the 2000 census (8,186,453 GA and 8,043,313 NC), but with the 2005 estimates (9,072,576 GA and 8,683,242 NC), Georgia has widened the gap from 137,140 in 2000 to 398,224 in 2005.

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Since this was as of July 2005, we probably already passed the 5 million mark. What counties are in the MSA?

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Since this was as of July 2005, we probably already passed the 5 million mark. What counties are in the MSA?

Barrow County, GA

Bartow County, GA

Butts County, GA

Carroll County, GA

Cherokee County, GA

Clayton County, GA

Cobb County, GA

Coweta County, GA

Dawson County, GA

DeKalb County, GA

Douglas County, GA

Fayette County, GA

Forsyth County, GA

Fulton County, GA

Gwinnett County, GA

Haralson County, GA

Heard County, GA

Henry County, GA

Jasper County, GA

Lamar County, GA

Meriwether County, GA

Newton County, GA

Paulding County, GA

Pickens County, GA

Pike County, GA

Rockdale County, GA

Spalding County, GA

Walton County, GA

These are the 28 counties. It is a lot of counties, but remember that Georgia counties are relatively small in land area when compared with counties in other states like the Carolinas (a relic of the old way the state distributed legislative seats long ago that resulted in the creation of lots of small counties).

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all of those counties are expreiencing growth due to Atlanta. What confuses me is how one city can spawn so much growth.

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all of those counties are expreiencing growth due to Atlanta. What confuses me is how one city can spawn so much growth.

It is pretty amazing how far the reach is, but Atlanta is a large city and its edge cities attrach workers from outlying counties. I think a lot of people say in Bartow County are commuting down to areas in Cobb County more so than into Atlanta itself. Likewise, Dawson County has become an exurb for Alpharetta for people who want to get up towards the mountains. I know it is my clients in the northern arc edge cities that attract workers from these exurban communities reaching into the mountains more so than my intown clients. It is is like interconnected rings of intown, edge city, suburban, and exurbia areas. It is what the automobile, aggressive DOTs, and cheap gas did to our settlement patterns. I do agree with the earlier post though that is still all connected in with the cental area as the source. If you drive out I-85 into Jackson County (past the Hamilton Mill area), you will see the subdivisions springing up. There are coming to Jackson County because of Atlanta's edge cities in Gwinnett which in turn are there because of Atlanta. It is all an economically interconnected system, which is what the MSA captures. Jackson County may be added into the MSA soon. I think it is appropriate to put these outlying counties into the MSA because they are clearly being influenced strongly by the economic activity of the central core counties. It is not just that these counties do not have much economic activity on their own (and so people have to commute to the city), but that they are experiencing significant population growth that the next layer of counties further out are not experiencing, and it is clearly because of their transition into first exurban and later suburban extensions of the Atlanta blob that is eating north Georgia.

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... edge cities attrach workers from outlying counties. I think a lot of people say in Bartow County are commuting down to areas in Cobb County more so than into Atlanta itself.
That's very true. Although Atlanta's freeway system was set up 60 years ago to converge on downtown, the city today is actually a destination for only a relatively small number of people. The vast majority of the cars you see on intown freeways are simply passing through, in that 3 out of 4 workers commute from home in one suburb to work in another.

If pass-through commuters (i.e., people commuting from one suburb to another) could be re-routed to stay in the suburbs and not drive through Atlanta, most of the city's traffic woes would probably disappear overnight.

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why is the same not helping in the south metro then?

What do you mean by 'helping'? The southern metro counties are experiencing an even greater level of 'piggybacking', there are counties that are commuting to counties that commute to JUST suburban counties. Dekalb is on one hand a suburb of Fulton, but Rockdale is a suburb of Dekalb & Newton is a suburb of both Rockdale & Dekalb.

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That's very true. Although Atlanta's freeway system was set up 60 years ago to converge on downtown, the city today is actually a destination for only a relatively small number of people. The vast majority of the cars you see on intown freeways are simply passing through, in that 3 out of 4 workers commute from home in one suburb to work in another.

If pass-through commuters (i.e., people commuting from one suburb to another) could be re-routed to stay in the suburbs and not drive through Atlanta, most of the city's traffic woes would probably disappear overnight.

Hence the idea for the Northern arc, right?

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I disagree - the Northern Arc or anymore perimeter freeways won't result in any signficant decrease in congestion, primarily in downtown. The congestion, besides typical CBD - suburb commuting, is caused by people working in Buckhead / Perimeter / N Fulton / Cumberland & living either intown or in the southern suburbs like Clayton Co..

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Hence the idea for the Northern arc, right?

I imagine that's part of the theory for the Northern Arc, Newnan, although they probably figure it will just facilitate moving around around the northern part of the metro area generally, not only for work. 99% of the growth in Atlanta in the past few decades has been in the suburbs, and a relatively small percentage of those people need to get into the city proper.

I think if you eliminated the pass-through traffic from the ITP freeways and arterial roads, there'd be more than enough capacity to handle local traffic and the relatively small number of commuters into Downtown/Midtown/Buckhead. The entire population of the city is only something like 425,000 people and obviously we're not all driving. Look at Galleria and Perimeter Mall -- they're handling (although not all that smoothly) large numbers of commuters with fewer freeways, arterial roads and public transport.

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^^^There was a story a while back where the census shows the city's population grows by 260,000 each workday.

Yeah, I could see that if you're talking about within the city limits generally, including everything from Brookhaven down to the airport, the industrial areas, the large retail centers, the schoolteachers, policemen and firemen, etc. Obviously nothing like that many people are pouring into downtown.

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I know people that commute from Lavonia to Norcross. That is one heck of a commute! Every time I pass through the border coming into Georgia from South Carolina on I-85 it takes me about an hour and about 20 minutes to get to where I-985 and I-85 meet depending on traffic. After that it is nothing but speed.

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I know people that commute from Lavonia to Norcross. That is one heck of a commute! Every time I pass through the border coming into Georgia from South Carolina on I-85 it takes me about an hour and about 20 minutes to get to where I-985 and I-85 meet depending on traffic. After that it is nothing but speed.

Yeah, I did an informal survey in my office the other day and most people said it took them between one hour and two hours to get to work (one way). An hour and a half seemed about average, and to my surprise no one seemed particularly upset about it. This is at Perimeter Center.

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If my math is correct, this is an increase of 232,000 people.

As others have said, it may not be that huge a number when you take into account the whole metro area. If past trends hold true, that would mean an additional 2,320 people in the city of Atlanta, and another 229,680 in the suburbs.

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