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Newnan

Cobb and Dekalb white population declining

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According to the ARC's 2004 population and housing report, between 2000 and 2004 DeKalb and Cobb's white population dropped. Dekalb might not be a shocker, but Cobb was to me. This is not a drop in white percentage but white population. Is it white flight? What do you think?

http://www.atlantaregional.com/cps/rde/xbc.../arc/tables.pdf

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This back to the city trend is so crazy to me. It floors me to see primarily white suburban counties and cities lose white population. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's ironic to me

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This back to the city trend is so crazy to me. It floors me to see primarily white suburban counties and cities lose white population. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's ironic to me

Don't you figure a lot of folks are moving further out, though? I've got a friend who's moving out of Kennesaw because they feel like it is just way too crowded, and I've also heard people complain that Canton and Forsyth County are getting too grown up now.

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Watch out Barrow, Jackson, and Banks counties.

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Don't you figure a lot of folks are moving further out, though? I've got a friend who's moving out of Kennesaw because they feel like it is just way too crowded, and I've also heard people complain that Canton and Forsyth County are getting too grown up now.

Yeah I think its people moving further out than anything. My parents just moved up to the most northeastern portion of Forsyth county. Bleh.

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I'll agree with nick, krazee & andrea - it's mostly due to people moving further out. The intown migration is occuring, but it's not nearly at the same rate as exurban growth. Cobb residents are moving to Paulding, Dekalb residents to Henry, Gwinnett residents to Barrow & Jackson.

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Don't you figure a lot of folks are moving further out, though? I've got a friend who's moving out of Kennesaw because they feel like it is just way too crowded, and I've also heard people complain that Canton and Forsyth County are getting too grown up now.

There is something truly irrational about thinking that you can live close enough to enjoy the job base of a large metro area like Atlanta but still have a home in a quasi-rural setting. At some point, it is hard to have your cake and eat it too. This mentality is destroying North Georgia with sprawl. To stop sprawl, some of these folks are going to have to either move to a small town and help revive small town America or get over having to have wooded acre-sized lots. Not everything middle class family can live in a "rural estate" McMansion without destroying everything in a 60+-mile radious of downtown Atlanta.

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I think that American urbanization patterns are falling back to what they were historically and are in other parts of the world. In the pre-automobile days, the affluent either lived in the heart of town along the busiest streets or on the outskirts in semi-rural settings. In Europe today, the city proper and the semi-rural outskirts are the domain of the affluent, while those with lower incomes are stuck in between in the more mature suburban areas.

With Atlanta, I think we are increasingly seeing inside I-285 and the semi-rural exurban areas as the home of affluent folks (who either want the urban experience or a more rural experience), while the areas in between (e.g., Cobb County) are becoming where the working class or lower to moderate middle class reside.

It may very well be that the post-1950 American city of decay, etc., was a true anomaly in the overall historical and global trends of urbanization--an anomaly that was bound to be temporary.

It seems clear that many poor and working class (primarily African-American) residents from the City of Atlanta are being displaced to older suburban areas of DeKalk, Clayton, and Cobb Counties. While the intown redevelopment may seem minor compared with the continued suburban/exurban development, it is still truly stunning in its ongoing impact on the relatively small city proper. Along with the immigrant influx into Gwinnett County, this trend is spreading out issues that were once thought of as City of Atlanta-only issues to suburban counties. These include some eduction needs, crime issues, the need for mass transit (Cobb and Gwinnett now have growing transit systems), and other social service needs. I think that this is ultimately a heathly trend since it is forcing the old "circle-the-wagon" mentality in some of these suburban counties (no public transit, etc.) to change.

While much of this is really about class, it carries with it many racial overtones since the non-white segments of the population of metro Atlanta and the US generally have lower incomes on average. The shrinking black majority in the City of Atlanta is rather interesting and was recently highlighted in the NY Times as being almost unique in the US in its sheer scope (perhaps along with Washington DC).

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Yep as they move further out, they continue to destroy whats left of beautiful North Georgia. There has to be a point where people will say, 'you know driving 80 miles to work one way at 2.60 a gallon ain't cutting it.' Lets hope that day is sooner rather than later.

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Being a Cobb county resident, I can see for myself this change happening progressively. The decline of the Franklin Road corridor is a great example. This decline is now spreading like a flash flood down Delk Road and up Powers Ferry Road into the historically wealthier "East Cobb." Also, Katrina evacuees are coming to the suburbs because they cannot afford the in-town areas of Atlanta like they had in New Orleans. I have Katrina evacuees next door to me (after the house next door unfortunately went rental). Let me tell you, these (meaning these specific people in this house, not ALL Katrina evacuees) are not the type of people you want to have as neighbors. They don't believe in garbage cans!

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I recently saw where crime continues to trend down in the City of Atlanta while it is actually trending up in Cobb County. I do not think that this is coincidence. There is a socio-economic component to crime. On average, a person of lower economic means is more likely to fall into street crime or violent crime that a more affluent person (white collar crime of course is another story). So, if lower income folks (of whatever race) are being displaced from the city proper to suburban counties, then you would expect to see the crime shifts that we are in fact seeing. For example, when people talk about gangs in metro Atlanta now, they are rarely talking about the city proper. I think this is one of many ways that the demographic and spatial arrangements of metro Atlanta and more largely metropolitan America are shifting, and the implications are not being thoroughly discussed because of the sensitive class and race issues involved. Local governments in both the central cities and the suburban jurisdictions are going to have to adjust to keep up with the changes.

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But do you think there will always be at least a few lily white suburbs near Atlanta like Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Roswell? If everyone's predictions are true, Newnan is going to be primarily white upper class in a few years while Roswell (where my grandma lives) is going to be a lower class ethnic suburb.

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But do you think there will always be at least a few lily white suburbs near Atlanta like Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Roswell? If everyone's predictions are true, Newnan is going to be primarily white upper class in a few years while Roswell (where my grandma lives) is going to be a lower class ethnic suburb.

It will be interesting to see...

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I think there are some exceptions - just as there have always been wealthy majority-white neighborhoods in Atlanta proper, besides much of Buckhead, Ansley Park. Some areas will retain their high value, & will develop even more exclusive, particularly the suburbs that either have strict code enforcement or a strong community - Roswell & Dunwoody are examples. But the Snellvilles are transitioning, just as Stone Mountain did in the 1990's.

I don't view these as negative patterns, because there is a need for greater integration, both racially & economically.

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I don't view these as negative patterns, because there is a need for greater integration, both racially & economically.

I absolutely agree. I think the changes are overall good, although the specifics of certain situations are unfortunate at times.

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I absolutely agree. I think the changes are overall good, although the specifics of certain situations are unfortunate at times.

And additionally it places a greater burden on the poor due to transporation issues. As we have witnessed on Buford Hwy & Bankhead Hwy, it's difficult to marriage poverty & auto-oriented developments.

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I think they should try to turn these ethnic areas like Buford Highway into attractive, exciting ethnic enclaves

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I think they should try to turn these ethnic areas like Buford Highway into attractive, exciting ethnic enclaves

I used to think Buford Highway was the height of tackiness but I continue to be impressed at how dynamic and organic its development has become. Generic fast food restaurants have been taken over by local restaurateurs. The shopping centers are bustling with people and interesting shops. MARTA wasn't able to get the job done, so they started their own private bus line.

Very impressive.

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Buford Highway isn't the worst I've seen; as a matter of fact, it may be one of the best stretches of highway in the county. But why they choose to do construction at the I-285 junction during daytime hours beats me.

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Being a Cobb county resident, I can see for myself this change happening progressively. The decline of the Franklin Road corridor is a great example. This decline is now spreading like a flash flood down Delk Road and up Powers Ferry Road into the historically wealthier "East Cobb." Also, Katrina evacuees are coming to the suburbs because they cannot afford the in-town areas of Atlanta like they had in New Orleans. I have Katrina evacuees next door to me (after the house next door unfortunately went rental). Let me tell you, these (meaning these specific people in this house, not ALL Katrina evacuees) are not the type of people you want to have as neighbors. They don't believe in garbage cans!

I'm also a Cobb resident and I totally agree with your comments. However, what is happening in the Franklin / Delk / Powers Ferry Road area will not be a long-term thing. This decline has been going on for at least 15 years now. I believe that we will see a resurgence in this area over the next 10 years. This isn't wishful thinking either.

Why? Just as the urban core of Atlanta has seen a resurgence recently, what traditionally was known as the "urban core" is changing, spreading further out. I would call the Frankin Road/Delk Road area semi-urban right now. As Paulding and Cherokee Counties develop more, 10 years from now it will be considered close-in enough to be considered apart of the urban core. Right now there are lots of aging ratty apartment complexes in this area -- prime redevelopment opportunites when the time is right. These complexes will look like gold mines in due time. They are right next to I-75 and only about 2 miles from the Cumberland/Galleria area, a major employment center. Just north is the Marietta Square. Just east is "East Cobb". Just to mention something that is very interesting: The worst elementary school in Cobb (Brumby Elementary on Powers Ferry Road) is right down the street (~1 mile) from the best (Soap Creek Elementary located off Paper Mill Road). Such is the strange demographic "line of demarcation" that characterizes this area.

Downtown Marietta is seeing renewed interest. The old public housing near the Square has been razed for new private owner housing. Old neighborhoods near the Square are (finally) seeing more desireablity. Seems they are using Smyrna's success as a template.

On the Cumberland/Galleria side, this area of almost exclusively office buildings will join Atlanta in the "residential resurrgence" because I think its close enough to the action. Right now it has next to no owner-occupied residential, but this is changing. Just recently a new land sale record was broken for Cobb County. The property is right next to the new performing arts center and sold for $2.9 million per acre. The buyer said it will absolutely include at least 1 condo highrise in its plan.

Cobb sets land record

I think good things are on the horizon for this declining area. Its essentially getting squeezed from 3 sides: 1) Residential boom in Cumberland, 2) Marietta Square resurgence, and 3) stone's throw away (literally) from "East Cobb". Things will probably get worse before they get any better, such is the ebb and flow of urban renewal. But what we're seeing is an area that is becoming primed for redevelopment. Don't count these inner-suburban areas out, especially as the exurban boundaries get pushed further out. This will in turn push what people consider the "urban core" further out as well.

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