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Pillsbury

Projected Atlanta Growth

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This is an excellent article regarding Atlanta's booming intown growth, indicating that the city is growing a lot faster than anyone previously thought. Though relying a bit too much on Cousins' sources, I think it is very much possible. Here is the article: Atlanta Growth

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Thie doesn't suprise me in the least. All you have to do is look around at the amount of new construction and renovations going on in almost every corner of the city.

Now if someone could just forward this article to the Governers office...

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Also in today's paper, the city is challenging the census estimate of 470,000 which some here thought was already too high. The city thinks it should be 483,000.

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Also in today's paper, the city is challenging the census estimate of 470,000 which some here thought was already too high. The city thinks it should be 483,000.

I can buy the 483,000 figure. I think that alot of intown residents tend to be very local in their view of growth. What I mean by that is someone who lives in Grant Park may rarely venture to the Peachtree Dunwoody corridor and vice versa. Someone who lives in the Bolton Rd corridor may rarely venture to midtown....even though all of these communities are within the 132 square miles of Atlanta. Yes, many housing projects have been demolished in Atlanta....which would lead most to gather that these domiciles and occupants have been replaced by DINKS and singles...but there has also been amazing growth in the outlying areas of the city proper. The southwest Atlanta area has had major increases in single family homes. There have been several long vacant stretches of a areas in western Atlanta that are now home to many many people. The Atlantic Station development was 138 acres of wasteland, now it is home to many many residents. The explosive growth along Peachtree-Dunwoody is amazing. These areas are not just being populated by singles...families are moving back intown as well. Not with the same gusto as singles but there are areas where growth of families are occuring as well.

Many times we focus just on what is going on in Downtown, Midtown and the highrise district of Buckhead. There are many many other "lower densitiy" areas of Atlanta proper that are also experiencing a great deal of growth. This bodes well for the 483,000 figure. It may be lower and it may be higher but I can definitely see how such a figure can be calculated.

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Looking at this chart provided of the counties surrounding the City of Atlanta:

image_4827122.jpg

If this chart holds true, by 2030 Fulton county alone will be home to 1,500,000 people. Gwinnett will be home to 1,200,000. DeKalb will be home to 852,000, Cobb will be home to 835,000 and little bitty Clayton (geographically) will be home to 340,000. That's 4,700,000 people in the five core counties of the metro. I don't even want to imagine the close counties. Why is a regionwide public transportation initiative not taking place in earnest is beyond me? More people will live in the five core counties than those that currently live in all of South Carolina or Alabama. Surely highways and byways will not be enough to funnel all these people here and there. I am surprised that public transportation is not an issue in this year's elections.

Sure the candidates can not forget the rest of the state but when 8 out of every 10 persons moving to Georgia land in metro Atlanta, something should be done on the state level. Either there will have to be an initiative to steer business to other cities in Georgia (Columbus, Macon, Augusta, Savannah and Valdosta) or focus on how to keep metro Atlanta competitive. Georgia is home to 9,000,000 people yet over 5,000,000 of those Georgians live in greater Atlanta. Surely it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that something on a regional scale has to be done. Someone on the state level will have to take this torch and run with it. Sure, it may not be popular in the beginning but if Atlanta loses it's luster on the international and national market, so goes Georgia.

Okay, my rant is over.

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if Atlanta looses it's luster on the international and national market, so goes Georgia.

Very True!

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Well, I'm all for intown growth, but I hate to see Georgia's country side be destroyed. I feel sorry for those folks in Social Circle who will have all kinds of weird accents asking where they can get a soda or a pop from. <_<

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Sure the candidates can not forget the rest of the state but when 8 out of every 10 persons moving to Georgia land in metro Atlanta, something should be done on the state level. Either there will have to be an initiative to steer business to other cities in Georgia (Columbus, Macon, Augusta, Savannah and Valdosta) or focus on how to keep metro Atlanta competitive. Georgia is home to 9,000,000 people yet over 5,000,000 of those Georgians live in greater Atlanta. Surely it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that something on a regional scale has to be done. Someone on the state level will have to take this torch and run with it. Sure, it may not be popular in the beginning but if Atlanta loses it's luster on the international and national market, so goes Georgia.

Very well said. For too long Atlanta has had to do things on its own, often depite the actions of the state, which I think is ridiculous. But I just don't see people embracing mass transit as a viable alternative right now, even in metro Atlanta. No one seems to support it. Every week it seems as though Jim Wooten of the AJC is attacking mass transit in one way or the other. Why do they even let that guy write a column?

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But I just don't see people embracing mass transit as a viable alternative right now, even in metro Atlanta. No one seems to support it. Every week it seems as though Jim Wooten of the AJC is attacking mass transit in one way or the other. Why do they even let that guy write a column?

I don't think that it's a matter of people not embracing public transportation as opposed to it not going where people need to go. MARTA is supported soley by residents of Fulton and DeKalb counties. MARTA has no jurisdiction in any of Atlanta's 20 other metro counties...yet every day, 285,000 people ride the trains to and from their destinations. In such a limited footprint, I would not call that shunning public transportation either. During FY05 system ridership numbers surpassed projections, with year-end unlinked trips of 142.39M compared to the projected 135.14M and those of 136.16M for FY04. These numbers show in fact that if given the opportunity, many people would take public transportation.

How the state can not see these numbers....they are public...and not want to expand service is beyond me. Why should the citizens of Fulton and DeKalb continue to support the south's largest public transportation system alone? Sometimes people fear what they are unfamiliar with. Mr Wooten may have taken MARTA to see the Braves or to the airport maybe four times in his life. Something goes wrong and all of a sudden MARTA is bad....let a tire go flat on his Suburban....I doubt he would then shun driving. The numbers are there. The increased ridership is there....now it's time for the state to step in and help make MARTA ne of the south's premier public transportation systems.

I'm starting to think that if we keep on this line of conversation, we may have to go over to the transportation thread. :D

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Anyone who wants to see the real growth in the city needs to just hop on the east line of MARTA and see all the infill along DeKalb Avenue. Certainly the growth in Midtown, Downtown, and Buckhead is a big contributor but there are going to be lots of corridors like the DeKalb Avenue that capture the majority of the growth. Sadly very few of these corridors have good transit service. Hopefully the Peachtree streetcar will be successful and spread into other streetcar lines.

I think the numbers from Cousins are going to end up as more accurate than those of ARC. ARC seems to take current trends and assume that they will remain that way forever. It wasn't that long ago that they were still predicting the city of Atlanta as losing population. This very conservative way of making estimates is understandable but since the allocation of resources depends on their projections, it does have a negative effect. I very seriously doubt that the exurbs can continue as they have been for much longer. Also the comparitively small increase in Atlanta jobs projected by ARC does not take into account businesses moving back into the city.

Lady Celeste, many politicans are not very well informed. We have to remember that most are just average members of the community who decided to run for office. There are also some who know better but pander to the public in order to get elected. Self interest will often trump the public interest... sadly sometime it seems like it's almost all self interest. When Purdue first appointed Steven Stancil to head GRTA, I was disgusted but in a way it's been a blessing because Steve has now been forced to "put up or shut up". He use to come up with all kinds of stupid ideas like shutting down MARTA and letting cars use the tunnels instead. Now that he's been forced to see the numbers and run GRTA's bus system, his mouth has stopped spouting so much nonsense. It still would have been better to have a real pro-transit person in that position but at least this is a sight silver lining.

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Well, I'm all for intown growth, but I hate to see Georgia's country side be destroyed. I feel sorry for those folks in Social Circle who will have all kinds of weird accents asking where they can get a soda or a pop from. <_<

If the growth actually occurs intown, then it ought to offer some protection for the countryside.

On the other hand, if the growth doesn't happen intown, but simply turns out to be more sprawl, then yeah, you'll probably see the countryside continue to convert itself into subdivisions, office parks and shopping malls. At least that's the way America has done it for the last 50 years.

Funny you should mention soda pop. One of my grandma's was from Social Circle, and I will always remember the wonderful summer days I spent out there. In the 1960's it wasn't a whole lot different from the way it had been a century before. We walked up to town one day to get what my country cousins called a soda pop -- I really didn't know what it was going to be, but it turns it was what we city slickers called a Co-Cola!

:lol:

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I guess the Beltway should be viewed moreso as a need rather than a want. 808,000 people will have to be able to get around by means other than the automobile. Okay, I will try to think about not making any more references to public transportation. :whistling:

BTW, that would be a density rate of 6100 people per square mile. That bodes well for pub.....oops, I said I was not going to do it.

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How the state can not see these numbers....they are public...and not want to expand service is beyond me.

I think we have to remember that the political tradition in Georgia is deeply anti-Atlanta, and the city still often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to state issues. Up until the 1960's, Georgia was governed by the county unit system, which put the rural counties firmly in charge. All of Fulton County's half million voters could be cancelled out by say, Baker, Glascock and Taliaferro Counties, which probably had about 5,000 people put together. Politicians knew this, of course, and for decades the anti-Altanta interests (most notably the Talmadge Machine) dominated state government.

Even today 8 of the 13 members of the state transportation board are from outside metro Atlanta, as are the governor, the president of the state senate and many other state officials. The city of Atlanta itself is known as a Democratic voting area, and that hardly makes it a favored spot with the governor and both houses of the legislature being under Republican control.

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It's about time that closer counties to Downtown Atlanta (like Henry) get discovered. In 2020, 800,000 would put Atlanta where in the U.S. city rankings.

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I think the numbers from Cousins are going to end up as more accurate than those of ARC. ARC seems to take current trends and assume that they will remain that way forever. It wasn't that long ago that they were still predicting the city of Atlanta as losing population. This very conservative way of making estimates is understandable but since the allocation of resources depends on their projections, it does have a negative effect. I very seriously doubt that the exurbs can continue as they have been for much longer. Also the comparitively small increase in Atlanta jobs projected by ARC does not take into account businesses moving back into the city.

ARC estimates are very conservative - the model used emphasizes 'new growth' over 'old growth'. Meaning, it will assume a certain number of people will move into the region, then it will calculate census tracts or superdistricts that are less developed. In addition to incorporating the land use plans, most suburban / exurban counties are primarily zoned for single family residential & very little commercial. So - using the traditional assumptions of population density the population forecasts place residential growth further & further out. Essentially, the ARC model predicts sprawl.

So even a marginal level of population growth within the center city is impressive - since the model used assumes limited infill growth. But the models being used will be changing soon in the future...

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ARC estimates are very conservative - the model used emphasizes 'new growth' over 'old growth'. Meaning, it will assume a certain number of people will move into the region, then it will calculate census tracts or superdistricts that are less developed. In addition to incorporating the land use plans, most suburban / exurban counties are primarily zoned for single family residential & very little commercial. So - using the traditional assumptions of population density the population forecasts place residential growth further & further out. Essentially, the ARC model predicts sprawl.

So even a marginal level of population growth within the center city is impressive - since the model used assumes limited infill growth. But the models being used will be changing soon in the future...

Brad, you and Aubie make great points. I didn't know how the ARC came up with its estimates.

I could envision a model for the Atlanta area that goes something like this. The city proper continues to grow, and sprawl continues as well. However, instead of it being strictly a "city vs. suburbs/exurbs" type of situation, we see the rise of sophisticated urban centers at Perimeter/Sandy Springs, Galleria, Alpharetta, Gwinnett Mall, the Airport, and in several other areas. Places like Smyrna, South Fulton and Cherokee County have a chance to build new towns which incoporate principles of New Urbanism and TOD from the ground up.

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True. Right now the ARC estimate for the city is 450,000 vs 470,000 & 483,000. In any case it is impressive growth in the city from 416,000 in 2000. It is truly a new day in Atlanta.

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I can buy the 483,000 figure. I think that alot of intown residents tend to be very local in their view of growth. What I mean by that is someone who lives in Grant Park may rarely venture to the Peachtree Dunwoody corridor and vice versa. Someone who lives in the Bolton Rd corridor may rarely venture to midtown....even though all of these communities are within the 132 square miles of Atlanta. Yes, many housing projects have been demolished in Atlanta....which would lead most to gather that these domiciles and occupants have been replaced by DINKS and singles...but there has also been amazing growth in the outlying areas of the city proper. The southwest Atlanta area has had major increases in single family homes. There have been several long vacant stretches of a areas in western Atlanta that are now home to many many people. The Atlantic Station development was 138 acres of wasteland, now it is home to many many residents. The explosive growth along Peachtree-Dunwoody is amazing. These areas are not just being populated by singles...families are moving back intown as well. Not with the same gusto as singles but there are areas where growth of families are occuring as well.

Many times we focus just on what is going on in Downtown, Midtown and the highrise district of Buckhead. There are many many other "lower densitiy" areas of Atlanta proper that are also experiencing a great deal of growth. This bodes well for the 483,000 figure. It may be lower and it may be higher but I can definitely see how such a figure can be calculated.

Sorry to go off topic but, what is a Dink?

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I think we have to remember that the political tradition in Georgia is deeply anti-Atlanta, and the city still often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to state issues. Up until the 1960's, Georgia was governed by the county unit system, which put the rural counties firmly in charge. All of Fulton County's half million voters could be cancelled out by say, Baker, Glascock and Taliaferro Counties, which probably had about 5,000 people put together. Politicians knew this, of course, and for decades the anti-Altanta interests (most notably the Talmadge Machine) dominated state government.

Even today 8 of the 13 members of the state transportation board are from outside metro Atlanta, as are the governor, the president of the state senate and many other state officials. The city of Atlanta itself is known as a Democratic voting area, and that hardly makes it a favored spot with the governor and both houses of the legislature being under Republican control.

Exactly. The bread and butter of politicians in the state is to look at disgust towards Atlanta as though it's some huge money pit instead of the engine of this state. My point above was that even politicians from metro Atlanta use that argument to get elected in the suburbs. I'm sure this happens everywhere, but it seems absurd that a city such as Atlanta is having to finance MARTA on its own.

And see, the funny thing is that for a long time the Democratic establishment was in south Georgia, which of course focused interests in that region. Slowly, the establishment started to shift to where Atlanta (and other urban areas in this state) were equally represented within the Democratic machine. But just when that happened, the Republicans took over, who, of course, are anti-city, doesn't matter what city, Augusta, Savannah, Macon, whatever; they get their votes in the burbs and the rural areas and they know it.

Lady Celeste, many politicans are not very well informed. We have to remember that most are just average members of the community who decided to run for office. There are also some who know better but pander to the public in order to get elected. Self interest will often trump the public interest... sadly sometime it seems like it's almost all self interest. When Purdue first appointed Steven Stancil to head GRTA, I was disgusted but in a way it's been a blessing because Steve has now been forced to "put up or shut up". He use to come up with all kinds of stupid ideas like shutting down MARTA and letting cars use the tunnels instead. Now that he's been forced to see the numbers and run GRTA's bus system, his mouth has stopped spouting so much nonsense. It still would have been better to have a real pro-transit person in that position but at least this is a sight silver lining.

Exactly, I get excited reading these forums and think, "wow, things are really changing," and then I open up the AJC and read a couple of letters or I read that Wooten column and see that really nothing has changed....

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I'm sure this happens everywhere, but it seems absurd that a city such as Atlanta is having to finance MARTA on its own.

I don't know the situation in other cities, but it wouldn't surprise me if MARTA is the only public transportation system in the country which gets no state money.

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I don't know the situation in other cities, but it wouldn't surprise me if MARTA is the only public transportation system in the country which gets no state money.

It's not the only transit system to get no state money, but it is the largest and only system that includes heavy rail that gets no state help (except, of course D.C's Metro system, but they have Uncle Sam helping them out).

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Exactly, I get excited reading these forums and think, "wow, things are really changing," and then I open up the AJC and read a couple of letters or I read that Wooten column and see that really nothing has changed....

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Very well said. For too long Atlanta has had to do things on its own, often depite the actions of the state, which I think is ridiculous. But I just don't see people embracing mass transit as a viable alternative right now, even in metro Atlanta. No one seems to support it. Every week it seems as though Jim Wooten of the AJC is attacking mass transit in one way or the other. Why do they even let that guy write a column?

The reason public transportation is not embraced is because it is uncompetitive when compared to private cars. It does not take most people where most people want to go, and it cannot ever do so. Private automobiles are the cause of upward mobility, and have given the greatest number of people the ability to go where they wish and need to go. They have increased job opportunities for the less well off by giving them access to the jobs. Around the world, the percentage of people travelling by public transportation is falling relative to autos because autos serve thier needs and desires. Public transit, no matter how extensive, does nothing to reduce traffic or congestion-it continues to rise in every city no matter how much ridership increases. Atlanta needs to build the roads it needs to handle the rising standard of living and the increased automobiles that come with it instead of trying to kill the capitalist goose that has laid the golden economic eggs with more government funded socialism. Atlanta had the best growth pattern of them all until they fell victim to smart growth. If Atlanta loses it's luster, the entire South could suffer...

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^That is absolutely not true. I suggest that you travel to Tokyo, the most prosperious city on the planet to see how public transportation there has made it the most mobile city on the planet. The fact of the matter is there is no 1st tier city on the planet, where most of the planet's wealth is concentrated that does not have an extensive public transportation system.

It's a myth to believe that automobiles provide access to upward mobility because the expense of owning one often diverts huge amounts of money away from other projects that could provide greater access to more of our population. Furthermore, automobiles create an unsustainable lifesytle. While it may be good for people now, the time will come when it is time to pay the piper and the entire economy that revolves around cheap oil and land will come to an end.

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