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krazeeboi

Should Atlanta share the wealth?

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This article showed up in the Planetizen column of the Urban Planet homepage a little while ago. The premise of this piece is that dominant metro areas within a state have the potential to bring prosperity to that state's 2nd-tier cities and that state governments should encourage such. So what do you guys think? Would Georgia's or Atlanta's leadership be interested in this? How feasible would this be?

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I actually sympathize with Atlanta, given that it is a prosperous and progressive metro area that has had to accomplish pretty much everything on its own. As long as there is a clash between rural and urban Georgia, I don't know that it can happen here. In Georgia I think this state is divided into two halves: those cities at or above I-16, and those below it.

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I actually sympathize with Atlanta, given that it is a prosperous and progressive metro area that has had to accomplish pretty much everything on its own. As long as there is a clash between rural and urban Georgia, I don't know that it can happen here. In Georgia I think this state is divided into two halves: those cities at or above I-16, and those below it.

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The question is, will that happen because of the second-tier cities' own momentum of because Atlanta has sprawled out that far?

I think that most Atlantan's think they already bankrole the state anyway- it definitely gives them more money to play with if nothing else. I agree with the premise behind that article -especially that the mid-sized cities want to grow- but you run into some major problems quickly

Many people are hypocrites. They don't want growth, but they want services nearby. They don't want growth, but they want their land values to go up.

How do you force or encourage the market to take on the principle?

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Ranking areas by growth rate doesn't really give you a picture of what is happening. If Sylvaster, GA ads 1500 people the growth rate is near 100%, if Atlanta adds 1500 people that is called Tuesday. If the "2nd tier" cities want to use Atlanta to help their own growth, that is not only fine with me but would make me happy. The problem is that the mindset isn't "what can we do that would leverage our advantage in being so close to a major metro area" it's "what can Atlanta do to help us". That is why we feel like we are being taken advantage of. I also think that the people of Atlanta would be more inclined to help our other cities if the animosity felt toward Atlanta weren't so prevalant south of the airport.

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The impacts of doubling your population overnight are still similar, albeit different in scale. Sylvester adding 1,500 people is just as dramatic as Atlanta (city) adding 400,000 during the same period.

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The pendulum swings. I think that we are on the verge of seeing S. Ga move ahead of N. Ga in terms of relative growth. S. Ga. (including in that the coast) will become more popular with aging boomers (like me!) as FLA becomes incresingly crowded. Likewise, N. Ga. is becoming more saturated and developers eyes are turning southward.

Atlanta will always be the 800-lb gorilla in Ga. and the SE. It is so predominant that it can coast along and still maintain economic superiority while other cities boom. However, relatively speaking, the 2d tier cities should soon match and maybe exceed Atlanta's growth rate. Chicago was teh 2d city for many decades but eventually LA took the prize. No 2d tier city will ever seriously challenge Atlanta, but I think that they will start to gain and stop eating Atlanta's dust!

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Second tier city? By that, I think you mean Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Atlanta right? In my point of view. Atlanta is catching up to Houston and Dallas, not the other way around.

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The impacts of doubling your population overnight are still similar, albeit different in scale. Sylvester adding 1,500 people is just as dramatic as Atlanta (city) adding 400,000 during the same period.

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No, the 2nd Tier cities of Georgia. Savannah, Macon, Albany, Athens, Augusta, and Columbus.(Though normally we refer to Augusta, Macon, Savannah, and Columbus).

Surely Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Atlanta are not 2nd Tier. They are among the largest metros in the country. And they are roughly the same size.(I think Dallas-Ft, Worth has the lead though, but Miami, Houston, and Atlanta CSA-MSA are pretty close in population)

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Second tier city? By that, I think you mean Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Atlanta right? In my point of view. Atlanta is catching up to Houston and Dallas, not the other way around.

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This is the GEORGIA forum. Houston, Dallas, and Miami were not a part of the discussion since none are in the state of GA.

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I understand what you are saying, but I would submit that the scales are so far apart that they aren't the same thing at all. Adding 1500 people to Sylvester represents a capital investment of around $57million for residential (given 3 people per household and an average sales price of $115K and maybe another $10 million in office/retail. Measuring the capital investment to house and provide office/commercial space (not to mentoin the civic, recreational, and industrial space) for a population doubling of Atlanta would be too much for my amatuer brian to comprehend. Although if you believe the pop projections given by the group Cousins hired we will find out over the next 15 to 20 years. All I'm saying is that hard numbers are better then percentages when gauging the real story behind a cities or towns growth.

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Ran across this editorial in the Athens paper that makes the argument that some have made before: state economic development officials need to steer development to other metro areas outside of Atlanta. However, this editorial goes a step further and says that the city's "water woes" mean that Atlanta is practically maxed out economically, so the state will really have no other choice.

[O]fficials in Georgia's downstate also have interests in common regarding use of the Chattahoochee - that agreement is likely to shackle metropolitan Atlanta severely in terms of the immediate availability of water. That will effectively stall the metro area's growth, and more importantly, take it off the table as a viable location for business and industrial expansion and relocation...

In other words, state officials can go on a quest to find water that might keep the metro area a viable development locale for a little while longer, or they can spend money and effort on other infrastructure and turn all of Georgia into an attractive location for business and industrial expansion and relocation.

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I am going to try to keep this as brief as possible. The editorial is absurd.

First, the writer erroneously assumes that the entire metro Atlanta area obtains its water source from Lake Lanier. I'm sure they aren't the only ones to assume this though. Fact: water from Lake Lanier provides a drinking source for 3.5 million of metro Atlanta 5.6 million citizens. Metro Atlanta will not die...in fact this could potentially stretch it further northwestward towards Chattanooga which obtains water from the Coosa River. Or it could go further south towards Henry and Coweta counties, which obtain their water sources from the Flint River Basin and the Chattahoochee River respectively.

Secondly, what is this assumption in that the state somehow made metro Atlanta what it is today. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is a wholly owned entity of the City of Atlanta. This transportation source is the key reason for many business locations. Business people need to travel. I highly doubt they are going to want to drive hours to access the airport. While interstate access is provided by the state, it is a fact that more tax dollars collected in metro Atlanta flow to other parts of the state than vice versa.

Thirdly, I am sure that any official in metro Atlanta would not mind business locating elsewhere in the state. We did not go after the Kia plant down in LaGrange (which technically is in greater Atlanta). Nor did metro Atlanta force NCR to locate all jobs during their relocation from Dayton to metro Atlanta. Although we did get their corporate world headquarters, Columbus benefitted from jobs as well. It's easy to sit and say Atlanta takes all the jobs. Well, what are local politicians doing to make their areas more attractive to potential businesses? As someone said in the article in the Athens Herald, these corporate headquarters are not going to locate in second tier cities because they stuck it to metro Atlanta....they will move to Charlotte, Dallas, Houston and other major cities with world class airports.

I will end with this...Atlanta and its metro environs were not built overnight and they took vision and courage. Instead of whining about corporations locating in metro Atlanta (as if metro Atlanta can stir a business decision by a major corporation) perhaps these slighted cities can build up their infrastructure like cities in metro Atlanta has done. What I see going on now is "ahhh hah, you guys are running out o water, let's stick it to them while they are supposedly down!" If you people think that Sen. Isakson and Sen. Chambliss and Congressman Lewis are not going to maneuver their political muscle then think again.

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face....

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Well said, well said. The airport, I think, is the biggest driving force when it comes to Atlanta being the magnet for jobs and corporate relocations that it is today. It doesn't matter how many incentives state officials might throw at Augusta or Valdosta, nothing can substitute for Hartsfield-Jackson. And these days, companies don't really look at states; they look at metro areas. So if a company chooses not to locate in Atlanta, you'd better believe that it's not going to settle for Columbus as an alternative. It will be Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, or Nashville first.

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Well said, well said. The airport, I think, is the biggest driving force when it comes to Atlanta being the magnet for jobs and corporate relocations that it is today. It doesn't matter how many incentives state officials might throw at Augusta or Valdosta, nothing can substitute for Hartsfield-Jackson. And these days, companies don't really look at states; they look at metro areas. So if a company chooses not to locate in Atlanta, you'd better believe that it's not going to settle for Columbus as an alternative. It will be Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, or Nashville first.

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No, the 2nd Tier cities of Georgia. Savannah, Macon, Albany, Athens, Augusta, and Columbus.(Though normally we refer to Augusta, Macon, Savannah, and Columbus).

Surely Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Atlanta are not 2nd Tier. They are among the largest metros in the country. And they are roughly the same size.(I think Dallas-Ft, Worth has the lead though, but Miami, Houston, and Atlanta CSA-MSA are pretty close in population)

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In response to this forum topic, I strongly disagree with the idea of Atlanta sharing it's hard earned wealth. If the other second-tier cities want to acquire the kind of things that Atlanta has, then they need to stop limiting growth and start being much more open to dynamic urban development. The only thing that is propelling the growth of these smaller cities is the low cost of living (somewhat).... and BRAC - military installation expansion and realignment in Columbus, GA. The only metro that I see has a strong sense of it's own identity domestically and internationally is Savannah. Everywhere else in Georgia is the way it is because THE PEOPLE do not WANT to be like Atlanta. So you can't punish Atlanta for continuing to become the prosperous, cosmopolitan, and sophisticated metropolis that it is. In fact, can't think of a "wealthy" country town in America. You have to have big corporate businesses, government, efficient transportation and infrastructure networks (i.e. airport, interstates, public transit), and major research universities to sustain wealthy populations...

I mean lets just be honest... Atlanta is the REASON why Georgia balances the budget it has now. A huge fraction of the state's tax revenues generated from Atlanta's entertainment venues, business, tourism, metro area residents, airport, etc... DESERVES to benefit the City of Atlanta and the metro area. If Columbus, Macon, and Augusta want to become major destinations then they need to be open to the dynamic urban development that has become quite popular everywhere else. Until then, young business professionals, empty nesters, and their tax dollars will ALWAYS go to Atlanta. Why? More jobs, better housing options, a myriad of different lifestyles can be endeavored just within the city limits. I can have the city life and peace of mind in some of the neighborhoods. I don't see why other second-tier cities should benefit more from what they barely contribute to. The major reason why Atlanta became so massive is because Columbus, Macon, Augusta, and Savannah were placing so many limiting factors that often spurs development. Less limitations and more incentives for growth and redevelopment = Atlanta. More limitations (out of fear of deviating from the "country-life") and less incentives for urban growth and redevelopment = Columbus, Macon, and Augusta. It's simple as that. Note to second tier GA cities - Don't ask for the rewards that come along with something that you don't really want.

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