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Hybrid0NE

Atlanta Megalopolis?

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    • Yes!
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    • God Save Us.
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Hybrid0NE    2

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Tired of the Atlanta Metro? How about Mega Atlanta? You could say a core is potentially forming, following the interstates out of the perimeter to the cities of Birmingham, Chattanooga and Greenville/Spartanburg. Over the next couple of decades as the area becomes more dense, well as Atlanta's ubersprawl outruns those of the surrounding metros (your days are numbered BoWash), a loose-knitted Megalopolis could take shape in Southeast.

The megalopolis would eventually blow through Charlotte (via expanding along the 85 corridor between it and GSP) and spread into the Triad. Montgomery, Nashville and Augusta could possibly fall into the blend also; although the dead zones are rather looming. Since we're going to have to kiss those rolling hills, foothills and mountains goodbye sooner or later. I've even come with possible names for the collective city...

Charmingham

Atgomerleigh or

Sprawlanta

P.S. I posted this on skyscraperpage if you're a member there.

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monsoon    0

Well this assumes the same very bad and non-existant growth policies that exist in Atlanta would extend up I-85 and I can tell you this won't happen. We are very in interested in NC of not having ATL style development here. And to my knowledge none of the rest of the region is looking to reproduce the mess that exists in Atlanta. (Although to varing degrees of success)

I would not use the term megalopolis to describe Atlanta as that would imply there is some sort of huge city but in Atlanta's example this is not the case. Instead you have a relatively slow growing core surrounded by no-character endless sprawl of vinyl cookie cutter house cul de sac development, big box chain store retail, and miles and miles of pavement.

No. Megalopolis is not the word, how about Sprawlopolis? Yeah, Sprawlopolis is a much better description.

BTW. Welcome to the forum HybridONE

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Viper    0

I don't think Atlanta could spread out large enough to eat either of those cities. Remember that for every mile of growth around the city, that is a big percentage more land than the previous mile circling the city. By the time you get even half way to Macon, Atlanta would need 20-30 million people to have that filled in.

LA doesn't even cover quite that much space and it's barely 16 million now and that includes San Diego.

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ATLman1    0

There is plenty of development going on inside the perimeter. More and more people are moving into the city than ever before. There are highrise condo projects going up that are changing Atlanta's skyline daily. With the new beltline going around the city, this will make more people want to move to Atlanta's urban core. Atlantic Station is a great development and example of ATL growth in the DT and MT areas. When people say there is nothing going on in the perimeter, they are usually the ones that don't live in ATL. Come here and see for yourself the changes that are happening in Midtown and Downtown A-town.

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alexr15    0

Well this assumes the same very bad and non-existant growth policies that exist in Atlanta would extend up I-85 and I can tell you this won't happen.  We are very in interested in NC of not having ATL style development here.  And to my knowledge none of the rest of the region is looking to reproduce the mess that exists in Atlanta.  (Although to varing degrees of success) 

I would not use the term megalopolis to describe Atlanta as that would imply there is some sort of huge city but in Atlanta's example this is not the case.  Instead you have a relatively slow growing core surrounded by no-character endless sprawl of vinyl cookie cutter house cul de sac development, big box chain store retail, and miles and miles of pavement. 

No. Megalopolis is not the word, how about Sprawlopolis?  Yeah, Sprawlopolis is a much better description.

BTW.  Welcome to the forum HybridONE

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

To issue blanket statments like that is completely ridiculous. I live in Peachtree City, one of the largest master-planned communities in the country. I go everywhere here by golf-cart! because we have over 80 miles of golf-cart paths running throughout town. Sure PTC is in suburbia and is set up as such it is still sensitively planned and an extremely pleasant place to live.

And also, like the above poster said there are many projects going on within the city of Atlanta such as Atlantic Station and the new Georgia Aquarium. Some people that don't live here just look at population numbers and think they know it all.

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teshadoh    0

alex - Peachtree City may be an exception to the rule, but in the Atlanta suburban metro - it is the only exception. The vast majority of suburban Atlanta, like any other suburban area particularly in the south is car oriented sprawl.

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monsoon    0

To issue blanket statments like that is completely ridiculous. I live in Peachtree City, one of the largest master-planned communities in the country. I go everywhere here by golf-cart! because we have over 80 miles of golf-cart paths running throughout town. Sure PTC is in suburbia and is set up as such it is still sensitively planned and an extremely pleasant place to live. 

And also, like the above poster said there are many projects going on within the city of Atlanta such as Atlantic Station and the new Georgia Aquarium. Some people that don't live here just look at population numbers and think they know it all.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Don't get so bent out of shape. The question was about the Atlanta metro, not about individual golf cart communities. While better planning within the city of Atlanta is way overdue and admirable, the rest of the metro is in dismal shape which was what the question was directed towards. But if you want to look at just ATL, then its population of less than 1/2 million is hardly the stuff that Megalapoli are made from. LOL There are suburbs in Tokyo (a true Megalopolis) on just a few square miles that are larger than that.

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Mr.Marc    0

There is plenty of development going on inside the perimeter. More and more people are moving into the city than ever before. There are highrise condo projects going up that are changing Atlanta's skyline daily. With the new beltline going around the city, this will make more people want to move to Atlanta's urban core. Atlantic Station is a great development and example of ATL growth in the DT and MT areas. When people say there is nothing going on in the perimeter, they are usually the ones that don't live in ATL. Come here and see for yourself the changes that are happening in Midtown and Downtown A-town.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I know I would love to live smack dab in the middle of downtown Atlanta.

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eastsider    244

Creative thinkink, but this concept has no chance of happening. In order for this to happen evryone that moves to the SE U.S. will have to move to suburban atlanta for years to come. Imaging to number of freeways and superfreeways that would have to be built. It would be total madness!!! Plus there are just to many natural barriers for atl to sprawl that far in that many directions. No one is going to be allow to remove foothills/mountains for this mess.

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alexr15    0

Don't get so bent out of shape.  The question was about the Atlanta metro, not about individual golf cart communities.  While better planning within the city of Atlanta is way overdue and admirable, the rest of the metro is in dismal shape which was what the question was directed towards.    But if you want to look at just ATL, then its population of less than 1/2 million is hardly the stuff that Megalapoli are made from.  LOL  There are suburbs in Tokyo (a true Megalopolis) on just a few square miles that are larger than that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I didn't mean to come off as angry because I'm not :) All I was saying is that in ATL there are a lot of things going on that people that don't live here no nothing about and some of those same people just like to look at population numbers and assume that they know all.

And anyways, while I'm definitely not a fan of sprawl, there are MANY who love their suburbs and would not live anywhere else. Everyone talks about suburbs as if they are their own hells on earth. A lot of people obviously like living out in less densely populated areas or they would not continue to grow as they are.

As far as Atlanta becoming a megalopolis, I don't think so.

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The only way to stop the Atlanta madness is for the State Legislature to place development limits to prevent additional sprawl. However, considering that this will never happen politically and would probably be struck down legally, ATL will simply continue to grow out. I do think they may one day reach a point where it becomes a less desirable place to live b/c of the traffic issues and poor planning and the growth will slow. Hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later.

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pksiv    0

The megalopolis concept is amusing but certainly won't be happening anytime in our lifetime.

For those of you who don't live in Atlanta, you should know that actually the complete opposite is occuring. Urban sprawl has created a traffic situation that is one of the worst in the country and what we now see is an huge push back into the city.

As another Atlantan mentioned. Highrise condos are going up one after the other and selling out as fast as they go on the market. As the residential density improves intown, new retail outlets are also moving back into town.

Old intown neighborhoods are being revitalized all over Atlanta's central city and the addition of the Georgia Aquarium and developments such as Atlantic Station, the West side is sure to follow.

I think we'll see intown Atlanta becoming a dense urban center the way Chicago

is long before we see urban sprawl swallow up any of the surrounding cities.

And I'm not comparing Atlanta to Chicago now, that's the direction I see it going. But with better weather.

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socaguy    1

YES. Unfortunately this will happen, especially on the I-85 corridor. Atlanta is leapfrogging all the way out to Commerce Ga. (half-way to Anderson SC), where New Urbanist developments are already in the making. Everytime I come to Atlanta there is another new Huge development of homes lining the Interstate..35, 40, 45, miles from Downtown. Winder and the Chateu-Elan area are next. On the other hand, Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson are all growing and sprawling rapidly as well. Most of the major growth in Anderson is along 85, while in Greenville it is to the South. These cities are almost grown together already.

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socaguy    1

^^^ Oh and I am not saying Atlanta isnt growing in it's center either...It is..and growing more dense by the day. But its' exurban counties are becoming sprawling messes.

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JunktionFET    0

I forsee that at some point in the future there will be a "Southeast Megalopolis" not an "Atlanta Megalopolis" along the I-85 corridor, much like you see on I-95 from Washington DC to Boston. This region would not revolve around Atlanta, instead Atlanta would just be a point along the way--albeit a large sprawled point.

NC has nearly formed a piedmont megalopolis, and I suspect that in the not too distant future Charlotte, the Triad, and the Triangle will share CSA counties--though I suppose they cannot literally "share" them by definition. A look at a road map or even a population density map shows almost a continuous line of development up I-85 and I-40 from Charlotte to Raleigh, although there are some narrow spots still.

I believe that some transitional counties (Rowan, Alamance, Iredell) have already been a little uncertain as to what MSA they end up belonging to. I suspect we will see more that as time goes on.

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Spartan    682

I don't think Atlanta could spread out large enough to eat either of those cities.  Remember that for every mile of growth around the city, that is a big percentage more land than the previous mile circling the city.  By the time you get even half way to Macon, Atlanta would need 20-30 million people to have that filled in.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I see your point, but this is assuming concentric growth. But as we all know, growth is generally in a few specific directions.

YES.  Unfortunately this will happen, especially on the I-85 corridor.  Atlanta is leapfrogging all the way out to Commerce Ga. (half-way to Anderson SC), where New Urbanist developments are already in the making.  Everytime I come to Atlanta there is another new Huge development of homes lining the Interstate..35, 40, 45, miles from Downtown.  Winder and the Chateu-Elan area are next.    On the other hand, Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson are all growing and sprawling rapidly as well.  Most of the major growth in Anderson is along 85, while in Greenville it is to the South.  These cities are almost grown together already.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is true. When you hit Commerce its only a few miles more until 985 and from there on its basicly non-stop development.

Greenville and Spartanburg are growing towards eachother. There is still a noticable area of rural between these cities if you take the back roads, but that is quickly changing. Greenville does have significant growth down 385 though. I think that area is referred to as the Golden Strip.

The Atlanta Megalopolis could happen one day, but not any time soon.

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Jerseyman4    0

Alamance County is a swing county to me. It can go Triangle one way but also the Triad the other way. Im aware that Burlington-Alamance County is offically part of the Triad. Burlington is closer to Durham than Winston-Salem and maybe even High Point! The Dominant Market Audiences (television) is a more interesting topic that Raleigh stations consider Burlington as part of their viewing area (and it deserves to be) but its again officially the Triad. WXII 12 needs to give more attention to Burlington because i hear about Burlington more on WRAL or WTVD than i ever do WXII. Im gonna stop here before i go on additional tangents. :D

Iredell County is also another one however im not too much familar with it from personal experience. Statesville to me would be the 1/2 way point of where more north and east is Winston-Salem bound but south of Statesville is all Charlotte.

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monsoon    0

There is nothing north and east of Statesville. And actually once you get past Lake Norman, development in Iredell county drops off dramatically.

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God save us.

That said, in some sense this has already happened and even been taken into account by vrious agencies. The Weather Channel, for example, has revised their computer models to include a large urban area along the entire I-85 corridor from Atlanta to Charlotte.

Consider: Atlanta metro includes Troup County, Georgia, which borders on Harris County. Harris is the northern edge of Columbus metro. Atlanta metro also includes Chambers County, Alabama. Chambers borders Russell County, part of Columbus, and Lee County, home of Auburn-Opelika metro. Lee County borders Macon County, which is the Tuskegee micropolitan area, which is combined with Auburn-Opelika and Columbus in a single CMSA. Macon County borders Elmore and Montgomery counties, which are part of Montgomery metro. Montgomery metro borders Dallas County, which is Selma micropolitan area.

One county separates Anniston and Birmingham (which are contiguous) from Atlanta; that is Cleburne County, and I can't but think in another few years Cleburne will find itself attached to one of the metros (it is a rather depressing place, though).

Atlanta metro includes Butts and Lamar counties, which border Monroe, which is part of the Macon metro. Macon metro is combined with Houston County in the Macon--Warner-Robins--Fort Valley CMSA. Macon metro includes Jones county, which borders Baldwin county, which is home of the Milledgeville micropolitan area.

Atlanta metro includes Bartow county. Bartow borders Floyd, home of the Rome metro, and Gordon, which is the Calhoun micropolitan area. Gordon borders Whitfield, a county in the Dalton metro area; Whitfield borders Catoosa and Walker counties, which are part of Chattanooga, as well as Hamilton County, Tenn, where Chattanooga itself is located.

Atlanta metro includes Barrow and Walton counties, which border the whole of Athens metro.

Atlanta metro combines with Gainesville metro to form a CMSA; Gainesville metro is Hall county. Hall county borders Habersham (Cornelia micropolitan area), which borders Stephens (Toccoa micropolitan area), which borders Oconee County SC (Seneca micro); Seneca micro is combined with Greenville into a CMSA; Greenville and Anderson together extend through three counties. Greenville County borders Spartanburg County (Spartanburg metro); Spartanburg combines with Gaffney micro to form a CMSA (Cherokee County). Cherokee County borders York County, which is part of the Charlotte metro area.

And so on; similar linkings can be made to Columbia, Sumter, Florence, Augusta, Orangeburg, and even Huntsville. That's a solid swath of metropolitan counties about the size of New England (minus Maine). Megalopolis, ho!

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Viper    0

But you have hundreds of miles of rural land between most of Atlanta and the other cities. The weather channel is a very vague indication of what's a megalopolis.

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ATLman1    0

Haha, you are right thehappysmith. I was just reading a magazine called Southern Views a few days ago and it was talking about how Atlanta and Columbus will merge in the coming future. The magazine came up with names such as Colanta and Atlantbus. This will happen in the near future with Atlanta moving south to Troup and Meriwether counties which are just above Harris Co. Harris Co. has become a bedroom county for Columbus. It is also a very wealthy county because people are looking to expand on more land because Columbus is building up so fast. Since Columbus is running out of land, Columbus has to move north or east because Ft. Benning is to the south and Phenix City is to the east. In Harris Co., there is a lot of development going on with new subdivisions going in everywhere. Harris is trying to limit commercial growth which I think is a bad thing because they are not collecting enough taxes to build more schools and improve roads. The only thing that will stop Columbus and Atlanta meeting is Harris Co. Eventually, Harris will open up more and will allow more commercial development.

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ATLman1    0

But you have hundreds of miles of rural land between most of Atlanta and the other cities.  The weather channel is a very vague indication of what's a megalopolis.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are not hundreds of miles of undeveloped land between Atlanta and other cities. Columbus is only 90 or so miles away from DT Atlanta. Macon is even closer. Both Columbus and Macon will merge with Atlanta in the coming future.

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Viper    0

B'ham to Atl is 150 miles

Greenville to Atl is 133 miles

Chattanooga to Atl is 100 miles

Now it might be a few miles closer to Macon and Columbus but combined is hundreds of miles of development needed that will not happen.

Atl is expanding but not that much. The surrounding cities are not expanding much to close that gap themselves.

As I said in my first post, it would take 20-30 million people to get that big and that's bigger than LA is right now and LA doesn't consume near that much land.

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