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Metropolitan Atlanta, which has attracted millions of new residents in recent decades, forms the heart of one of the five U.S. megaregions. Home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta is an international capital for public health, as well as for higher education and entrepreneurship. The City of Atlanta itself – unlike many metropolitan core cities – has also seen significant recent population increase, which is fueling numerous creative infill and redevelopment projects.
Atlanta's reputation for sprawl is now matched by a formidable regional response. Public-private partnerships and extensive reform networks are initiating nationally relevant strategies to reduce emissions, enhance sustainability and promote healthy lives. Atlanta has more than 15 million square feet of recent transit-related development, and livable neighborhoods to explore at every scale, from historic in-town streetcar suburbs and mixed-use tower districts, to walkable infill developments, to recreated town centers in sprawl-engulfed suburban communities.
Here are INTIMATE GLIMPSES of several thriving "intown" Atlanta neighborhoods you can easily visit while you're attending CNU 18, featuring maps, neighborhood vignettes, places of interest, list of restaurants, and more:
- Downtown Atlanta
- MLK Jr. Historic District and Auburn Avenue / Cabbagetown
- Inman Park
- Virginia Higland
- Downtown Decatur
- Atlantic Station
- Glenwood Park
These articles describe a SAMPLING of INNOVATIVE NEW-URBANIST PROJECTS in the ATLANTA AREA. They – and scores of others – can be found in the book on the region produced especially for CNU 18, Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present & Future.
- Learning from the Beltline, by Ryan Gravel
- Downtown Duluth Town Green
- Woodstock Downtown
- Technology Square
And here are VIDEO VIGNETTES of:
- Buford Highway: A suburban commercial corridor hosting an evolving, vibrant, mainly-immigrant community
- Atlanta BeltLine: The first steps toward turning disused rail corridors into a 22-mile loop of trails and transit
- Historic Old Fourth Ward: An interview with Atlanta Council City Member Kwanza Hall focusing on ongoing master planning efforts in the historic district
- Virginia-Highland: Recent urban developments, as told by Pamela Papner, President of Virginia Highland Civic Association
- Inman Park and Freedom Parkway: Inman Park resident Cathy Bradshaw provides an introduction to this intown Atlanta neighborhood and then discusses the citizen's fight and the concluding settlement with GDOT and the City of Atlanta over the Freedom Parkway (originally planned as Stone Mountain Toll Road in the 50s) in the 80s and 90s.
- Downtown Atlanta: A walking tour of Downtown by resident Jim Hackler, the Urbane Environmentalist for visiting New Urbanists.
- MARTA: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority: A brief video by Jim Hackler, the Urbane Environmentalist, on how to take the subway from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to the conference hotel.
CNU 18 coincides with the ninth annual Atlanta Downtown Festival, on May 22. Of special interest is the festival's "rooftop tour." You'll find a DJ, artist or chef on each roof, historical information about the building and its surroundings, and great views of the city.
Atlanta's first Atlanta Streets Alive pedestrian festival, modeled on Bogota, Columbia’s Ciclovia, will also takes place Downtown on May 23 from 1-6 p.m.
At the Museum of Design Atlanta – just two blocks from the Congress hotel – you can see Adapting Suburbs in the Twenty First Century. The exhibition, mounted to coincide with CNU 18, showcases projects that transformed under-performing suburban sites throughout the U.S. into places that are viable, pedestrian-friendly and environmentally-sensitive.