- From Edge to Edgeless City: The Transfomation of Metropolitan Atlanta, GA, US    click here to open paper content1660 kb
by    Hartshorn, Truman | truman@gsu.edu   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
US cities are increasingly faced with a planning crisis ahead based on current growth trends. The dependence on the single occupance automobile for the wrok trip, low residential densities, and dispersed work centers have led to unprecedented levels of traffic congestion, air pollution, and suburban sprawl. This paper presents a case study of the increasingly edgeless city nature of growth in Atlanta.
Atlanta, GA is now the third largest urban region in the US based on land area, and 9th in population with 4.5 million residents. This paper presents a case study of the restructuring of Atlanta from a prevailing polycentric edge city form in the 1980s to a prevailing edgeless city urban form in 2003. Recent attempts to reform the prevailing trends by emphasizing smart growth alternatives have not been succesful. Transportation investment priorities have also changed but the prevailing trend continues. The back to the city trend which is market driven in response to increasing transportation gridlock and air pollution is also evaluated. Government fragmentation, local government-driven planning and zoning practices, and the lack of regional planning all contribute to the problem. Despite the presence of at least 3 well developed edge cities and a robust downtown, outward development patterns prevail due to the intense competition that lures new development to exurban areas. More permissive zoning practices, cheaper land, and the promise of more housing for one's investment continues to drive the process. Local governments, eager to increase thier tax base, eagerly subsidize the trend. The net result is an urban form increasingly described as having no character.
suburban sprawl, edgeless city, traffic congestion
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