Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
My latest post is online at New Geography. It’s called “Is It Game Over for Atlanta?”
Many of America’s large cities went through a period of hypergrowth before leveling off: Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, etc. Some transitioned to a successful maturity, others did not. Today’s growth stories like Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta will be no different. One day their growth period will end, then we’ll see what they are really made of.
In my piece I outline the evidence that Atlanta might be the first of these to be peaking out, thanks to a surprising plunge in in-migration, a lack of infrastructure investment, declining ambitions, new competition, and a recession-interrupted transformation to a more urban city. Other than for its airport, there’s little reason anyone has to be in Atlanta these days. If Atlanta were a stock, I’d be thinking about shorting it and buying into some of its scrappier regional upstart competition. It’s time for a gut check in the Capital of the New South.