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.
The Urban State of Mind: Meditations on the City is the first Urbanophile e-book, featuring provocative essays on the key issues facing our cities, including innovation, talent attraction and brain drain, global soft power, sustainability, economic development, and localism. Included are 28 carefully curated essays out of nearly 1,200 posts in the first seven years of the Urbanophile, plus 9 original pieces. Great for anyone who cares about our cities, The Urban State of Mind also makes a great gift this holiday season.
About the Urbanophile
Aaron M. Renn is an opinion-leading urban analyst, consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help America’s cities thrive and find sustainable success in the 21st century.