One of the least-told stories in the world of urban planning circles is how the Atlanta region is urbanizing in some impressive ways. Famously car-oriented and spread out, Atlanta is often the premier example of how the car culture combined with post-war growth to create a new type of American city. The region still retains those characteristics (hey, entire regions don't change overnight), but I'm impressed by the amount of development on the ground that is geared towards a walkable lifestyle.
An interesting question to explore: why is so much more of this going on in Atlanta than other large regions, such as St. Louis or Houston? Clearly there's still decades worth of work to do to create the critical mass necessary for success, but it's still impressive to see what's happening all across this vast region.
MARTA, the region's transit agency, is also now jumping in with both feet as it pushes for more transit-oriented development (TOD in the jargon of planning) at rail stations. Thomas Wheatley writes at Creative Loafing:
Just weeks after announcing that it had a developer to turn the King Memorial station's parking lot into a mixed-use development that could raise revenues and fuel ridership, MARTA is turning its eyes toward another plot of asphalt on the East-West line.
The transit agency recently announced it was seeking proposals to develop its parking lot on the southern side of the Edgewood/Candler Park station. In addition to making sure the proposals jibe with MARTA's transit-oriented guidelines and city land-use and zoning plans, MARTA officials are reminding developers of recent visions for the property.
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