THERE IS no LIGHTNESS WITHOUT DARKNESS 

As with all major growing cities, change constantly meets resistance and Atlanta is no exception. Many developments have caused frustration among residents - like tearing down the Masquerade, tripling the costs of living, and failing to construct safer bike lanes. We also need to talk about gentrification. Not the ooh-whites-can-live-there-now side but the racist-displacement-of-black-communities truth of gentrification. For now it seems that the friction between preservation and advancement is generating mostly positive growth. Only with conscious efforts and close attention to details can we truly honor Atlanta's founding citizens and truly be - on the rise.

Today, Atlanta is a choice destination for young hopefuls, growing families, artists, musicians, actors, and international professionals. By encouraging a greater housing market, supporting an expanding business hub, and cultivating a unique and vibrant culture, this city continues to rise. Atlanta strives to keep its current residents happy and attract new people by infusing its laid-back southern vide with a cosmopolitan flair. So how will city planners and citizens alike maintain Atlanta’s authenticity and preserve its history while building infrastructure that allows the economy and the quality of life to improve? 

Ponce City Market, photo by Aaron Bridges

On a global scale

The City of Atlanta stands for resurgence, opportunity, and great potential; not only as a Southeastern capital but as an international authority. Cities make the foundation, acting like building blocks to build stronger nations and a stronger world. Atlanta is one of those building blocks that must lead by example. Current Mayor Kasim Reed was featured on the TED Radio Hour earlier this year, discussing the importance of city growth from the bottom-up. According to Reed, “Cities are where hope meets the streets” and as leaders we must initiate change starting with residents and their communities.

On a community scale

You can expect to see major surgery done on most of the districts but especially the Downtown, Westside, Grant Park, and Reynoldstown areas. The cityscape continues to literally climb upward as the infamous Fuqsquad constructs "urban retail mixed-use developments" all over the city. There are plans for over 25 traffic-reaping developments on Memorial Drive alone, including Atlanta Dairies, an “Americana and entertainment focused” upcycled utopia. We hope that our taxpaying dollars funding MARTA and the Beltline will bring cohesiveness across the inner and outer districts. Please, vote for Marta.