Who Stole Atlanta?


Who stole Atlanta and replaced it with a city I no longer recognize. I moved to Atlanta in 1973 as a young, wide-eyed, energetic architect ready to take on the world. Atlanta was vibrant, welcoming and had great aspirations for its future. The energy level was high and everyone had the desire to make it a great place to be. Businesses were inventing themselves and thriving and we were filled with ideas and people that were making things happen. We were willing to take risks. (I remember the day that full page ad in the AJC announced the initial public offering a little retailer down the street on Memorial Dr. – Home Depot and saying those folks are going to make it because they have something to offer.)


Being an architect I wanted to be part of Atlanta’s vision. Fast forward 40 years.


Atlanta is no longer a city. Face it. It is a region and everyone (except it residents) think of that way: business, tourists, politics, etc. When someone asks you where are you from, odds are you don’t say DeKalb, Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett, etc, you say _________________???? “Atlanta” is generic and is the regional identification.


If we are a region, why don’t we think like one? Frankly I am very weary of our attitude, —- separate counties, separate cities, “we are different”, black or white. I am tired of it. Aren’t all of us after the same thing?
• Good schools
• Less Traffic
• Clean, safe, vibrant communities
• Strong, pro-business environment
• Plentiful job market
• Great amenities


Does anyone disagree that quality of life is the focus not “we are different”?


After the failed transportation initiative, can we now focus on how we can achieve these ideals?  Give my children and grandchildren and yours a reason to be in Atlanta (the region). Focus, energize – we can all benefit from great results, as the region.