I’m no expert on statistics, but I thought this looked liked a pretty nice list for Atlanta to be on: business website 24/7 Wall Street has an article this week about the ten fastest growing large cities in the country, and Atlanta ranks at #7.
To be clear, this is the City of Atlanta ranking, not the entire metro. This article is looking specifically at “U.S. Census Bureau’s population change data for cities with populations of 250,000 or more,” between the dates 4/2010 and 7/2011.
Interestingly, the City of Atlanta was able to achieve a significant population increase despite having, during that time, one of the larger unemployment rates in the US at 12.1%. Just think what could happen when our economy improves!
Read the full article here. Lots of interesting cities made it on the list, most of them in the southwest.
Atlanta Street Food Festival pic by Flickr user digitizedchaos
What if population and office-space demand have truly plateaued in Atlanta?
I wondered this after reading a recent Bloomberg article about Atlanta’s empty office spaces and slowed population growth. From the article:
Atlanta currently has enough empty office space to fill the equivalent of 24 Bank of America Towers, with vacancies of 30 million square feet at midyear, according to Cushman…Atlanta’s growth in population and jobs has slowed after outpacing national averages before the recession.
Importantly: If the growth has stopped and this is as populated as Atlanta is going to get, are we stuck with the status quo of our built environment? By that, I’m questioning whether or not the current, largely car-dependent separation of land uses between job centers and residential zones is going to remain unchanged — or if there is hope for more integration that promotes walkability.
And I’m talking generally here, understanding that there are many exceptions with the built environment where multi-family housing is built near job centers. But as the article makes clear, the traffic-choked nature of Atlanta’s roads is a deterrent to businesses making a move here. That traffic is undoubtedly caused by the sprawling separation of residences and job centers that dominates the landscape — a separation that could be improved upon with further smart-growth development.
But how much development can be expected in a city where both the office market and population are stagnant? Can Atlanta engage in smart-growth practices even if overall growth has stalled for the foreseeable future?