The challenge of greening Atlanta
There’s a great article in Atlantic Cities today about difficulties faced in efforts to ‘green’ Atlanta as well as other Southern cities that grew up in the automobile and AC era:
How to Green Southern Cities Built in the Age of Cars and Air Conditioning
Here’s a quote that points out some of the structural disadvantages we have in ATL when it comes to improving our ‘green’ status:
Poor Atlanta often stands in as the model for how cities ought not to grow…Just about all of the most important Interstates in the South converge on the city, bisecting many of its communities. And the local metro system – with four lines covering roughly two routes – looks on a map like the toenail clippings from the London Underground.
Ouch! But, unfortunately, kinda fair.
The article mentions a ‘greenprint’ proposal for Midtown that “envisions new Zipcar stations, higher-performance buildings, a better-connected street grid, new green spaces and additional miles of walkable sidewalks.”
Sounds like a good plan to me! It’s going to take a lot of work and focus and I hope Atlanta is up to the challenge. Here’s another quote about the things we’re up against, particularly in Midtown:
Until now, the neighborhood [Midtown] has been disconnected at points by Atlanta’s rocky geography.
“People took the easy lots to develop, which left some really gaping holes,” Vaughan says. “It’s hard to think that Peachtree Street has surface parking lots, and that there are lots that are completely undeveloped.”
Also a fair criticism, and one I’ve made many times. I’m always saddened and amazed to see so many surface parking lots on the Peachtree Street corridor in Midtown.
Photo by Flickr user WashuOtaku
I will say that connectivity is one of my pet peeves as a regular pedestrian in this city.