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Old 11-03-2007, 07:59 AM
 
Location: NC
8 posts, read 16,856 times
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Well, I'll let you know, you can't live in Charlotte without a car unless you want to take the bus or a cab.
If you have dr's appts, though, you'll need a car.
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,436,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteyNice View Post
You are only really isolated from people/things OTP. And honestly, there is really not much there worth seeing.
I think you misspelled ITP.

Seriously, it really depends on what a person wants. We liked the suburbs in the Twin Cities a lot better'n we did the main two cities, and the same is true here in Atlanta. The city proper is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live or work there...
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:15 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,800 times
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Originally Posted by wxjay View Post
LOL at Midtown Atlanta being like Manhattan. Sorry, even with your highrise condos, you still are not anywhere near as dense as Manhattan. Manhattan has an average population density of almost 67,000 people per square mile. Atlanta's total population is almost 500,000 people, and the average population density is 3700 people per square mile. I doubt that Midtown has anywhere NEAR 67,000 people per sq. mile.
Well, considering that Midtown is about 1.75 miles long and about 1 mile wide(1.75 square miles) and will grow to a population of 53,000 by 2010 we can't exactly discount it. Thats up from 20,000 in 2000 and it should go up well above 60,000 by 2015 if the growth rate stays remotely close to the current rate. It is not exactly nowhere near 67,000 people per square mile while admittedly mostly under construction at the moment. What might scare you is that it might actually surpass Manhattan's density if the always conservative population estimates are underreported. Keep in mind too that Piedmont Park is more than 20% of Midtown.

The Midtown Mile portion will have an even higher density so perhaps it isn't 33.7 square miles of non-stop urban density, but we can start with one or two square miles of super-density and work our way up.

An estimate of our population reaching 800.000 by 2020 was reported in our paper. That would be an overall density of 6,060 people per square mile in what is referred to as a "big little town". Time will tell of course. It is terrific to watch all the growth.

Sources:
Press Room - Daniel Corporation (http://www.danielcorp.com/pressroom/ambitious-atlanta.html - broken link)
Atlanta's Intown Population Explosion Fueled By Suburbanites? | Planetizen

This is my first post here so if you find anything wrong or inaccurate with what I said I will be sure to correct mistakes or provide proof of my statements. Here are my definitions of the area.

Last edited by Dante-sim; 11-05-2007 at 01:06 AM..
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Roswell, GA
697 posts, read 2,635,146 times
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There's density, and then there's density . The sheer number of people per square mile is part of it, of course, but that's not really the whole story when we're talking about comparing "urban" life in Midtown Atlanta with Manhattan or Boston or San Francisco or Chicago or any other dense major city. There's absolutely no argument that if walking and public transit are your main modes of transportation, any of those cities offer a much richer street life than Midtown Atlanta does now -- you encounter a greater number and wider range of people on the streets going about their daily routine, there are many more stores and restaurants that cater to quotidian needs (as opposed to being shopping or dining "destinations") -- it's just how life is lived in those places. There's no question that there's more of that in Midtown Atlanta now than there's been in at least fifty years (if ever), but it's still very much a "frontier", with people making conscious decisions to live and behave as if they're in a denser city. Most Atlantans, even the most dedicated urban pioneers, still start from mindset of living inside their homes and getting in a car to go wherever they need to go -- walking or taking public transportation is the default option for very few. Living in Midtown Atlanta or living in Atlanta without a car still takes effort, requires tradeoffs and compromises, and imposes limitations in ways that living in the denser part of the cities I mention above does not. I've spent time "living" in each of them (weeks at a time, in the cases of all but Chicago), and also lived near the corners of North and Higland and of Ponce and Barnett for ten years, much of it without a functional automobile, so I have a reasonable basis for making the comparison.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:26 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,800 times
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Originally Posted by rackensack View Post
There's density, and then there's density . The sheer number of people per square mile is part of it, of course, but that's not really the whole story when we're talking about comparing "urban" life in Midtown Atlanta with Manhattan or Boston or San Francisco or Chicago or any other dense major city. There's absolutely no argument that if walking and public transit are your main modes of transportation, any of those cities offer a much richer street life than Midtown Atlanta does now -- you encounter a greater number and wider range of people on the streets going about their daily routine, there are many more stores and restaurants that cater to quotidian needs (as opposed to being shopping or dining "destinations") -- it's just how life is lived in those places. There's no question that there's more of that in Midtown Atlanta now than there's been in at least fifty years (if ever), but it's still very much a "frontier", with people making conscious decisions to live and behave as if they're in a denser city. Most Atlantans, even the most dedicated urban pioneers, still start from mindset of living inside their homes and getting in a car to go wherever they need to go -- walking or taking public transportation is the default option for very few. Living in Midtown Atlanta or living in Atlanta without a car still takes effort, requires tradeoffs and compromises, and imposes limitations in ways that living in the denser part of the cities I mention above does not. I've spent time "living" in each of them (weeks at a time, in the cases of all but Chicago), and also lived near the corners of North and Higland and of Ponce and Barnett for ten years, much of it without a functional automobile, so I have a reasonable basis for making the comparison.
Very good arguments indeed. My post was geared towards dismissing the perception that Midtown was not "NEAR 67,000 pear sq. mile." That aside, it is true that what is called the 'urban' lifestyle is very much a choice in this area and a conscious decision accompanying many compromises. The urban culture of Atlanta (urban used here to mean simply a city) is geared towards a suburban lifestyle. That goes well beyond perception, it is the atmosphere that surrounds us. To be Atlantan is to live that lifestyle. To live in Midtown is to be something other than Atlantan. A pioneer as you put it. As long as this atmosphere exists, even if Midtown becomes as dense as Manhattan, it will never feel like more than a fringe culture within the city. Even the culture of Midtown itself is somehow sterile and suburban in nature. The gay population seems to be the only example of diversity of thought and lifestyle but that hardly counts as something unique and isn't too much different than the mainstream when it comes down to it.

As for pedestrian traffic, you will find that as Midtown's population doubles in the next few years and the Mile matures, there can't help but be a lot of foot traffic around. Downtown enjoys much more foot traffic during the day and I think that it might be a better place to look for an urban environment. All it is missing is a large residential population, but that will come with time. It seems more diverse as well. Where Midtown is a homogeneous grouping of highly educated singles and young professionals as well as empty nesters, downtown is a mix of incomes and a plethora of different ideas, ages, and lifestyles.

I don't believe in an urban environment low on children. It completes the cycle and allows one to live in that neighborhood from birth to death. To sum it up, I think the gap between the nebulous term 'urban' we yearn for and what we have now is a deep mix of a lot of factors. Those being diversity, culture and idea mixing, close interaction, co-dependence, density, support for the full life cycle, and the ability to use your own two feet to get everything you want and need. It is not efficiency, very tall buildings, stand-off office towers (like BoA), up-scale shopping, grid networks, and tearing down night clubs.

Last edited by Dante-sim; 11-05-2007 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Roswell, GA
697 posts, read 2,635,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante-sim View Post
The urban culture of Atlanta (urban used here to mean simply a city) is geared towards a suburban lifestyle. That goes well beyond perception, it is the atmosphere that surrounds us. To be Atlantan is to live that lifestyle. To live in Midtown is to be something other than Atlantan. A pioneer as you put it. As long as this atmosphere exists, even if Midtown becomes as dense as Manhattan, it will never feel like more than a fringe culture within the city. Even the culture of Midtown itself is somehow sterile and suburban in nature. The gay population seems to be the only example of diversity of thought and lifestyle but that hardly counts as something unique and isn't too much different than the mainstream when it comes down to it.
I think perhaps you're a bit too critical, but not wrong necessarily. I just think it takes time and, as you point out later, a whole host of supporting structures to develop that more diverse, cosmopolitan culture. The increasing density of Midtown is currently fueled by people who either have grown up in the Atlanta-type suburban-oriented culture and have decided they want something different, or by people who have lived the more metropolitan sort of life and want to continue doing so but in Atlanta. The former have to rethink many of their assumptions about how you live daily life, while the latter don't have any long-term connections or roots in the area. I think it takes a core of people with both an urban (as opposed to suburban) mindset and a history of living that way in that particular place to realize and maintain the kind of vibrant city life that you see in Manhattan or San Francisco or Boston. Midtown may yet achieve that, it's just going to take some time before it can happen (whether it will involves a whole lot more).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante-sim View Post
Where Midtown is a homogeneous grouping of highly educated singles and young professionals as well as empty nesters, downtown is a mix of incomes and a plethora of different ideas, ages, and lifestyles.

I don't believe in an urban environment low on children. It completes the cycle and allows one to live in that neighborhood from birth to death. To sum it up, I think the gap between the nebulous term 'urban' we yearn for and what we have now is a deep mix of a lot of factors. Those being diversity, culture and idea mixing, close interaction, co-dependence, density, support for the full life cycle, and the ability to use your own two feet to get everything you want and need. It is not efficiency, very tall buildings, stand-off office towers (like BoA), up-scale shopping, grid networks, and tearing down night clubs.
Excellent points, and you've put your finger on some of the concerns I have about the attempts to create "urban" environments de novo in places like Atlantic Station and the raft of "urbanist" mixed-use developments that have been built and proposed around the area. Many of my fellow Roswellians were up in arms about Roswell East because of the density -- I don't mind the density, even welcome it if the alternative is more sprawl, but I think that without the support systems (corner grocery/convenience stores, dry cleaners, newstands, inexpensive restaurants, schools, churches and transit access to a wider area) and places to work that allow people to really live in an urban manner, you're just trading horizontal sprawl for vertical sprawl, and people will still be going from their front door to their car via an elevator and driving to wherever they need to go every day, while other people are getting in their cars in their suburban driveways and driving to the new "destinations" that are part of the new developments.

I also agree with your point about kids being an integral part of the whole picture for a true urban environment. If you haven't read it, I recommend looking at New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik's book Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York, which is a series of essays that mostly deal to some extent with the experience of making a life in Manhattan with kids, and the choices and challenges that entails.
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:25 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rackensack View Post
I think it takes a core of people with both an urban (as opposed to suburban) mindset and a history of living that way in that particular place to realize and maintain the kind of vibrant city life that you see in Manhattan or San Francisco or Boston. Midtown may yet achieve that, it's just going to take some time before it can happen (whether it will involves a whole lot more).
I suppose that might be a missing element. I do think that urban culture has the ability to sprout up without a legacy though. I am of the mind that people are able to adapt new lifestyles quite quickly. On the order of a few months to a year, a suburbanite may settle right into a Manhattan experience. The issue is more related to the infrastructure available and the city environment than history. Because the Midtown Mile was a series of forbidding office buildings and parking lots at the turn of the century, all that has come since is analogous to creating a subdivision on a piece of farmland. Every new tower and Alliance meeting shapes the life of the new Midtown experience in a very deliberate manor. Because that experience is essentially tailored to only 20 and 30 somethings and 50s+, it denies the creation of long legacy. No one is from the immediate area and everyone is new to it. Thus everyone is experiencing the Midtown strip from the point of view of another experience and thus no experience defines 'Midtown.'

Because of the lack of definition in Midtown, the surrounding area begins to take effect. Two Publix Supermarkets, a Target, and a Wal Mart have sprung up in the last two years. The effect is a more livable area, but unfortunately, it made it easier and more efficient to live a suburban lifestyle in Midtown. The diversity and variety of product that is essential to an urban lifestyle has now been sterilized down to super-large mega stores. Now, even if families are introduced into the area, it will begin a legacy of non-urban living in a dense area.

Solution? Plan more space for local small businesses and small shops at reasonable rates of rent (not super upscale) and encourage more connectivity with the area children and people outside of the Midtown demographic with age appropriate draws to the area. Also improve local area schools!
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