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Old 02-05-2016, 03:02 PM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
7,797 posts, read 11,735,120 times
Reputation: 5394

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiatldal View Post
This is untrue most of it wasn't slums, too much was razed to even began to say that. they general razed neighborhoods.

There were plans to build a freeway though neighborhoods like Morning side and Virginia-Highland to the 400 not just old 4th ward but parts of Iman Park are now gone.

[vimeo]11037263[/vimeo]
https://vimeo.com/11037263

If you look at the architecture of the denser parts of Old Fourth Ward, Vine City, Sweet Auburn, Cabbagetown and etc they pretty much razed sections that could been reinvented. This has more to do with disparity of the neighborhoods after white flight and tearing down vacant homes.

Not to mention many historic buildings were demolish left and right during this time.

The culture of the 50's to early 70's was urban renewal and white flight.

Widen roads, tearing order building down, building parking a lots, removing the street car. they thought of this as the future. This was something promoted by the leaders back then nearly opposite of now.
No, not that many neighborhoods were razed. Of the one's you listed, believe it or not, they are probably not less than 60% of where they were at peak. In some cases, certain neighborhoods are at the highest density levels they've ever been like Midtown and Va-Hi (it never saw widespread urban renewal or blight).

However, you point is not without merit AND I wasn't suggesting all of Atlanta's density pre-1950 came from slum areas. Rather, most of it came from the slums. Let's deal with your examples first.

The western side of Inman Park definitely suffered from urban renewal due to the properties that were cleared for the failed Stone Mountain Freeway (now Freedom Parkway) project. It also saw several decades of abandonment and neglect. All things considered though, the neighborhood has fared well.

Old Forth Ward perhaps has had the worst luck of all current neighborhoods. It nearly wiped out in the Great Fire of 1917, and had both 75/85 and Freedom Parkway jammed right through it. These however are just the obvious ones. What's not spoken much about is the huge slum that existed roughly around the Civic Center area down to Sweet Auburn called Butter Milk bottom. At it's peak it had around 40,000 residents in about a 2 square mile area. A combination of the highways and urban renewal projects basically erased that entire neighborhood from existence.

You mentioned Vine City, but neglected to acknowledge that the majority of the population was in the slum area near where the World Congress Center and the Georgia Dome are today. This area wasn't some genteel area filled nice Victorian houses. It was filled mainly with housing like this up until the housing projects were built.

Speaking of housing projects, this where you can find the answer of what existed pre-1950 to give Atlanta a lot of it's density heft. Research what existed prior to the projects of Techwood, Harris-Chiles, John Hope, Grady, Herndon Homes and many others being built. It wasn't empty land.

As I said though, your point is not without merit. South Downtown and the West End were devastated by intentional de-densification and blight. And most off, Washington-Rawston got the worst of it in the way you describe. Imagine a neighborhood that in it's heyday was as grand and dense as Midtown in that period and was completely wiped off the map.

But let's idealize the old-Atlanta.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:22 PM
 
2,514 posts, read 1,289,322 times
Reputation: 6704
Much of the reason for suburban, large-lot neighborhoods that you see throughout DeKalb county was a function of newly established FHA loans. FHA made loans available to developers (as well as homeowners) but there were regulations attached in terms of minimum lot sizes, minimum setbacks from streets, etc. that developers had to abide by.

Shortly after the FHA was established, the end of WWII meant millions of discharged veterans were suddenly funneling into cities and needed housing. They found it in these new developments, and an entire suburban housing industry was fueled consisting of realtors, appliance repairmen, landscape companies and the whole ball of wax.

The existence of factories (one at NDH and Wilivee, a mill in Scottdale as well as the Doraville GM plant and Chamblee plants and of course Camp Gordon) started pushing housing out in those directions to accommodate workers. Peachtree Industrial Blvd was built for the purpose of facilitating supplies to the GM plant and the shipment of cars from there.
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:36 PM
bu2
 
8,975 posts, read 5,673,244 times
Reputation: 3540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
As been noted many times throughout this forum, Atlanta has a better walkable core than Houston or Dallas and you can make an argument that Atlanta is better than Miami as well. Outside of the core is where these cities rapidly catch up to Atlanta. The density is consistent from the core through the neighborhoods. They are all built differently from a road network perspective than Atlanta. Houston frustrates me because they could actually have a very walkable dense urban area. Areas like this:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7579...7i13312!8i6656

turned into this five years later.
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7579...7i13312!8i6656

But.....they have a war against density as well. As does Dallas. As does Charlotte. As does most if not all the Southern cities not named Miami and New Orleans.

I wonder, does Atlanta have a war on sidewalks like other sunbelt cities does? Atlanta does a much better job in their core from what I've seen with sidewalks than Houston does. In that same google image, you see how narrow the sidewalks are with that little meaningless suburban strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street.
It looks like they added a lot of density.

As for sidewalks, I wonder what you consider "core." It certainly doesn't include Buckhead.
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,227 posts, read 25,925,308 times
Reputation: 8987
Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
It looks like they added a lot of density.

As for sidewalks, I wonder what you consider "core." It certainly doesn't include Buckhead.
Well Downtown and Midtown Atlanta mostly. But yes, Houston added the density. But is it "urban". This is why I think people really overrate Miami on these boards as it pertains to their urbanity. They see that it has the density on par with DC and Philadelphia. But it's urbanity is more in line with its sunbelt peers. The only reason why Miami doesn't get much of the vitriol that the rest of the sunbelt cities get is because of the high density and people love Miami.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:29 PM
bu2
 
8,975 posts, read 5,673,244 times
Reputation: 3540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Well Downtown and Midtown Atlanta mostly. But yes, Houston added the density. But is it "urban". This is why I think people really overrate Miami on these boards as it pertains to their urbanity. They see that it has the density on par with DC and Philadelphia. But it's urbanity is more in line with its sunbelt peers. The only reason why Miami doesn't get much of the vitriol that the rest of the sunbelt cities get is because of the high density and people love Miami.
The picture you showed is row townhomes. That seems pretty urban to me-DC, Boston. And its right across the street from one of the main public housing complexes, so there are limits to what you can do there.

You should look at the 300 block of West Gray, part of the same 4th ward neighborhood in Houston which has been redeveloping, only about a half mile away.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:54 PM
 
4,229 posts, read 4,119,661 times
Reputation: 3186
Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
Ha, I made those old-new comparison gifs years ago! Glad to see someone remembered them. That aerial library is a trove of history about our city; astounding what can happen in 50-60 years.
They still very useful cause they highlight an interesting fact
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,951 posts, read 3,994,760 times
Reputation: 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Well Downtown and Midtown Atlanta mostly. But yes, Houston added the density. But is it "urban". This is why I think people really overrate Miami on these boards as it pertains to their urbanity. They see that it has the density on par with DC and Philadelphia. But it's urbanity is more in line with its sunbelt peers. The only reason why Miami doesn't get much of the vitriol that the rest of the sunbelt cities get is because of the high density and people love Miami.
Well there is also the fact that growth in Miami is highly constrained by Biscayne Bay and by the Everglades.

Personally I wonder why there hasn't been a move there to massively develop Miami inland, not just on the coast. As a city that is warm nearly year-round and has easy access to beaches, it is currently the fifth most populous metro area in the US, and I don't see that growth subsiding any time soon.
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:14 PM
 
6,795 posts, read 6,595,922 times
Reputation: 5411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
As been noted many times throughout this forum, Atlanta has a better walkable core than Houston or Dallas and you can make an argument that Atlanta is better than Miami as well. Outside of the core is where these cities rapidly catch up to Atlanta. The density is consistent from the core through the neighborhoods. They are all built differently from a road network perspective than Atlanta. Houston frustrates me because they could actually have a very walkable dense urban area. Areas like this:
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7579...7i13312!8i6656

turned into this five years later.
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7579...7i13312!8i6656

But.....they have a war against density as well. As does Dallas. As does Charlotte. As does most if not all the Southern cities not named Miami and New Orleans.

I wonder, does Atlanta have a war on sidewalks like other sunbelt cities does? Atlanta does a much better job in their core from what I've seen with sidewalks than Houston does. In that same google image, you see how narrow the sidewalks are with that little meaningless suburban strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street.
Not a fan of that type of infill....townhouses that are gated? Setback is too far back also. That's just density for the sake of density without any regard to the surrounding environment. Looks suburban to be honest.

Atlanta does infill so much better than it's Texan's peers.

https://goo.gl/maps/PrTUh9iwss82 - Very charming neighborhood that incorporates greenery and trees on it's streetscape and buildings.

https://goo.gl/maps/wkoFJaNekA92

Houston/Dallas may have more potential than Atlanta to urbanize a larger area, but it'll be forever before that happens and even then, if they keep doing infill like THAT, it ain't going to matter much...Yikes.
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Vinings
5,942 posts, read 2,911,446 times
Reputation: 3178
Thanks but no thanks, I don't want to walk anywhere in Miami. I hated the heat and humidity when I was there, and that was in an April. I can't even imagine an August. If that city was truly urban, it would literally be urban hell.

Gorgeous city, but if I lived in Miami, I want to drive with my A/C blasting, or take transit which has A/C blasting.

With that being said, Miami's city grid system is incredible, and so is Houston's. Atlanta's of course utterly atrocious, practically non-existing. No grid = huge factor keeping Atlanta from being very urban.
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:47 PM
 
6,795 posts, read 6,595,922 times
Reputation: 5411
European cities show that grids are overrated and are not necessary for urbanity. London is a mess, but it's still urban. What needs to happen is that streets aren't wide(Atlanta generally does not have wide streets like western cities) and that they aren't spaced far apart. All Atlanta would need to do is create new streets to break up the larger blocks among the non-grid fabric.

If you look at a map of Inman Park, it sort of did that: https://www.google.com/maps/place/In...c7450ab8981220

No grid, but you can't tell me Inman Park Village isn't urban.

What really hurts Atlanta is hanging on to all of the single family homes and not tearing them down for high density apartments, even the ones very close to downtown. We seem to cherish single family homes a little too much, even the ones that aren't remarkable like those in Home Park or near Boulevard.
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