Maria’s Metro

Atlanta’s quest to be a global city reaches a new level with focus on immigration and a new soccer team

Each decade has brought a new international flavor to Atlanta.

Now we are entering another significant phase that will be marked with a new Major League Soccer team in 2017 as well as a concerted effort by the Atlanta business community and City Hall to be a welcoming city.

Atlanta’s quest to become the world’s next great city really began to take off in the 1970s. Eastern Airlines began flying to Montego Bay and Mexico out of Atlanta on July 1, 1971; and Sabena Belgian World Airlines became Atlanta’s first foreign carrier with flights to Brussels beginning on June 1, 1978.
Continue reading

Guest Columns

Atlanta’s small towns being redefined through principles of new urbanism

rom walsh edited photo

By Guest Columnist THOMAS WALSH, ASLA, a founding principal of Atlanta-based TSW, a planning, architecture and landscape architecture firm

For decades, Atlanta has been defined by its sprawl – and perhaps no communities have felt the effects of the often unchecked growth more than the small towns surrounding our city.

The tidal wave of suburban development, and the construction of major thoroughfares that bypassed the small towns, sounded a death knell for once-bustling town centers.
Continue reading

Jamil’s Georgia

Columbus lofts

The mill industry created the modern South — and left behind structures we can regard as civic monuments

Around Georgia, a number of mostly crumbling brick cotton mills remain — the remnants of massive buildings that employed hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children. For the most part mill workers were poor, uneducated, and white. (Few blacks worked in the segregated mills until after World War II.) Mill hands migrated from the countryside’s sharecropping and tenant farming families, as did laborers who struggled to scratch a living from a land that was still trying to recover from a devastating war.

Mill work was rough and not infrequently dangerous. The average day began with the factory morning whistle. Shifts typically ran 10 to 12 hours, and the workweek six days. The high-end hourly rate for men in 1928 was 25 cents, and as low as 10 to 15 cents for women and children.
Continue reading

Saba Long

Technology can improve transit but not replace new network investment

Driverless cars, repairing broken sidewalks, promoting transit for workplaces, public art and transportation.

That’s just a taste of the diversity of ideas discussed during the breakout sessions at the transportation nerd fest known as TransportationCamp. Even better, this year’s event, held a couple of weeks ago, also including a Govathon transportation-centric hackathon. Naturally, MARTA was the focal point for transit discussions.

Over the past several months, we have all watched the disruption of the taxicab industry, not only in metro Atlanta, but also across the country. A couple of smart phone apps, Uber and Lyft, have revolutionized the transportation industry, and in the case of Uber, have brought the black towncar experience within reach of the common middle-class individual.
Continue reading


Arthur Blank’s 1978 firing led to Home Depot, Falcons re-birth and countless benefits for Atlanta

By Chris Schroder

The story of the phoenix – the mythical bird that rose from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle – is often interwoven with the history of Atlanta. Yet no phoenix-like business story has so benefited our region as that Moment in 1978 when Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus were fired.

“We were running the most successful home improvement company in the country at that time,” Arthur told us while filming our accompanying Moments video. “So when we got fired during what was supposed to be a five-year budget meeting, we were both shocked.”
Continue reading