A New Day for Atlanta — and for Urbanism?

This week kicked off with what seemed like a foreordained convergence,
with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday leading into the inauguration
of the nation’s first African-American president. Today we have a post
from Streetsblog Network member Joe Urban
that makes more connections between King and Obama, by looking at
King’s boyhood neighborhood, the historic Sweet Auburn district of
Atlanta:

7075358_f751d72d26.jpgThe Sweet Auburn district of Atlanta. Photo by scottpartee via Flickr.

Auburn
Avenue, the main commercial street running through Sweet Auburn, was
once considered the richest African American street in the United
States. Ironically, desegregation allowed African Americans to move
their businesses throughout the city. A good thing, of course, but it
left Sweet Auburn to decay…

Luckily that is changing.
Development is occurring. The Integral Group is among those investing
in the area, developing the first of several projects with Renaissance
Walk, which adds condos and retail to Auburn Avenue. Hundreds of
millions of dollars more are planned to be
invested in development, as well as a future streetcar route. It is a
beautiful thing that now, as a new day in American history begins, that
Sweet Auburn is also beginning a brand new day in its own history.
Let’s hope this is a new day in urban policy as well.

Plus: Orphan Road on how cleaner air is helping us live longer, Austin Contrarian on a New Urbanist development’s struggle for approval, and Worldchanging on the greening of alleyways.

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