On this edition of “Two Way Street” our guest is author Mark Pendergrast. We’ll discuss his book “City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America’s Urban Future,” in which he documents the ongoing transformation of the city of Atlanta.
He points out that exiles who fled to the suburbs are returning to the city in significant numbers, new housing is popping up in walkable neighborhoods and greenspace is becoming a genuine priority. Mark builds his case for this rebirth around the creation of the Beltline, a hard-fought enterprise that is at the heart of the transformation. But he also warns that significant problems remain: a lack of affordable housing stock, no solution for the homeless, and vast corridors of the city that not only discourage walking but have proven to be dangerous to pedestrians.
And so while Mark sees Atlanta as a potential example for how other major cities can be transformed, he also warns that we could be on the brink of inexorable decline if we don’t fix the problems that continue to plague us.
We recorded the show in front of a large audience at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. Our thanks, as always, to the Library’s Tony Clark for his assistance in making the show possible.