The end of sprawl, y’all?

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 2, 2013
Atlanta's suburbs as seen by an airline passenger in 2008. Source: Wikimedia

Atlanta’s suburbs as seen by an airline passenger in 2008. Source: Wikimedia

Sprawl in Atlanta may be on its way out.

That’s the word from The Atlantic Cities, published by The Atlantic magazine.

According to the story, more than half of our office, retail and rental properties since 2009 have been built in “walkable urban places.”

“That new construction has taken place on less than 1 percent of the metropolitan Atlanta region’s land mass, suggesting a shift in real estate patterns from expansion at the city’s edges to denser development within its existing borders,” the article says.

The article says this also means the urbanization of Altanta’s suburbs.

To read the whole thing (you really should) click here.

The story suggests that mixed-use developments, like the ones being considered around the Avondale MARTA station, will only accelerate as the economy improves.

There may be great deal of pent up the demand for these types of homes, according to the article.

The Atlantic Cities piece mentions something about a “walk score.” I believe the author is referring to data on

The website’s unique algorithm scores the walkability of different communities.

I presumed Decatur’s scores would be glowing. (Of course, I’m from Alabama, so metro Atlanta might as well be Paris as far as I’m concerned.) Turns out we are only “somewhat walkable” meaning “some errands can be accomplished on foot.”

“People in Decatur can walk to an average of 2 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes,” according to Walk Score.

Lots of other neat info on the website as well. Check it out.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Brady

    Matt Yglesias and Atrios both talk about this stuff a lot. David Byrnes blog even has some good stuff about this. Development around Metro stops and doing away with large parking lots are huge first steps towards less car centric cities.

  • Read Leinberger’s full report on Atlanta, “The WalkUP Wake-Up call: Atlanta,” on ARC’s website at:

    • Thanks, Susan! I’ll have a post on this next week, too!

New Ben Ad
Banner Decaturish 300x250_April
Decaturish_300x250 V. 3
DeKalb_Medical-DMPG-300x250 (1)

Receive the Daily Email DIgest

* = required field