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A New Day for Atlanta — and for Urbanism?

11:46 AM EST on January 23, 2009

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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