Read “Bearing Fruit,” the fourth report in our As the South Grows series.
It seems that all roads in the South lead to Atlanta. Constructed as a railroad hub connecting the Midwest to the Southeast, Atlanta was destined to become an economic powerhouse of the region. Railroads brought industry. Businesses and universities concentrated in Atlanta, laying the foundation for the city to become an economic and political force.
Today, the busiest airport in the world is in Metro Atlanta, and the region has one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. However, Metro Atlanta’s growth and its forward-looking political climate have left many communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color, behind.
The Atlanta metro area is a region of transition and growth. But it is also a region of contradictions. Business and civic leaders have thrived, taking advantage of Atlanta’s welcoming and progressive reputation and self-branding as the “city too busy to hate.” Meanwhile, communities experiencing generations of disinvestment and disenfranchisement have not been able to partake in the fruit of that prosperity.