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Atlanta: Race, Class And Urban Expansion

Larry Keating

Publication Year: 2001

Atlanta, the epitome of the New South, is a city whose economic growth has transformed it from a provincial capital to a global city, one that could bid for and win the 1996 Summer Olympics. Yet the reality is that the exceptional growth of the region over the last twenty years has exacerbated inequality, particularly for African Americans. Atlanta, the city of Martin Luther King, Jr., remains one of the most segregated cities  in the United States.

Despite African American success in winning the mayor's office and control of the City Council, development plans have remained in the control of private business interests. Keating  tells  a number of  troubling stories. The development of the Underground Atlanta, the construction of the rapid rail system (MARTA), the building of a new stadium for the Braves, the redevelopment of public housing, and the arrangements for the Olympic Games all share a lack of democratic process. Business and political elites ignored protests from neighborhood groups, the interests of the poor, and the advice of planners.

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii

List of Maps and Tables

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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Fortuitously poised as a Sun Belt regional center, Atlanta grew faster than most metropolitan areas over the past twenty five years. But the expansion of the economy and the...

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2. Race, Class, and the Atlanta Economy

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pp. 7-40

Metropolitan Atlanta has grown rapidly since the end of World War II. Up until the 1990s, most of this growth occurred in the city’s northern suburbs. Underwritten by subsidies for...

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3. Race, Class, and the Atlanta Housing Market

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pp. 41-68

Atlanta enjoys a progressive image as a city with fairly benign race relations. After the white primary was declared illegal by the courts in 1946, Mayor William Hartsfield maintained...

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4. Atlanta Politics and the Governing Elite

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pp. 69-87

Throughout most of the past fifty years, Atlanta politics was dominated by the city’s downtown business leaders. The power of the downtown business elite has waned recently...

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5. Redevelopment, Atlanta Style

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pp. 88-112

In 1960, while Ivan Allen Jr. was president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, just before he started his campaign for mayor, he delivered a speech to the chamber that he...

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pp. 113-141

A major part of Atlanta’s downtown redevelopment efforts was its construction of a rapid-rail system. Plans for a rail system were formulated beginning in the early ’60s, and construction...

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7. The Olympics Era

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pp. 142-163

The announcement in September 1990 that Atlanta had won the bid for the 1996 Summer Olympics caused considerable excitement throughout the city and spurred a major effort to...

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8. Downtown Redevelopment During the Olympics Era

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pp. 164-193

Most of the major redevelopment projects undertaken in and around downtown Atlanta during the Olympics preparation period had problematic, controversial aspects. First of all, the...

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9. Conclusion

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pp. 194-210

Over the past two decades, Atlanta politics has undergone a significant change. No longer is the city’s biracial coalition...


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pp. 211-226


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pp. 227-232

E-ISBN-13: 9781439904497

Publication Year: 2001