Title page for ETD etd-04262001-103952

Type of Document Major Paper
Author Fowler, David Phillip
URN etd-04262001-103952
Title Midtown Atlanta: Privatized Planning in an Urban Neighborhood
Degree Master of Science
Department Urban Affairs and Planning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Koebel, Charles Theodore Committee Chair
Levy, John M. Committee Member
Zahm, Diane L. Committee Member
  • Privatization
  • Redevelopment
  • Atlanta
  • Urban Planning
  • Neighborhood Governance
  • Georgia
Date of Defense 2001-04-19
Availability unrestricted
This paper covers the planning process in the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. Midtown is an urban neighborhood with high concentrations of office and residential development, both new and old. Recently, after a prolonged period of decline, Midtown witnessed an impressive wave of new development. The business community, working through the Midtown Alliance, its primary association, has reacted to this renewed interest by initiating a number of planning efforts. These efforts are intended to work towards a goal of creating a functionally-integrated and walkable, mixed-use urban community. While the business sector’s efforts have included impressive applications of recent new urbanist concepts, several issues arise when one analyzes the implications of their plans. The foremost problem is the Alliance’s concentration solely upon the section of Midtown that the neighborhood’s major interests dominate, thereby geographically limiting the scope of all planning-related improvements. Resultantly, the residential sections of Midtown will not receive the enhancements and development controls designed to benefit the area’s major business districts. In addition to the issues resulting from the territorial limitation, Midtown residents are also concerned the Alliance’s planning efforts may cause permanent changes in Midtown outside the Alliance’s core area. These concerns include escalating property values, the shifting of crime to residential areas and the loss of traditional neighborhood characteristics. Analysis of the local planning process indicates the emergence of a privatized planning mechanism that has the potential to affect the equity of municipal service delivery within Midtown and the city as a whole.
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