Built Environment Analysis (DRAFT)

Thesis: The rhetoric of the built environment of Atlanta shows that racial discrimination, white flight, car dominated transportation network, and segregation by race and class have caused Atlanta to have the highest income inequality ratio in the country, and the same factors that led to severe income inequality in Atlanta are perpetuating the problem today.

  1. As a result of a long history of white flight and racial discrimination, Atlanta’s transportation network is predominately designed for travel by car. Consistent public transportation is present downtown and in the immediately surrounding areas. Evidence:
    1. “Using Vehicle Value as a Proxy for Income: A Case Study on Atlanta’s I-85 HOT Lane” by Sara Khoeini and Randall Guensler
    2. “Atlanta: Unsafe at any Speed: Transit Fatality Raises Issues of Race, Poverty and Transportation Justice” by Laurel Paget-Seekins
    3. “The Human Scale” by Andreas Mol Dalsgaard
  2. While there is some public transportation for people living further away from the center of the city, the current accommodations are insufficient for people without cars. Evidence:
    1. “Atlanta: Unsafe at any Speed: Transit Fatality Raises Issues of Race, Poverty and Transportation Justice” by Laurel Paget-Seekins
    2. “The Human Scale” by Andreas Mol Dalsgaard
  3. The trend of Atlanta’s middle and upper classes moving out to the suburbs is shifting, and these groups are beginning to move back into the city. Therefore, neighborhoods are being gentrified to meet the growing demand. Evidence:
    1. “CHANGING BOHEMIA Little Five Points, a Haven of Counterculture, Faces Gentrification and Dissension” by Melissa Turner
    2. “Health Impact Assessment of the Atlanta Beltline” by Catherine Ross
  4. Low-income residents that have settled close to the city, along public transportation routes, are having to move further out because the gentrification of neighborhoods raises the cost of housing. Evidence:
    1. “Atlanta: Unsafe at any Speed: Transit Fatality Raises Issues of Race, Poverty and Transportation Justice” by Laurel Paget-Seekins
    2. “How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away” by Robert Rosenberger
    3. Photo of bench in Little Five Points
  5. The quality and quantity of public transportation decreases as you move further away from the center of the city. Consequently, those living in poverty who have relocated further away from the city are in a worse situation because they do not have the same amenities available to them. Evidence:
    1. “Atlanta: Unsafe at any Speed: Transit Fatality Raises Issues of Race, Poverty and Transportation Justice” by Laurel Paget-Seekins
    2. “Health Impact Assessment of the Atlanta Beltline” by Catherine Ross
    3. Cost of living map and MARTA map side by side
  6. The neighborhood one grows up in has been shown to impact their chances for upward economic mobility, therefore gentrification and neighborhoods segregated by class perpetuate income inequality. Evidence:
    1. “The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940” by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren
    2. “All Cities Are Not Created Unequal” by Alan Berube

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