Clearing Up Where Atlanta Stands on Sprawl. No, Really.

Darin Givens: "A map from [a] 1952 [Atlanta planning] document that shows a suggested neighborhood design.
Credit Courtesy of the GSU Library Planning Atlanta collection
Audio version of this story here.

Sprawl. It’s nothing new to car-centric Atlanta. But all those those reports we hear on the state of sprawl can get confusing, especially when they seem to contradict one another outright.

Take two recent studies: one from Georgetown University declares that “Atlanta is no longer the king of 

sprawl.” Smashing news, until you see the study from Smart Growth America, claiming that “Atlanta is the most sprawling big metro in the U.S.”

To clear things up, we turned to Darin Givens, who recently wrote about this topic on his urban livability blog ATL Urbanist.

Broadcast version of story that aired Thursday, July 31, 2014

Darin Givens is one of a long line of demographers, geographers and planners who have looked at the extent of Atlanta’s sprawl.  One of the most compelling visualizations of the sheer size of the Atlanta metro area comes from Matthew Hartzell, who calculated that the Atlanta area could hold as many as 100 million people!

He shows his work in the graphic below. We have more, too, at the link above.

Funding is provided by The Kresge Foundation, working to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit.