The Underlying and Undermining- What Our Digital Environments Represent

Atlanta, like any major city in America, looks to progress by bringing in new business, residents, and improving the local environment. Idealistically, improvement would be mean progressive and agreeable changes for everyone in the area. Unfortunately, in the real world certain groups are left behind or purposely hindered from said improvement. Logo of for the Central Atlanta Progress Inc The Central Atlanta Progress Inc. has been in operation since 1941. The group is dedicated to providing services that help maintain and stimulate the Downtown Atlanta area- namely through economic means with the help of investment by businesses in the area. CAP also works in association with the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, another partnership with public and private sectors to help with the livability of the city. The organization’s president, A.J. Robinson, “manages the overall strategic functions of the organizations which are designed to make the Downtown Atlanta community more livable, vital and diverse.” (link) (“A.J. Robinson (President, Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District,” WNBA.com). In print that sounds great. Diversity and progression are words we (millennials especially) love to hear. CAP’s initiatives like Trees Atlanta, COPA Inc (to improve the Centennial Park area), and the Downtown Green Source Program. These plans have brought back a good payout for the city- tourism, capital, general environmental improvements. However, when it comes to the bigger picture who is actually  benefiting from the changes CAP and ADID have brought to the Atlanta area? Maybe it is everyone, maybe it is a certain class of people. Whichever the case, the digital environment of CAP presents a slanted idea of “diversity” in the downtown Atlanta area. The environment, especially...

The Overlooked Intersection–BEA

      Atlanta is known to have pockets of rich and poor areas. I have never really noticed until I began school here at Georgia State. Living on Piedmont Avenue, a one-way street, encouraged me to take different routes to get to places. The intersection of Pine St. and Courtland St. was something that caught my eye immediately. The first time I saw this intersection I was on the way home from Publix on Piedmont. I took Courtland to get back, and it dawned on me that this intersection was completely different from the surrounding area. The built environment surrounding the intersection of Pine Street and Courtland Street near Metro Atlanta’s Task force for the homeless can be seen as an area that discriminates against class and race. Gentrification is a term that can be used to describe this area because large amounts of homeless people are being pushed out of the redeveloped locations that are undergoing massive increases in property values, into the secluded intersection. The gentrification present in the intersection is resulting in marginalized communities that shift the community’s’ culture, places those affected farther into poverty while also putting these individual’s public health in danger.       I remember observing about 15- 20 people along the sidewalk of the intersection, some had huge bags and others had nothing but the clothes on their back. The street was covered in garbage, and two nearby parking lots were completely empty. Observing the intersection made me question a lot of things like- how did the environment get to this condition? why were there nice houses on the other...

Built Environment Annotated Bibliographies

Winne, Mark. “The Bluff.” The Bluff: Channel 2 Goes into Georgia’s Biggest Heroin Market. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.   In this article the author, discusses how Atlanta neighborhoods by the name of English Avenue and Vine City also known as ‘The Bluffs’, have been left in the dark for decades. English Avenue and Vine City have been the biggest drug neighborhoods in Georgia for many years. Many residents living here have been begging for the city of Atlanta to help, but promises continue to be broken leading to very few improvements within the community. A famous resident to this neighborhood was Martin Luther King Jr. The author describes how even when MLK lived there the neighborhood was still run down and a haven for heroine. Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne walked around interviewing different residents and he talked to two men that said ‘The Bluffs’ was a neighborhood in which it is so easy to get caught up in the drug lifestyle and how that lifestyle more than likely always leads to death or prison time. Residents of this area this area are concerned that the city of Atlanta will continue to spend money on projects like the new Falcons stadium, but continue to forget about them. I chose this source because WSBTV is a credible source and it is right here in Atlanta where I am focusing my research on Atlanta Georgia. I enjoyed reading this article because it really shows how the city of Atlanta has indirectly contributed to the downfall of this neighborhood by simply not doing anything. Mártir, Vanessa. “Gentrified Brooklyn Is Not My...

Black Gentrification

Barbara, Combs. “The Ties That Bind: The Role of Place in Racial Identity Formation, Social Cohesion, Accord, and Discord in Two Historic, Black Gentrifying Atlanta Neighborhoods.” SOCIOLOGY DISSERTATIONS(2010): 1–407. Print. Source: clatl.com In her dissertation Barbara Combs of Georgia State University, discusses the phenomenon of “black gentrification” in  Atlanta neighborhoods. She proposes that “black gentrification” is similar to mainstream gentrification, in exception that  “black gentrifying neighborhoods both the poor and working class residents who resided in the neighborhood prior to its gentrification and the new residents of greater economic means are black” (2). In this case it distinguishes from mainstream gentrification  because “black gentrifiers in black gentrifying neighborhoods often feel a responsibility or obligation to their lower income black neighbors” (2). Combs argues that “attachment to the neighborhood space …(place affinity ) has the potential to obviate social tensions in gentrifying black communities and bind residents to each other and the social space they all occupy” (3). She explores ways to ” strengthen social and economic cohesion in these gentrifying black communities” (3). Metro Atlanta neighborhoods faced economic decline due to the U.S. recession. The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 made funds available to refurbish homes that were vacated or foreclosed. However,  an “Atlanta Journal Constitution article appearing January 25, 2010, Federal officials say Atlanta is moving too slowly spending $12.3 million it got last March to buy vacant homes in neighborhoods ravaged by foreclosures (Stirgus 2010)” (20). Combs the gentrification taking place in the two Atlanta neighborhoods under study…against the findings of Larry Keating and the Gentrification Task Force Committee on Gentrification.” (23). Although whites are moving...

Annotated Bibliography Six: “Gentrification in America Report”

Maciag, Mike. “Gentrification in America Report.” Governing: The States and Localities. E.Republic, Feb. 2015. Web. 07 Mar. 2016. <http://www.governing.com/gov-data/gentrification-in-cities-governing-report.html>. All across the United States, urban areas are experiencing an influx of well-off residents in areas which were previously underinvested. This influx is tagged with the name gentrification. Because of the affluent moving to the area, the housing process in the area begin to increase dramatically which displaces the residents. Statistics have shown that almost 20% of low income area in the the US have experienced gentrification. Cities that experienced gentrification in the most places were New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and Chicago, IL. The researches also found that neighborhoods that went through gentrification saw losses of the minority population and went through population increases while the opposite was seen in areas that failed to undergo it. Atlanta specifically has gentrified more than double of what it did from 1990-2000, going from 13 areas to 30. The city of Atlanta also noticed an increase of bachelor’s degrees held by adults in the areas increasing as gentrification. They also suffered a slight increase of poverty rates in the portions of the city that did not undergo gentrification. This article defines gentrification and gives specifics of where it has occurred around the...

Annotated Bibliographies 4-6

Annotated Bibliography #4 Bracey , Trayon . “The Big Discussion with Gentrification in Atlanta .” The Lifestyle Room . 20 Jan 2016. Web. 24 Feb 2016. <http://artrevmagazine.weebly.com/lifestyle/the-big-discussion-with-gentrification-in-atlanta. The Big Discussion with Gentrification is a topic discussed with Travon Bracey published by The Atriv Magazine in the Lifestyle section. This article discusses His personal experiences of living in Atlanta and how gentrification has affected him and black culture as a whole in terms of socially, financially, politically, mentally and also educationally. He discusses his experiences in the East Lake neighborhood as a child growing up, he reflects back on his memories of living in these neighborhoods and all the good memories he once shared there, with the people, the inspiring graffiti walled art,(what we may think is gang related), just everything in the environment that creates black culture.  He discusses the differences in the community from then to now. He makes a lot of valid points in my opinon… This article goes to show that even though Tom Cousins and other investors who helped clean up the neighborhood, bringing about a change, completely transforming the neighborhoods, may have very well did everything that they did with GREAT intentions for us all, but not everyone sees it that way and Travon is just one of those people who decided to speak on his views on how gentrification erased the historical and sentimental meaning of the black culture in those neighborhoods, by mixing them or completely taking them over making them unrecognizable to what some used to call home. This article was an insightful, just to be able to read another side of a...
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