The talking point’s a grabber: Metro Atlanta has reached “peak sprawl.” As in more development is becoming “urban” development. As in the old way of building subdivision after suburban subdivision has been supplanted by a new real estate mode — the proliferation of intown multi-purpose hot zones where folks can walk to their desired destinations.
Now comes the kicker: Many of these new urban locales are actually in … the suburbs.
That, perhaps, is a revelation for many in this vast metro area. For it turns on its head the classic, if too-simplistic ITP-versus-OTP public policy debate over what the future will look like here in terms of brick-and-mortar. It’s an interesting argument, too, because Atlanta is widely known as perhaps the least densely populated big city in the entire world.
So it’s instructive, in our view, that private-sector developers — not public-sector planning types — are making substantial investment bets that many of us here will live, shop and work in a