Southwest Atlanta Revitalized or Southwest Atlanta Gentrified?
Posted on Sunday, June 12 2016 01:09:00 PM in POP ATLANTA by Chandra Meadows
WSB-TV channel 2 news recently reported on Southwest Atlanta receiving $30 million from the federal government.
Mayor Kasim Reed held a meeting on the west side of Atlanta at an elementary school to make the big announcement. The city was eligible for the funding considering the fact that Atlanta, Georgia was named one of the “Promise Zones” by the Obama Administration through the Promise Zone Initiative. The purpose of the Promise Zone Initiative is to get the federal government and local leaders on the same page in order to work together to “boost economic activity and job growth, improve educational opportunities, reduce crime and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life in these vulnerable areas”.
The $30 million is said to be going towards revitalizing the urban area of Southwest Atlanta by building new homes, bringing in new businesses, and remodeling old infrastructures.
If you are a resident of Atlanta and have been paying any attention to the constant add-ins and structural and social changes of the neighborhoods and communities, you may have noticed the remodeling of the east side of Atlanta. There has been an influx of chic lofts, artsy coffee shops, and a ton of new storefronts popping up all along the east side.The west side of Atlanta will soon undergo some of the same changes.
Now we know everyone loves an upgrade and let’s face it, there were and still are parts of Atlanta that could use a “facelift” or two, however at whose expense? Are the locals who are on the low end of the income spectrum being displaced in the process? Let’s be real, anytime the government funds anything within the city, it seems to be doing so in order to attract potential residents with higher incomes. In the process of these changes and upgrades, the established urban communities aren’t necessarily being catered to, yet they seem to be getting dismantled. People who have spent their whole lives in the areas are being pushed elsewhere and replaced by more affluent tenants. Perhaps this is gentrification at its finest? Or maybe these changes are welcomed with opened arms by the majority? Is having a few new, hip coffee shops within the community worth it?
What are your thoughts on the remodeling of the Southwest Atlanta communities?