Atlanta Research

Goals

To understand the cities in the United States that are most closely competing with Atlanta. In other words, what cities are mentioned in the same conversations as Atlanta, when discussing it as a place to live and work as a comparative. An ideal response would reveal insights surrounding Atlanta’s position as a whole, as a city where people want to live, work, and play.

Early Findings

Cities Mentioned in the Same Conversations as Atlanta

  • According to Outside Online, Atlanta, Colorado Springs, Duluth, Minnesota, and Olympia, Washington are all comparative as they offer that perfect mix of city life and just-around-the-corner adventure.

Atlanta

  • Atlanta has world-class access to the outdoors. From the 20-plus miles of technical trail running at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield to in-town paddling and fishing at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Atlanta is only getting better as it goes through an open-space renaissance headlined by the Beltline, a 33-mile multi-use path that, when completed, will form a car-free circle connecting neighborhoods around the city.
  • The future is bright for Atlanta when it comes to outdoor adventure, as the city is putting $26 million into the construction of Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, a 280-acre woodland surrounding a former granite quarry that will be the Atlanta’s largest open space. Plans include a cliff-lined lake. The expected completion date is February 2020.

Colorado Springs

  • Colorado Springs, is Colorado's second-biggest city and "best-kept adventure secret." At 14,115 feet, Pikes Peak dominates the skyline and features 19.5 rowdy miles of downhill biking in the summer and back country turns in the winter. The local ups are as exciting as the downs, including the legendary Manitou Incline, where defunct cable-car tracks are now used by hikers in search of a vicious workout, 2,000 feet of elevation gain in less than a mile, and an incredible view.
  • Colorado Springs also has its fair share of hip hangouts: like Ivywild School, a former elementary school that has found new life as a bustling food hall and brewery; Rabbit Hole, a late-night New American restaurant; and the speakeasy-style cocktail bar Brooklyn’s on Boulder Street.

Deluth

  • Duluth, Minnesota is a major port city is beloved for its forested parks, trout streams, easy access to Lake Superior, and more than 100 miles of hiking, mountain-biking, and running trails.
  • The nonprofit Minnesota Land Trust has been working with federal, state, and local agencies on the Saint Louis River Corridor Initiative, with a goal of restoring 50 percent of lost habitat in order to delist the river as an Area of Concern by 2025, though in less than a decade, impressive progress has already been made.

Olympia

Why Atlanta is Attractive — Live, Work, and Play

  • Penske recognized metro Atlanta as the top moving destination in the country for the ninth year in a row.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the metro Atlanta area receives, on average, 36 new residents every day.
  • The Atlanta Regional Commission predicts that the metro Atlanta area will add 2.5 million residents by the year 2040, bringing the total population of the region to more than eight million.
  • There is great diversity among those who relocate to Atlanta, particularly in terms of age. One of the largest groups of new residents is comprised of millennials. In 2015, Money.com named Atlanta the number two city for people between the ages of 21 and 36.
  • There are many reasons to move to Atlanta. The city was ranked 65th on the 2017 Quality of Living list, a study conducted by Mercer that evaluates local living conditions in more than 450 cities worldwide; it was one of only 17 cities from the U.S. included on the list.
  • The economy is the 10th largest in the country, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the area has had over-the-year employment gains every month since July 2010.
  • In late 2017, Cushman & Wakefield reported that Atlanta’s job market continues to be strong, with the city adding the fifth-most jobs year-over-year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our first hour of research was spent looking for credible recent sources that showed comparisons between Atlanta and other cities that were competing with them, based on a metric that would fall into the live, work, and play category. There were sources found, but they were staggeringly old (2009 – 2013) so we disregarded them. We did find the source we eventually used, and as Millennials are known for liking the outdoors, (please see bullet point number 4 under the header Why Atlanta is Attractive — Live, Work, and Play) we felt this source was very relevant for comparison’s sake.
  • We also found some relevant statistics that support Atlanta’s position as a whole, as a city where people want to live, work, and play.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Proposed next steps:

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