Building Atlanta's Future
Pete Saunders compares Atlanta to New York in the 1800s, a city ready to move, "…from fast growing magnet to stable metropolis." In his Forbes piece, Saunders describes the Atlanta Watershed project, aimed at securing the water for Atlanta for the long term, and the Atlanta BeltLine project as two massive infrastructure initiatives that set up the city for long-term growth.
Saunder's argues, "As cities grow, infrastructure investment becomes more critical to their future viability. The right kind of infrastructure development by cities can pay off with fantastic returns." As evidence for this claim he offers the $10-20 billion in economic development the city of Atlanta expects from the BeltLine, a string of parks and trails that have been built to replace the long-abandoned train lines.
The Watershed project championed by Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed, strikes Saunders as a logical next project. With the changes brought on by climate change and many speculating that the next decade water could become the pivotal resource, a project based around securing Atlanta’s water infrastructure built, not just to address current concerns but designed to last, seems particularly apt.