It was 1925 when the Chamber of Commerce put their efforts behind the "Forward Atlanta" campaign, hoping to attract national companies who would establish regional headquarters in the city. It worked, and millions in new money helped fuel Atlanta's economy. By the end of the 20 th century, Atlanta was well-established as the economic engine of the New South, with government and transportation significant contributors to its development. Today, metropolitan Atlanta has the largest number of federal agencies outside of Washington, D.C., including the headquarters for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Plus the "world's most-traveled" airport.
And 21st-future century Atlanta is still intent on moving forward. It's become the "Tech City," with the Chamber of Commerce now focused on leadership in FinTech. Already Atlanta processes 118 billion financial transactions, or more than 70 percent of all U.S. credit and debit card payments and gift card purchases. And a venture capitalist has launched a $100 million fund to build startup financial technology companies in alternative lending and smart payment systems.
Since 2008, Georgia has used attractive tax credits to become the nation's third leading state for film production, and Atlanta has moved to the top of the list of "Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker" Big-budget productions have boosted the housing market with lucrative rentals to the stars and leases to the legions of crew members who want to live in town to be near the action.
The popularity of "The Walking Dead" on TV and "The Hunger Games" film franchise has spawned zombie tourism and a future theme park where fans can let fly their inner Katniss without having to take up archery. The vitality of city life in Atlanta's in-town neighborhoods has been energized as work began on "the Beltline" an ambitious plan to link 22 miles along abandoned railways into a loop of transit, greenspace and trails that will connect Atlanta's neighborhoods and improve overall quality of life.
Along the section of the Beltline already completed, developers have contributed some adaptive reuse projects that are among the city's trendiest destinations. Rising from the landmark "old Sears building" is Ponce City Market, a live-work- play center with shops and restaurants that features a mini-Coney Island on the roof, with rides and miniature golf.
In nearby Inman Park, a 1920s warehouse has been turned into the Krog Street Market, where in-towners head for market stalls selling produce, prepared food, antiques, pet products, gifts and other finds.
Buckhead, long identified as the ultimate in Atlanta's urban style and luxury, has been transformed with The Shops Buckhead Atlanta – several blocks of famous-name retailers, haute couture and upscale restaurants that will also include future residential and office space. To make Atlanta more walkable, plans are underway for a 5.2-mile multiuse path through Buckhead that will one day link up with the Beltline.
All around Atlanta, walkers, runners, cyclists and skaters have been enjoying a network of trails built by the PATH Foundation for more than 20 years. These scenic greenways provide opportunities for Atlantans to get out of their cars and reconnect with nature.
Atlantans also get out of their cars for the many outdoor art festivals throughout the spring and summer. The Dogwood Festival has drawn people to Piedmont Park, the crown jewel of Atlanta's park system, for more than 75 years, and the Arts Festival of Atlanta has grown with its popularity over the last 10 years.
Of course, Atlanta is nationally known for its long history of working to achieve civil rights and economic opportunity in the South. In the mid-20 th century, it became the center stage for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who championed nonviolent activism through grass-roots organization and civil disobedience to win legal equality for African-Americans in the U.S. In 2014, a museum called The Center for Civil and Human Rights opened in downtown Atlanta to demonstrate the connection of the American civil rights movement to today’s human rights movements around the world.
- Atlanta, GA, USA