Atlanta Unbound

Enabling Sprawl through Policy and Planning

Carlton Wade Basmajian
Book Cover

PB: $32.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0940-9
Publication: Jan 15

HC: $76.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0939-3
Publication: Sep 13

Ebook: $32.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0941-6

288 pages
7 x 10
32 color photos

How metropolitan Atlanta’s regional planning groups accelerated the sprawl they were trying to control


Looking at Atlanta, Georgia, one might conclude that the city’s notorious sprawl, degraded air quality, and tenuous water supply are a result of a lack of planning—particularly an absence of coordination at the regional level. In Atlanta Unbound, Carlton Wade Basmajian shows that Atlanta’s low-density urban form and its associated problems have been both highly coordinated and regionally planned. Basmajian’s shrewd analysis shows how regional policies spanned political boundaries and framed local debates over several decades. He examines the role of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s planning deliberations that appear to have contributed to the urban sprawl that they were designed to control. Basmajian explores four cases—regional land development plans, water supply strategies, growth management policies, and transportation infrastructure programs—to provide a detailed account of the interactions between citizens, planners, regional commissions, state government, and federal agencies.

In the process, Atlanta Unbound answers the question: Toward what end and for whom is Atlanta’s regional planning process working?

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1 Introduction: An Intentional Region? 2 Building the Atlanta Regional Commission 3 The River and the Region: The Chattahoochee River and the Atlanta Regional Commission 4 Projecting Sprawl? The 1976 Regional Development Plan of Metropolitan Atlanta 5 Growth Management Comes to Georgia 6 Atlanta’s Transportation Crisis and the Battle of the Northern Arc 7 A Regional Story Notes Index

About the Author(s)

Carlton Wade Basmajian is an Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University.


In the Series

  • Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy edited by David Stradling, Larry Bennett, and Davarian Baldwin

    The Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy Series, edited by David Stradling, Larry Bennett, and Davarian Baldwin, was founded by the late Zane L. Miller to publish books that examine past and contemporary cities, focusing on cultural and social issues. The editors seek proposals that analyze processes of urban change relevant to the future of cities and their metropolitan regions, and that examine urban and regional planning, environmental issues, and urban policy studies, thus contributing to ongoing debates.