So, How successful was Atlantic Station in actually creating such a society?
Here is a list of of principles common to New Urbanist Projects and an analysis of whether or not Atlantic Station truly fits this category.
|New Urbanist Traits||Atlantic Station|
|walkability||yes and no|
|paid parking||yes and no|
|open public space||no|
|aversion to “big brand” stores||no|
Walkability: Atlantic Station, for the most part, failed to create a “walkable” society. Though the sidewalks are wide, they are often empty and leave one feeling out of place, different than walking through a city like Manhattan.
Paid Parking: The reasoning behind payed paid parking is linked to the idea walkability. By requiring people to pay for parking you are giving them an incentive to walk instead. Though, Atlantic Station does have metered parking, on all the monitors it indicates that parking is free in its 3 story underground parking lot. Having such a large parking lot, encourages automobile use. (Whatnowatlanta.com)
Sustainable: Atlantic Station is almost completely compromised of LEED Certified, sustainable buildings, including the first large scale buildings made of timber, as oppose to steel .
Mixed Use: Atlantic Station is a mixed used complex consisting of retailers, office spaces, residential spaces and restaurants. However thought the “district” of atlantic station is mixed use, the other, less known parts of Atlantic Station, the “commons” and the “village” are exclusively residential.
mixed housing: New urbanist projects are supposed to have a range in housing prices for different income levels. However, the apartment prices start at $1,000 a month, something that many employees who work their cannot even afford, which defeats the whole purpose of having a mixed-use society since employees will have to travel outside of the complex to get to and return from work.
High density: Atlantic Station lacks residents to fill its space. Many of the initial buyers did not end up living there after the opening of the apartments were delayed.
Open Public Space: Atlantic Station is a private property and doesn’t feel like a community. ( Wheately, Creative Loafing)
Aversion to big brand stores:.New Urbanist Developments usually consists of local stores that attract people because they are unique to the area. Yet, Atlantic Station is home to Ikea, Dillard’s, Publix and more.