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ATLANTA is the capital of and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia , with an estimated 2016 population of 472,522. Atlanta
Atlanta
is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area , home to 5,710,795 people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Atlanta
Atlanta
is the county seat of Fulton County , and a small portion of the city extends eastward into DeKalb County .

In 1837, Atlanta
Atlanta
was founded at the intersection of two railroad lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the American Civil War to become a national center of commerce. In the decades following the Civil Rights Movement , the city earned a reputation as "too busy to hate" for the relatively progressive views of its citizens and leaders compared to other cities in the Deep South . Atlanta
Atlanta
attained international prominence, and it became the primary transportation hub of the Southeastern United States
United States
, via highway, railroad, and air , with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world\'s busiest airport since 1998.

Atlanta
Atlanta
rated a "beta(+) " world city that exerts a medium impact upon commerce, finance, research, technology, education, media, art, and entertainment. It ranks 40th among world cities and 8th in the nation with a gross domestic product of $270 billion. Atlanta's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors that include logistics, professional and business services, media operations, and information technology. Atlanta
Atlanta
has topographic features that include rolling hills and dense tree coverage . Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics, and culture.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Native American settlements * 1.2 Western and Atlantic Railroad
Western and Atlantic Railroad
* 1.3 Civil War * 1.4 Rebuilding the city * 1.5 Racial tensions * 1.6 Metropolitan area\'s growth * 1.7 Civil Rights Movement * 1.8 1996 Summer Olympic Games
1996 Summer Olympic Games
* 1.9 Recent history

* 2 Geography

* 2.1 Cityscape * 2.2 Climate

* 3 Demographics
Demographics
* 4 Economy

* 5 Culture

* 5.1 Arts and theater * 5.2 Music * 5.3 Tourism

* 6 Sports * 7 Parks and recreation * 8 Government and politics * 9 Education * 10 Media * 11 Transportation * 12 Tree canopy * 13 Sister cities * 14 See also

* 15 Notes and references

* 15.1 Notes * 15.2 References

* 16 Further reading * 17 External links

HISTORY

Main articles: History of Atlanta and Timeline of Atlanta

NATIVE AMERICAN SETTLEMENTS

Marietta Street, 1864

Prior to the arrival of European settlers in north Georgia, Creek Indians inhabited the area. Standing Peachtree , a Creek village located where Peachtree Creek flows into the Chattahoochee River , was the closest Indian settlement to what is now Atlanta. As part of the systematic removal of Native Americans from northern Georgia from 1802 to 1825, the Creek ceded the area in 1821, and white settlers arrived the following year.

WESTERN AND ATLANTIC RAILROAD

In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad in order to provide a link between the port of Savannah and the Midwest . The initial route was to run southward from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which would then be linked to Savannah. After engineers surveyed various possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven into the ground in what is now Five Points . A year later, the area around the milepost had developed into a settlement, first known as "Terminus," and later as "Thrasherville" after a local merchant who built homes and a general store in the area. By 1842, the town had six buildings and 30 residents and was renamed "Marthasville " to honor the Governor\'s daughter. Later, J. Edgar Thomson , Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad , suggested the town be renamed "Atlantica -Pacifica ," which was shortened to "Atlanta". The residents approved, and the town was incorporated as Atlanta
Atlanta
on December 29, 1847.

CIVIL WAR

By 1860, Atlanta's population had grown to 9,554. During the American Civil War , the nexus of multiple railroads in Atlanta
Atlanta
made the city a hub for the distribution of military supplies. In 1864, the Union Army moved southward following the capture of Chattanooga and began its invasion of north Georgia . The region surrounding Atlanta was the location of several major army battles , culminating with the Battle
Battle
of Atlanta
Atlanta
and a four-month-long siege of the city by the Union Army under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman . On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood made the decision to retreat from Atlanta, and he ordered the destruction of all public buildings and possible assets that could be of use to the Union Army. On the next day, Mayor
Mayor
James Calhoun surrendered Atlanta to the Union Army, and on September 7, Sherman ordered the city's civilian population to evacuate. On November 11, 1864, Sherman prepared for the Union Army's March to the Sea by ordering Atlanta
Atlanta
to be burned to the ground, sparing only the city's churches and hospitals.

REBUILDING THE CITY

After the Civil War ended in 1865, Atlanta
Atlanta
was gradually rebuilt. Due to the city's superior rail transportation network, the state capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta
Atlanta
in 1868. In the 1880 Census, Atlanta
Atlanta
surpassed Savannah as Georgia's largest city. Beginning in the 1880s, Henry W. Grady , the editor of the _ Atlanta Constitution _ newspaper, promoted Atlanta
Atlanta
to potential investors as a city of the " New South
New South
" that would be based upon a modern economy and less reliant on agriculture. By 1885, the founding of the Georgia School of Technology (now Georgia Tech ) and the city\'s black colleges had established Atlanta
Atlanta
as a center for higher education. In 1895, Atlanta hosted the Cotton States and International Exposition , which attracted nearly 800,000 attendees and successfully promoted the New South's development to the world.

RACIAL TENSIONS

During the first decades of the 20th century, Atlanta
Atlanta
experienced a period of unprecedented growth. In three decades' time, Atlanta's population tripled as the city limits expanded to include nearby streetcar suburbs. The city's skyline emerged with the construction of the Equitable , Flatiron , Empire , and Candler buildings; and Sweet Auburn emerged as a center of black commerce. The period was also marked by strife and tragedy. Increased racial tensions led to the Atlanta Race Riot
Atlanta Race Riot
of 1906, which left at least 27 people dead and over 70 injured. In 1915, Leo Frank , a Jewish-American factory superintendent, convicted of murder, was hanged in Marietta by a lynch mob , drawing attention to antisemitism in the United States
United States
. On May 21, 1917, the Great Atlanta
Atlanta
Fire destroyed 1,938 buildings in what is now the Old Fourth Ward , resulting in one fatality and the displacement of 10,000 people. In 1907, Peachtree Street, the main street of Atlanta, was busy with streetcars and automobiles.

On December 15, 1939, Atlanta
Atlanta
hosted the premiere of _Gone with the Wind _, the epic film based on the best-selling novel by Atlanta's Margaret Mitchell . The gala event at Loew\'s Grand Theatre was attended by the film's legendary producer, David O. Selznick , and the film's stars Clark Gable , Vivien Leigh , and Olivia de Havilland , but Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel , an African American
African American
actress, was barred from the event due to racial segregation laws and policies.

METROPOLITAN AREA\'S GROWTH

Atlanta
Atlanta
played a vital role in the Allied effort during World War II due to the city's war-related manufacturing companies, railroad network and military bases, leading to rapid population and economic growth. In the 1950s, the city's newly constructed highway system allowed middle class Atlantans the ability to relocate to the suburbs. As a result, the city began to make up an ever-smaller proportion of the metropolitan area's population.

CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

During the 1960s, Atlanta
Atlanta
was a major organizing center of the Civil Rights Movement , with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , Ralph David Abernathy , and students from Atlanta's historically black colleges and universities playing major roles in the movement's leadership. While minimal compared to other cities, Atlanta
Atlanta
was not free of racial strife. In 1961, the city attempted to thwart blockbusting by erecting road barriers in Cascade Heights , countering the efforts of civic and business leaders to foster Atlanta
Atlanta
as the "city too busy to hate". Desegregation of the public sphere came in stages, with public transportation desegregated by 1959, the restaurant at Rich\'s department store by 1961, movie theaters by 1963, and public schools by 1973. The Olympic flag waves at the 1996 games

In 1960, whites comprised 61.7% of the city's population. By 1970, African Americans were a majority of the city's population and exercised new-found political influence by electing Atlanta's first black mayor, Maynard Jackson , in 1973. Under Mayor
Mayor
Jackson's tenure, Atlanta's airport was modernized, solidifying the city's role as a transportation center. The opening of the Georgia World Congress Center in 1976 heralded Atlanta's rise as a convention city. Construction of the city's subway system began in 1975, with rail service commencing in 1979. Despite these improvements, Atlanta
Atlanta
lost over 100,000 residents between 1970 and 1990, over 20% of its population.

1996 SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

Atlanta
Atlanta
was selected as the site for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games
1996 Summer Olympic Games
. Following the announcement , the city government undertook several major construction projects to improve Atlanta's parks, sporting venues, and transportation infrastructure. While the games themselves were marred by numerous organizational inefficiencies as well as the Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park
bombing , the spectacle was a watershed event in Atlanta's history that initiated a fundamental transformation of the city in the decade that followed.

RECENT HISTORY

During the 2000s, Atlanta
Atlanta
underwent a profound physical, cultural , and demographic transformation. Suburbanization, a booming economy, and new migrants decreased the city's black percentage from a high of 67% in 1990 to 54% in 2010. From 2000 to 2010, Atlanta
Atlanta
gained 22,763 white residents, 5,142 Asian residents, and 3,095 Hispanic residents, while the city's black population decreased by 31,678. Much of the city's demographic change during the decade was driven by young, college-educated professionals: from 2000 to 2009, the three-mile radius surrounding Downtown Atlanta
Downtown Atlanta
gained 9,722 residents aged 25 to 34 holding at least a four-year degree, an increase of 61%. Between the mid-1990s and 2010, stimulated by funding from the HOPE VI program, Atlanta
Atlanta
demolished nearly all of its public housing, a total of 17,000 units and about 10% of all housing units in the city. In 2005, the $2.8 billion BeltLine project was adopted, with the stated goals of converting a disused 22-mile freight railroad loop that surrounds the central city into an art-filled multi-use trail and increasing the city's park space by 40%. Atlanta's cultural offerings expanded during the 2000s: the High Museum of Art
High Museum of Art
doubled in size; the Alliance Theatre won a Tony Award ; and art galleries were established on the once-industrial Westside .

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of Atlanta

Atlanta
Atlanta
encompasses 134.0 square miles (347.1 km2), of which 133.2 square miles (344.9 km2) is land and 0.85 square miles (2.2 km2) is water. The city is situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains , and at 1,050 feet (320 m) above mean sea level, Atlanta has one of the highest elevations among major cities east of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. Atlanta
Atlanta
straddles the Eastern Continental Divide
Eastern Continental Divide
, such that rainwater that falls on the south and east side of the divide flows into the Atlantic Ocean, while rainwater on the north and west side of the divide flows into the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
. Atlanta
Atlanta
sits atop a ridge south of the Chattahoochee River , which is part of the ACF River Basin . Located at the far northwestern edge of the city, much of the river's natural habitat is preserved, in part by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area .

CITYSCAPE

Main articles: Architecture of Atlanta and Neighborhoods of Atlanta See also: List of tallest buildings in Atlanta The Downtown skyline The Midtown skyline The Buckhead
Buckhead
skyline

Most of Atlanta
Atlanta
was burned during the Civil War, depleting the city of a large stock of its historic architecture. Yet architecturally, the city had never been particularly "southern"—because Atlanta originated as a railroad town, rather than a patrician southern seaport like Savannah or Charleston , many of the city's landmarks could have easily been erected in the Northeast or Midwest. The skyline of Midtown (viewed from Piedmont Park ) emerged with the construction of modernist Colony Square in 1972.

During the Cold War era, Atlanta
Atlanta
embraced global modernist trends, especially regarding commercial and institutional architecture. Examples of modernist architecture include the 1,196,240sq.ft Westin Peachtree Plaza (1976), Georgia-Pacific Tower (1982), the State of Georgia Building (1966), and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis (1985). In the latter half of the 1980s, Atlanta
Atlanta
became one of the early adopters of postmodern designs that reintroduced classical elements to the cityscape. Many of Atlanta's tallest skyscrapers were built in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with most displaying tapering spires or otherwise ornamented crowns, such as the 1,187,676 sq.ft One Atlantic Center (1987), 191 Peachtree Tower (1991), and the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
Atlanta
(1992). Also completed during the era is Atlanta's tallest skyscraper, the Bank of America Plaza (1992), which, at 1,023 feet (312 m), is the 61st-tallest building in the world and the 9th-tallest building in the United States. The Bank of America Plaza is the tallest building outside of New York City
City
and Chicago
Chicago
, and was the last building built in the United States
United States
to be in the top 10 tallest buildings in the world until One World Trade Center was completed externally in May 2013. The city's embrace of modern architecture translated into an ambivalent approach toward historic preservation, leading to the destruction of notable architectural landmarks, including the Equitable Building (1892–1971), Terminal Station (1905–1972), and the Carnegie Library (1902–1977). The Fox Theatre (1929)—Atlanta's cultural icon—would have met the same fate had it not been for a grassroots effort to save it in the mid-1970s.

Atlanta
Atlanta
is divided into 242 officially defined neighborhoods . The city contains three major high-rise districts, which form a north-south axis along Peachtree : Downtown , Midtown , and Buckhead
Buckhead
. Surrounding these high-density districts are leafy, low-density neighborhoods, most of which are dominated by single-family homes.

Downtown Atlanta
Downtown Atlanta
contains the most office space in the metro area, much of it occupied by government entities. Downtown is home to the city's sporting venues and many of its tourist attractions. Midtown Atlanta
Atlanta
is the city's second-largest business district, containing the offices of many of the region's law firms. Midtown is known for its art institutions, cultural attractions, institutions of higher education, and dense form. Buckhead
Buckhead
, the city's uptown district, is eight miles (13 km) north of Downtown and the city's third-largest business district. The district is marked by an urbanized core along Peachtree Road , surrounded by suburban single-family neighborhoods situated among dense forests and rolling hills. Craftsman bungalows in Inman Park Beath-Dickey House (1890) in Inman Park neighborhood, 2011

Surrounding Atlanta's three high-rise districts are the city's low- and medium-density neighborhoods , where the craftsman bungalow single-family home is dominant. The eastside is marked by historic streetcar suburbs built from the 1890s-1930s as havens for the upper middle class. These neighborhoods, many of which contain their own villages encircled by shaded, architecturally-distinct residential streets, include the Victorian Inman Park , Bohemian East Atlanta , and eclectic Old Fourth Ward . On the westside and along the BeltLine on the eastside , former warehouses and factories have been converted into housing, retail space, and art galleries, transforming the once-industrial areas such as West Midtown into model neighborhoods for smart growth , historic rehabilitation, and infill construction. In southwest Atlanta, neighborhoods closer to downtown originated as streetcar suburbs, including the historic West End , while those farther from downtown retain a postwar suburban layout, including Collier Heights and Cascade Heights , home to much of the city's affluent African American
African American
population. Northwest Atlanta contains the areas of the city to west of Marietta Boulevard and to the north of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, including those neighborhoods remote to downtown, such as Riverside, Bolton and Whittier Mill, which is one of Atlanta's designated Landmark Historical Neighborhoods. Vine City, though technically Northwest, adjoins the city's Downtown area and has recently been the target of community outreach programs and economic development initiatives.

Gentrification of the city's neighborhoods is one of the more controversial and transformative forces shaping contemporary Atlanta. The gentrification of Atlanta
Atlanta
has its origins in the 1970s, after many of Atlanta's neighborhoods had undergone the urban decay that affected other major American cities in the mid-20th century. When neighborhood opposition successfully prevented two freeways from being built through city's the east side in 1975, the area became the starting point for Atlanta's gentrification . After Atlanta
Atlanta
was awarded the Olympic games in 1990, gentrification expanded into other parts of the city, stimulated by infrastructure improvements undertaken in preparation for the games. Gentrification was aided by the Atlanta Housing Authority 's eradication of the city's public housing.

CLIMATE

Atlanta's Piedmont Park in winter

Under the Köppen classification , Atlanta
Atlanta
has a humid subtropical climate (_Cfa_) with four distinct seasons and generous precipitation year-round, typical for the inland South . Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures somewhat moderated by the city's elevation. Winters are cool but variable, with an average of 48 freezing days per year and temperatures dropping to 0 °F (−17.8 °C) on rare occasions. Warm air from the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
can bring spring-like highs while strong Arctic air masses can push lows into the teens (≤ −7 °C).

July averages 80.2 °F (26.8 °C), with high temperatures reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on an average 44 days per year, though 100 °F (38 °C) readings are not seen most years. January averages 43.5 °F (6.4 °C), with temperatures in the suburbs slightly cooler due largely to the urban heat island effect. Lows at or below freezing can be expected 40 nights annually, but extended stretches with daily high temperatures below 40 °F (4 °C) are very rare, with a recent exception in January 2014 . Extremes range from −9 °F (−23 °C) on February 13, 1899 to 106 °F (41 °C) on June 30, 2012 . Dewpoints in the summer range from 63.6 °F (18 °C) in June to 67.8 °F (20 °C) in July.

Typical of the southeastern U.S., Atlanta
Atlanta
receives abundant rainfall that is evenly distributed throughout the year, though spring and early fall are markedly drier. The average annual rainfall is 50.2 inches (1,280 mm), while snowfall is typically light at around 2.1 inches (5.3 cm) per year. The heaviest single snowfall occurred on January 23, 1940, with around 10 inches (25 cm) of snow. However, ice storms usually cause more problems than snowfall does, the most severe occurring on January 7, 1973. Tornadoes are rare in the city itself, but the March 15, 2008 EF2 tornado damaged prominent structures in downtown Atlanta.

CLIMATE DATA FOR ATLANTA (HARTSFIELD–JACKSON INT\'L), 1981–2010 NORMALS, EXTREMES 1878–PRESENT

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

RECORD HIGH °F (°C) 79 (26) 80 (27) 89 (32) 93 (34) 97 (36) 106 (41) 105 (41) 104 (40) 102 (39) 95 (35) 84 (29) 79 (26) 106 (41)

MEAN MAXIMUM °F (°C) 69.6 (20.9) 73.2 (22.9) 80.8 (27.1) 85.0 (29.4) 89.3 (31.8) 94.6 (34.8) 96.3 (35.7) 95.4 (35.2) 91.4 (33) 84.4 (29.1) 77.5 (25.3) 70.8 (21.6) 97.6 (36.4)

AVERAGE HIGH °F (°C) 52.3 (11.3) 56.6 (13.7) 64.6 (18.1) 72.5 (22.5) 79.9 (26.6) 86.4 (30.2) 89.1 (31.7) 88.1 (31.2) 82.2 (27.9) 72.7 (22.6) 63.6 (17.6) 54.0 (12.2) 71.9 (22.2)

DAILY MEAN °F (°C) 43.3 (6.3) 47.2 (8.4) 54.3 (12.4) 62.0 (16.7) 70.1 (21.2) 77.3 (25.2) 80.2 (26.8) 79.4 (26.3) 73.5 (23.1) 63.3 (17.4) 54.0 (12.2) 45.3 (7.4) 62.6 (17)

AVERAGE LOW °F (°C) 34.3 (1.3) 37.7 (3.2) 44.1 (6.7) 51.5 (10.8) 60.3 (15.7) 68.2 (20.1) 71.3 (21.8) 70.7 (21.5) 64.8 (18.2) 54.0 (12.2) 44.5 (6.9) 36.5 (2.5) 53.2 (11.8)

MEAN MINIMUM °F (°C) 15.7 (−9.1) 20.9 (−6.2) 27.4 (−2.6) 35.2 (1.8) 47.6 (8.7) 58.5 (14.7) 65.1 (18.4) 63.7 (17.6) 51.4 (10.8) 38.5 (3.6) 29.5 (−1.4) 20.0 (−6.7) 12.1 (−11.1)

RECORD LOW °F (°C) −8 (−22) −9 (−23) 10 (−12) 25 (−4) 37 (3) 39 (4) 53 (12) 55 (13) 36 (2) 28 (−2) 3 (−16) 0 (−18) −9 (−23)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION INCHES (MM) 4.20 (106.7) 4.67 (118.6) 4.81 (122.2) 3.36 (85.3) 3.67 (93.2) 3.95 (100.3) 5.27 (133.9) 3.90 (99.1) 4.47 (113.5) 3.41 (86.6) 4.10 (104.1) 3.90 (99.1) 49.71 (1,262.6)

AVERAGE SNOWFALL INCHES (CM) 1.3 (3.3) 0.4 (1) 0.8 (2) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.4 (1) 2.9 (7.4)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 0.01 IN) 10.9 9.8 9.7 8.6 9.3 9.9 11.7 9.7 7.5 6.9 8.8 10.5 113.3

AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS (≥ 0.1 IN) 0.8 0.6 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 2.1

AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%) 67.6 63.4 62.4 61.0 67.2 69.8 74.4 74.8 73.9 68.5 68.1 68.4 68.3

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 164.0 171.7 220.5 261.2 288.6 284.8 273.8 258.6 227.5 238.5 185.1 164.0 2,738.3

PERCENT POSSIBLE SUNSHINE 52 56 59 67 67 66 63 62 61 68 59 53 62

Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Demographics
Demographics
of Atlanta
Atlanta
See also: Religion in Atlanta

HISTORICAL POPULATION

CENSUS POP.

1850 2,572

1860 9,554

271.5%

1870 21,789

128.1%

1880 37,409

71.7%

1890 65,533

75.2%

1900 89,872

37.1%

1910 154,839

72.3%

1920 200,616

29.6%

1930 270,366

34.8%

1940 302,288

11.8%

1950 331,314

9.6%

1960 487,455

47.1%

1970 495,039

1.6%

1980 425,022

−14.1%

1990 394,017

−7.3%

2000 416,474

5.7%

2010 420,003

0.8%

EST. 2016 472,522

12.5%

U.S. Decennial Census

RACIAL COMPOSITION 2014 1990 1970 1940

Black or African American
African American
51.4% 67.1% 51.3% 34.6%

White 41.3% 31.0% 48.4% 65.4%

—Non-Hispanic 38.3% 30.3% 47.3% n/a

Asian 3.7% 0.9% 0.1% -

Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 4.7% 1.9% 1.5% n/a

The 2010 United States
United States
Census reported that Atlanta
Atlanta
had a population of 420,003. The population density was 3,154 per square mile (1232/km2 ). The racial makeup and population of Atlanta
Atlanta
was 54.0% Black or African American, 38.4% White, 3.1% Asian and 0.2% Native American. Those from some other race made up 2.2% of the city's population, while those from two or more races made up 2.0%. Hispanics of any race made up 5.2% of the city's population. The median income for a household in the city was $45,171. The per capita income for the city was $35,453. 22.6% percent of the population was living below the poverty line . Atlanta
Atlanta
has one of the highest LGBT
LGBT
populations per capita, ranking third among major American cities, behind San Francisco and slightly behind Seattle
Seattle
, with 12.8% of the city's total population identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. 7.3% of Atlantans were born abroad (86th in the US). Map of racial distribution in Atlanta, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: WHITE, BLACK, ASIAN HISPANIC, or OTHER (yellow)

In the 2010 Census, Atlanta
Atlanta
was recorded as the nation's fourth-largest majority-black city. It has long been known as a center of African-American political power, education, and culture, often called a black mecca . African-American residents of Atlanta
Atlanta
have followed whites to newer housing in the suburbs in the early 21st century. From 2000 to 2010, the city's black population decreased by 31,678 people, shrinking from 61.4% of the city's population in 2000 to 54.0% in 2010.

At the same time, the white population of Atlanta
Atlanta
has increased. Between 2000 and 2010, the proportion of whites in the city's population grew faster than that of any other U.S. city. In that decade, Atlanta's white population grew from 31% to 38% of the city's population, an absolute increase of 22,753 people, more than triple the increase that occurred between 1990 and 2000.

Out of the total population five years and older, 83.3% spoke only English at home, while 8.8% spoke Spanish, 3.9% another Indo-European language, and 2.8% an Asian language. Atlanta's dialect has traditionally been a variation of Southern American English . The Chattahoochee River long formed a border between the Coastal Southern and Southern Appalachian dialects. Because of the development of corporate headquarters in the region, attracting migrants from other areas of the country, by 2003, _ Atlanta
Atlanta
_ magazine concluded that Atlanta
Atlanta
had become significantly "de-Southernized." A Southern accent was considered a handicap in some circumstances. In general, Southern accents are less prevalent among residents of the city and inner suburbs and among younger people; they are more common in the outer suburbs and among older people. At the same time, some residents of the city express Southern variations of African American
African American
Vernacular English .

Religion in Atlanta , while historically centered on Protestant Christianity , now involves many faiths as a result of the city and metro area's increasingly international population. Protestant Christianity still maintains a strong presence in the city (63%), but in recent decades the Catholic Church has increased in numbers and influence because of new migrants in the region. Metro Atlanta
Atlanta
also has numerous ethnic or national Christian congregations, including Korean and Indian churches. The larger non-Christian faiths are Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. Overall, there are over 1,000 places of worship within Atlanta.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of Atlanta

With a GDP of $304 billion, the Metro Atlanta
Atlanta
economy is the eighth-largest in the country and 17th-largest in the world . Corporate operations play a major role in the economy, as the city claims the country's third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and hosts the global headquarters of corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company
, The Home Depot , Delta Air Lines , AT as of 2014 , 45% of adults 25 or older in the city have at least 4-year college degrees, compared to the national average of 28%. The Coca-Cola world headquarters

Atlanta
Atlanta
began as a railroad town and logistics has remained a major component of the city's economy to this day. Atlanta
Atlanta
is an important rail junction and contains major classification yards for Norfolk Southern and CSX . Since its construction in the 1950s, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has served as a key engine of Atlanta's economic growth. Delta Air Lines, the city's largest employer and the metro area's third-largest, operates the world's largest airline hub at Hartsfield-Jackson and has helped make it the world\'s busiest airport , both in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft operations. Partly due to the airport, Atlanta
Atlanta
has become a hub for diplomatic missions; as of 2017 , the city contains 26 consulates general , the seventh-highest concentration of diplomatic missions in the United States.

Media is also an important aspect of Atlanta's economy. The city is a major cable television programming center. Ted Turner established the headquarters of both the Cable News Network (CNN) and the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) in Atlanta. Cox Enterprises , the country's third-largest cable television service and the publisher of over a dozen American newspapers, is headquartered in the city. The Weather Channel is headquartered just outside Atlanta
Atlanta
in Cobb County .

Information technology—a business sector that includes publishing, software development, entertainment and data processing—has garnered a larger percentage of Atlanta's economic output. Indeed, Atlanta
Atlanta
has been nicknamed the Silicon peach due to its burgeoning technology sector. As of 2013 , Atlanta
Atlanta
contains the fourth-largest concentration of information technology jobs in the United States, numbering 85,000. Atlanta
Atlanta
ranks as the sixth fastest-growing city for information technology jobs, with an employment growth of 4.8% in 2012 and a three-year growth near 9%, or 16,000 jobs. Information technology companies are drawn to Atlanta's lower costs and educated workforce.

Recently, Atlanta
Atlanta
has become a center for film and television production , largely due to the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act , which awards qualified productions a transferable income tax credit of 20% of all in-state costs for film and television investments of $500,000 or more. Film and television production facilities in Atlanta
Atlanta
include Turner Studios , Pinewood Studios (Pinewood Atlanta), Tyler Perry Studios , Williams Street Productions, and the EUE/Screen Gems soundstages. Film and television production injected $6 billion into Georgia's economy in 2015, with Atlanta garnering most of the projects. Atlanta
Atlanta
has gained recognition as a center of production of horror and zombie-related productions, with _ Atlanta
Atlanta
_ magazine dubbing the city the "Zombie Capital of the World". The CNN newsroom

Compared to other American cities, Atlanta's economy has been disproportionately affected by the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession, with the city's economy earning a ranking of 68 among 100 American cities in a September 2014 report due to an elevated unemployment rate, declining real income levels, and a depressed housing market. From 2010 to 2011, Atlanta
Atlanta
saw a 0.9% contraction in employment and only a 0.4% rise in income. Though unemployment had dropped to 7% by late 2014, this was still higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.8% Atlanta's housing market has struggled, with home prices falling by 2.1% in January 2012, reaching levels not seen since 1996. Compared with a year earlier, the average home price in Atlanta
Atlanta
fell 17.3% in February 2012, the largest annual drop in the history of the index for any city. The collapse in home prices has led some economists to deem Atlanta
Atlanta
the worst housing market in the country. Nevertheless, in August 2013, Atlanta appeared on _ Forbes
Forbes
_ magazine's list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.

CULTURE

The Museum of Design Atlanta
Museum of Design Atlanta
(MODA) Public Art on the BeltLine — 2015 _Object of Wo(man)_ by William Massey.

Atlanta
Atlanta
is a city located in the South that has a culture that is no longer strictly Southern . This is due to a large population of migrants from other parts of the U.S., in addition to many recent immigrants to the U.S. who have made the metropolitan area their home, establishing Atlanta
Atlanta
as the cultural and economic hub of an increasingly multi-cultural metropolitan area. Thus, although traditional Southern culture is part of Atlanta's cultural fabric, it is mostly the backdrop to one of the nation's most cosmopolitan cities. This unique cultural combination reveals itself in the arts district of Midtown, the quirky neighborhoods on the city's eastside , and the multi-ethnic enclaves found along Buford Highway .

ARTS AND THEATER

Main article: Arts in Atlanta

Atlanta
Atlanta
is one of few United States
United States
cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera ( Atlanta Opera ), ballet ( Atlanta Ballet ), orchestral music ( Atlanta Symphony Orchestra ), and theater (the Alliance Theatre ). Atlanta
Atlanta
attracts many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibitions catering to a variety of interests. Atlanta's performing arts district is concentrated in Midtown Atlanta at the Woodruff Arts Center
Woodruff Arts Center
, which is home to the Atlanta
Atlanta
Symphony Orchestra and the Alliance Theatre . The city frequently hosts touring Broadway acts, especially at The Fox Theatre , a historic landmark that is among the highest-grossing theatres of its size.

As a national center for the arts, Atlanta
Atlanta
is home to significant art museums and institutions. The renowned High Museum of Art
High Museum of Art
is arguably the South's leading art museum and among the most-visited art museums in the world. The Museum of Design Atlanta
Museum of Design Atlanta
(MODA), a design museum, is the only such museum in the Southeast. Contemporary art museums include the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia . Institutions of higher education contribute to Atlanta's art scene, with the Savannah College of Art and Design's Atlanta
Atlanta
campus providing the city's arts community with a steady stream of curators, and Emory University's Michael C. Carlos Museum containing the largest collection of ancient art in the Southeast.

MUSIC

The stage of the Tabernacle during a live music show Main article: Music of Atlanta

Atlanta
Atlanta
has played a major or contributing role in the development of various genres of American music at different points in the city's history. Beginning as early as the 1920s, Atlanta
Atlanta
emerged as a center for country music , which was brought to the city by migrants from Appalachia . During the countercultural 1960s , Atlanta
Atlanta
hosted the Atlanta
Atlanta
International Pop Festival , with the 1969 festival taking place more than a month before Woodstock
Woodstock
and featuring many of the same bands. The city was also a center for Southern rock during its 1970s heyday: the Allman Brothers Band 's hit instrumental "Hot \'Lanta " is an ode to the city, while Lynyrd Skynyrd 's famous live rendition of " Free Bird " was recorded at the Fox Theatre in 1976, with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant directing the band to "play it pretty for Atlanta". During the 1980s, Atlanta
Atlanta
had an active Punk rock scene that was centered on two of the city's music venues, 688 Club
688 Club
and the Metroplex, and Atlanta
Atlanta
famously played host to the Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols
first U.S. show, which was performed at the Great Southeastern Music Hall. The 1990s saw the birth of Atlanta hip hop , a subgenre that gained relevance following the success of home-grown duo OutKast ; however, it was not until the 2000s that Atlanta
Atlanta
moved "from the margins to becoming hip-hop's center of gravity, part of a larger shift in hip-hop innovation to the South". Also in the 2000s, Atlanta
Atlanta
was recognized by the Brooklyn-based _Vice _ magazine for its indie rock scene, which revolves around the various live music venues found on the city's alternative eastside .

TOURISM

Main articles: Tourism in Atlanta , Festivals in Atlanta , List of museums in Atlanta
Atlanta
, and Cuisine of Atlanta Martin Luther King, Jr.'s childhood home The World of Coca-Cola

As of 2010 , Atlanta
Atlanta
is the seventh-most visited city in the United States, with over 35 million visitors per year. Although the most popular attraction among visitors to Atlanta
Atlanta
is the Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium
, the world's largest indoor aquarium, Atlanta's tourism industry is mostly driven by the city's history museums and outdoor attractions. Atlanta
Atlanta
contains a notable amount of historical museums and sites, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site , which includes the preserved childhood home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , as well as his final resting place; the Atlanta
Atlanta
Cyclorama the World of Coca-Cola , featuring the history of the world-famous soft drink brand and its well-known advertising; the College Football Hall of Fame which honors college football and its athletes; the National Center for Civil and Human Rights , which explores the Civil Rights Movement and its connection to contemporary human rights movements throughout the world; the Carter Center and Presidential Library, housing U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
's papers and other material relating to the Carter administration and the Carter family's life; and the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum , where Mitchell wrote the best-selling novel _Gone with the Wind _.

Atlanta
Atlanta
contains various outdoor attractions. The Atlanta
Atlanta
Botanical Garden , adjacent to Piedmont Park, is home to the 600-foot-long (180 m) Kendeda Canopy Walk , a skywalk that allows visitors to tour one of the city's last remaining urban forests from 40-foot-high (12 m). The Canopy Walk is considered the only canopy-level pathway of its kind in the United States. Zoo Atlanta , located in Grant Park , accommodates over 1,300 animals representing more than 220 species. Home to the nation's largest collections of gorillas and orangutans, the Zoo is one of only four zoos in the U.S. to house giant pandas . Festivals showcasing arts and crafts, film, and music, including the Atlanta Dogwood Festival , the Atlanta Film Festival , and Music Midtown
Music Midtown
, respectively, are also popular with tourists. A meal at The Varsity

Tourists are drawn to the city's culinary scene, which comprises a mix of urban establishments garnering national attention, ethnic restaurants serving cuisine from every corner of the world, and traditional eateries specializing in Southern dining. Since the turn of the 21st century, Atlanta
Atlanta
has emerged as a sophisticated restaurant town. Many restaurants opened in the city's gentrifying neighborhoods have received praise at the national level, including Bocado, Bacchanalia, and Miller Union in West Midtown , Empire State South in Midtown , and Two Urban Licks and Rathbun\'s on the east side . In 2011, the _New York Times_ characterized Empire State South and Miller Union as reflecting "a new kind of sophisticated Southern sensibility centered on the farm but experienced in the city." Visitors seeking to sample international Atlanta
Atlanta
are directed to Buford Highway , the city's international corridor. There, the million-plus immigrants that make Atlanta
Atlanta
home have established various authentic ethnic restaurants representing virtually every nationality on the globe. For traditional Southern fare, one of the city's most famous establishments is The Varsity
The Varsity
, a long-lived fast food chain and the world's largest drive-in restaurant. Mary Mac\'s Tea Room and Paschal\'s are more formal destinations for Southern food.

SPORTS

Main article: Sports in Atlanta SunTrust Park
SunTrust Park

Atlanta
Atlanta
is home to professional franchises for four major team sports: the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
, the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association , the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League , and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer
Soccer
. The Braves, who moved to Atlanta
Atlanta
in 1966, were established as the Boston
Boston
Red Stockings in 1871 and are the oldest continually operating professional sports franchise in the United States. The Braves won the World Series
World Series
in 1995, and had an unprecedented run of 14 straight divisional championships from 1991 to 2005. The Braves will have a new home in 2017. Moving from Turner Field to Suntrust Park, which is located in the Atlanta
Atlanta
Metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
10 miles (16 km) northwest of downtown Atlanta
Atlanta
in Cumberland/Galleria, Georgia.

The Atlanta Falcons have played in Atlanta
Atlanta
since their inception in 1966. The Falcons have won the division title six times (1980, 1998, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2016) and the NFC championship twice in 1998 and 2016. However, they have been unsuccessful in both of their Super Bowl trips so far, losing to the Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
in Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999 and to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI in 2017. The Atlanta Hawks began in 1946 as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, playing in Moline, Illinois . The team moved to Atlanta
Atlanta
in 1968, and they currently play their games in Philips Arena . The Atlanta Dream is the city's Women\'s National Basketball Association franchise.

Atlanta
Atlanta
has had its own professional ice hockey and soccer franchises. The National Hockey League (NHL) has had two Atlanta franchises: the Atlanta Flames began play in 1972 before moving to Calgary
Calgary
in 1980, while the Atlanta Thrashers began play in 1999 before moving to Winnipeg in 2011. The Atlanta
Atlanta
Chiefs was the city's professional soccer team from 1967 to 1972, and the team won a national championship in 1968. In 1998 another professional soccer team was formed, the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League . In April 2014, Atlanta
Atlanta
United FC, was formed as an expansion team to begin play in 2017.

Atlanta
Atlanta
has been the host city for various international, professional and collegiate sporting events. Most famously, Atlanta hosted the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics . Atlanta
Atlanta
hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. In professional golf, The Tour Championship , the final PGA Tour event of the season, is played annually at East Lake Golf Club . In 2001 and 2011, Atlanta
Atlanta
hosted the PGA Championship , one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, at the Atlanta Athletic Club . In professional ice hockey, the city hosted the 56th NHL All-Star Game in 2008, three years before the Thrashers moved. In 2011, Atlanta
Atlanta
hosted professional wrestling 's annual WrestleMania . The city has hosted the NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball Championship four times, most recently in 2013 . In college football, Atlanta
Atlanta
hosts the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game , the SEC Championship Game , and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl .

PARKS AND RECREATION

Main article: Parks in Atlanta Mosaiculture at the Atlanta Botanical Garden The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in northwestern Atlanta
Atlanta

Atlanta's 343 parks, nature preserves, and gardens cover 3,622 acres (14.66 km2), which amounts to only 5.6% of the city's total acreage, compared to the national average of just over 10%. However, 64% of Atlantans live within a 10-minute walk of a park, a percentage equal to the national average. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land reported that among the park systems of the 50 most populous U.S. cities, Atlanta's park system received a ranking of 31. Piedmont Park , located in Midtown , is Atlanta's most iconic green space. The park, which underwent a major renovation and expansion in recent years, attracts visitors from across the region and hosts cultural events throughout the year. Other notable city parks include Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park
, a legacy of the 1996 Summer Olympics that forms the centerpiece of the city's tourist district; Woodruff Park , which anchors the campus of Georgia State University ; Grant Park , home to Zoo Atlanta ; and Chastain Park , which houses an amphitheater used for live music concerts. The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area , located in the northwestern corner of the city, preserves a 48 mi (77 km) stretch of the river for public recreation opportunities. The Atlanta Botanical Garden , adjacent to Piedmont Park, contains formal gardens, including a Japanese garden and a rose garden, woodland areas, and a conservatory that includes indoor exhibits of plants from tropical rainforests and deserts . The BeltLine , a former rail corridor that forms a 22 mi (35 km) loop around Atlanta's core, has been transformed into a series of parks , connected by a multi-use trail, increasing Atlanta's park space by 40%.

Atlanta
Atlanta
offers resources and opportunities for amateur and participatory sports and recreation. Jogging is a popular local sport, and the city hosts the Peachtree Road Race
Peachtree Road Race
, the world's largest 10 km race, annually on Independence Day. The Georgia Marathon, which begins and ends at Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park
, routes through the city's historic east side neighborhoods. Golf and tennis are popular in Atlanta, and the city contains six public golf courses and 182 tennis courts. Facilities located along the Chattahoochee River cater to watersports enthusiasts, providing the opportunity for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, boating, or tubing. The city's only skate park, a 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) facility that offers bowls, curbs, and smooth-rolling concrete mounds, is located at Historic Fourth Ward Park .

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Main articles: Government of Atlanta , List of mayors of Atlanta , and Crime in Atlanta Atlanta
Atlanta
City
City
Hall

Atlanta
Atlanta
is governed by a mayor and the Atlanta
Atlanta
City
City
Council . The city council consists of 15 representatives—one from each of the city's 12 districts and three at-large positions. The mayor may veto a bill passed by the council, but the council can override the veto with a two-thirds majority. The mayor of Atlanta
Atlanta
is Kasim Reed , a Democrat elected on a nonpartisan ballot whose first term in office expired at the end of 2013. Reed was elected to a second term on November 5, 2013. Every mayor elected since 1973 has been black. In 2001, Shirley Franklin became the first woman to be elected Mayor
Mayor
of Atlanta, and the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a major southern city. Atlanta
Atlanta
city politics suffered from a notorious reputation for corruption during the 1990s administration of Mayor Bill Campbell , who was convicted by a federal jury in 2006 on three counts of tax evasion in connection with gambling winnings during trips he took with city contractors.

As the state capital , Atlanta
Atlanta
is the site of most of Georgia's state government. The Georgia State Capitol
Georgia State Capitol
building, located downtown, houses the offices of the governor , lieutenant governor and secretary of state, as well as the General Assembly . The Governor\'s Mansion is located in a residential section of Buckhead. Atlanta
Atlanta
serves as the regional hub for many arms of the federal bureaucracy, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Atlanta
Atlanta
also plays an important role in federal judiciary system, containing the United States
United States
Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and of the United States
United States
District Court for the Northern District of Georgia .

Historically, Atlanta
Atlanta
has been a stronghold for the Democratic Party . Although municipal elections are officially nonpartisan, nearly all of the city's elected officials are registered Democrats. The city is split among 14 state house districts and four state senate districts, all held by Democrats. At the federal level, Atlanta
Atlanta
is split between two congressional districts. The northern three-fourths of the city is located in the 5th district, represented by Democrat John Lewis . The southern fourth is in the 13th district, represented by Democrat David Scott .

The city is served by the Atlanta Police Department
Atlanta Police Department
, which numbers 2,000 officers and oversaw a 40% decrease in the city's crime rate between 2001 and 2009. Specifically, homicide decreased by 57%, rape by 72%, and violent crime overall by 55%. Crime is down across the country, but Atlanta's improvement has occurred at more than twice the national rate. Nevertheless, Forbes
Forbes
ranked Atlanta
Atlanta
as the sixth most dangerous city in the United States
United States
in 2012.

EDUCATION

Main articles: List of colleges and universities in metropolitan Atlanta
Atlanta
, Atlanta Public Schools , and List of private schools in Atlanta
Atlanta
Tech Tower on the Georgia Tech campus Main Quad on Emory University
Emory University
's Druid Hills Campus

Due to the more than 30 colleges and universities located in the city, Atlanta
Atlanta
is considered a center for higher education. The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the most prominent public universities in Atlanta; it is a research university located in Midtown that has been consistently ranked among the nation's top ten public universities for its degree programs in engineering, computing, management, the sciences, architecture, and liberal arts. Georgia State University is a major public research university located in Downtown Atlanta
Downtown Atlanta
; it is the largest of the 29 public colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia
University System of Georgia
and is a significant contributor to the revitalization of the city's central business district. Atlanta
Atlanta
is home to nationally renowned private colleges and universities, most notably Emory University
Emory University
, a leading liberal arts and research institution that ranks among the top 20 schools in the United States
United States
and operates Emory Healthcare , the largest health care system in Georgia . The Atlanta University Center is also located in the city; it is the largest contiguous consortium of historically black colleges , comprising Spelman College , Clark Atlanta
Atlanta
University , Morehouse College , Morehouse School of Medicine , and Interdenominational Theological Center . Atlanta
Atlanta
contains a campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design , a private art and design university that has proven to be a major factor in the recent growth of Atlanta's visual art community.

Fifty-five thousand students are enrolled in 106 schools in Atlanta Public Schools , some of which are operated as charter schools. The district has been plagued by a widely publicized cheating scandal that was exposed in 2009. Atlanta
Atlanta
is served by many private schools, including parochial Roman Catholic schools operated by the Archdiocese of Atlanta
Atlanta
.

MEDIA

Main article: Media in Atlanta

The primary network-affiliated television stations in Atlanta
Atlanta
are WXIA-TV (NBC), WGCL-TV (CBS), WSB-TV (ABC), and WAGA-TV (FOX). The Atlanta metropolitan area is served by two public television stations and one public radio station. WGTV is the flagship station of the statewide Georgia Public Television network and is a PBS member station, while WPBA is owned by Atlanta Public Schools . Georgia Public Radio is listener-funded and comprises one NPR member station, WABE
WABE
, a classical music station operated by Atlanta Public Schools .

Atlanta
Atlanta
is served by the _ Atlanta Journal-Constitution _, its only major daily newspaper with wide distribution. The _Atlanta Journal-Constitution_ is the result of a 1950 merger between _The Atlanta
Atlanta
Journal_ and _The Atlanta
Atlanta
Constitution_, with staff consolidation occurring in 1982 and separate publication of the morning _Constitution_ and afternoon _Journal_ ceasing in 2001. Alternative weekly newspapers include _ Creative Loafing _, which has a weekly print circulation of 80,000. _ Atlanta
Atlanta
_ magazine is an award-winning, monthly general-interest magazine based in and covering Atlanta.

TRANSPORTATION

Main article: Transportation in Atlanta Concourse B at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
Atlanta
International Airport, the world's busiest airport The Downtown Connector , seen at night in Midtown.

Atlanta's transportation infrastructure comprises a complex network that includes a heavy rail rapid transit system, a light rail streetcar loop, a multi-county bus system, Amtrak
Amtrak
service via the Crescent , multiple freight train lines, an Interstate Highway System , several airports, including the world's busiest, and over 45 miles (72 kilometres) of bike paths.

Atlanta
Atlanta
has a network of freeways that radiate out from the city, and automobiles are the dominant means of transportation in the region. Three major interstate highways converge in Atlanta: I-20 (east-west), I-75 (northwest-southeast), and I-85 (northeast-southwest). The latter two combine in the middle of the city to form the Downtown Connector (I-75/85), which carries more than 340,000 vehicles per day and is one of the most congested segments of interstate highway in the United States. Atlanta
Atlanta
is mostly encircled by Interstate 285 , a beltway locally known as "the Perimeter" that has come to mark the boundary between "Inside the Perimeter" (ITP), the city and close-in suburbs, and "Outside the Perimeter" (OTP), the outer suburbs and exurbs. The heavy reliance on automobiles for transportation in Atlanta
Atlanta
has resulted in traffic, commute, and air pollution rates that rank among the worst in the country.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) provides public transportation in the form of buses and heavy rail. Notwithstanding heavy automotive usage in Atlanta, the city's subway system is the eighth busiest in the country . MARTA rail lines connect key destinations, such as the airport, Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and Perimeter Center. However, significant destinations, such as Emory University
Emory University
and Cumberland , remain unserved. As a result, a 2011 Brookings Institution study placed Atlanta
Atlanta
91st of 100 metro areas for transit accessibility. Emory University
Emory University
operates its Cliff shuttle buses with 200,000 boardings per month, while private minibuses supply Buford Highway . Amtrak
Amtrak
, the national rail passenger system, provides service to Atlanta
Atlanta
via the _Crescent train _ (New York–New Orleans), which stops at Peachtree Station . In 2014, the Atlanta
Atlanta
Streetcar
Streetcar
opened to the public. The streetcar's line, which is also known as the Downtown Loop, runs 2.7 miles around the downtown tourist areas of Peachtree Center , Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park
, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site , and Sweet Auburn. The Atlanta
Atlanta
Streetcar
Streetcar
line is also being expanded on in the coming years to include a wider range of Atlanta's neighborhoods and important places of interest, with a total of over 50 miles of track in the plan.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's busiest airport as measured by passenger traffic and aircraft traffic . The facility offers air service to over 150 U.S. destinations and more than 75 international destinations in 50 countries, with over 2,500 arrivals and departures daily. Delta Air Lines maintains its largest hub at the airport. Situated 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown, the airport covers most of the land inside a wedge formed by Interstate 75
Interstate 75
, Interstate 85 , and Interstate 285 .

Cycling is a growing mode of transportation in Atlanta, more than doubling since 2009, when it comprised 1.1% of all commutes (up from 0.3% in 2000). Although Atlanta's lack of bike lanes and hilly topography may deter many residents from cycling, the city's transportation plan calls for the construction of 226 miles (364 kilometres) of bike lanes by 2020, with the BeltLine helping to achieve this goal. In 2012, Atlanta's first "bike track" was constructed on 10th Street in Midtown. The two lane bike track runs from Monroe Drive west to Charles Allen Drive, with connections to the Beltline and Piedmont Park. Starting in June 2016, Atlanta
Atlanta
received a bike sharing program with 100 bikes in Downtown and Midtown, which expanded to 500 bikes at 65 stations as of April 2017.

TREE CANOPY

Main article: Atlanta tree canopy For a sprawling city with the nation's ninth-largest metro area, Atlanta
Atlanta
is surprisingly lush with trees—magnolias , dogwoods , Southern pines , and magnificent oaks . “ ” _National Geographic _ magazine, in naming Atlanta
Atlanta
a "Place of a Lifetime"

Atlanta
Atlanta
has a reputation as a "city in a forest" due to an abundance of trees that is rare among major cities. The city's main street is named after a tree , and beyond the Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead business districts, the skyline gives way to a dense canopy of woods that spreads into the suburbs. The city is home to the Atlanta
Atlanta
Dogwood Festival , an annual arts and crafts festival held one weekend during early April, when the native dogwoods are in bloom. The nickname is factually accurate, as the city's tree coverage percentage is at 36%, the highest out of all major American cities, and above the national average of 27%. Atlanta's tree coverage does not go unnoticed—it was the main reason cited by _National Geographic _ in naming Atlanta a "Place of a Lifetime".

The city's lush tree canopy, which filters out pollutants and cools sidewalks and buildings, has increasingly been under assault from man and nature due to heavy rains, drought, aged forests, new pests, and urban construction. A 2001 study found that Atlanta's heavy tree cover declined from 48% in 1974 to 38% in 1996. Community organizations and the city government are addressing the problem. Trees Atlanta
Atlanta
, a non-profit organization founded in 1985, has planted and distributed over 75,000 shade trees in the city, and Atlanta's government has awarded $130,000 in grants to neighborhood groups to plant trees.

SISTER CITIES

See also: List of sister cities in the United States
United States

Atlanta
Atlanta
has 17 sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International , Inc. (SCI):

* Brussels
Brussels
, Belgium
Belgium
(1983) * Montego Bay , Jamaica
Jamaica
(1972) * Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
, Brazil
Brazil
(1972) * Lagos
Lagos
, Nigeria
Nigeria
(1974) * Taipei
Taipei
, Taiwan
Taiwan
(1974) * Toulouse
Toulouse
, France
France
(1974) * Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
, England
England
, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
(1977) * Daegu
Daegu
, South Korea
South Korea
(1981) * Port of Spain , Trinidad and Tobago (1987) * Tbilisi
Tbilisi
, Georgia (1988) * Olympia, Greece (1995) * Bucharest
Bucharest
, Romania
Romania
(1994) * Cotonou , Benin
Benin
(1995) * Salcedo, Dominican Republic (1996) * Nuremberg
Nuremberg
(Nürnberg), Bavaria , Germany
Germany
(1998) * Ra\'anana , Israel
Israel
(2000) * Fukuoka , Japan
Japan
(2005)

SEE ALSO

* List of people from Atlanta * Urban forest

* Geography portal * North America
North America
portal * United States
United States
portal * Georgia USA portal * Atlanta
Atlanta
portal

NOTES AND REFERENCES

NOTES

* ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010. * ^ Official records for Atlanta
Atlanta
were kept at the Weather Bureau in downtown from October 1878 to August 1928, and at Hartsfield–Jackson Int'l since September 1928.

REFERENCES

* ^ "" Atlanta
Atlanta
May No Longer Be the City
City
in a Forest", _WSB-TV_". Retrieved October 28, 2014. * ^ "The service, dubbed the Atlanta
Atlanta
Tourist Loop as a play on the city\'s \'ATL\' nickname, will start April 29 downtown." "Buses to link tourist favorites" _The Atlanta
Atlanta
Journal-Constitution_ * ^ "Because we\'re the only city easily identified by just one letter". _ Creative Loafing _. November 23, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2012. * ^ ""Love it or loathe it, the city\'s nickname is accurate for the summer", _ Atlanta
Atlanta
Journal-Constitution_, June 16, 2008". Retrieved October 28, 2014. * ^ "Our Quiz Column". _Sunny South_. p. 5. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015 – Metropolitan Statistical Area; and for Puerto Rico – 2015 Population Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 28, 2016. * ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015 – Combined Statistical Area; and for Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
– 2015 Population Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 26, 2016. * ^ The term "Atlantans" is widely used by both local media and national media. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. * ^ "American FactFinder". United States
United States
Census Bureau . Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2008. * ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States
United States
Geological Survey . October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Population estimates, July 1, 2015 (V2015)". US Census Bureau. Retrieved August 23, 2016. * ^ ""Who\'s right? Cities lay claim to civil rights \'cradle\' mantle"/\'" Atlanta
Atlanta
Journal-Constitution\'\'". Politifact.com. June 28, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2012. * ^ Hinz, Greg (January 26, 2017). "World\'s busiest airport title slips further from O\'Hare\'s grasp". _Crain\'s Chicago
Chicago
Business _. Retrieved February 14, 2017. * ^ "DOT: Hartsfield-Jackson busiest airport, Delta had 3rd-most passengers". March 13, 2008. * ^ "Top Industry Publications Rank Atlanta
Atlanta
as a Leading City
City
for Business". AllBusiness.com. Archived from the original on April 19, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2010. * ^ "Doing Business in Atlanta, Georgia". Business.gov. Retrieved April 5, 2010. * ^ "GaWC – The World According to GaWC 2016". Lboro.ac.uk. Retrieved June 21, 2017. * ^ "Global Cities 2010: The Rankings". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2010. * ^ "Atlanta: Economy – Major Industries and Commercial Activity". City-data.com. Retrieved July 16, 2012. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Gournay, Isabelle. "AIA Guide to the Architecture of Atlanta". University of Georgia Press. Retrieved September 28, 2011. * ^ "IDEALS @ Illinois: Governmentality: the new urbanism and the creative class within Atlanta, Georgia". Hdl.handle.net. May 22, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2013. * ^ Pooley, Karen Beck (April 15, 2015). "Segregation\'s New Geography: The Atlanta
Atlanta
Metro Region, Race, and the Declining Prospects for Upward Mobility". _Southern Spaces_. Retrieved May 26, 2015. * ^ "Northwest Georgia\'s Native American History". Chieftains Trail. Retrieved June 27, 2011. * ^ "Fort Peachtree". _www.Buckhead_. Retrieved February 19, 2017. * ^ "Land Cessions of American Indians in Georgia". Ngeorgia.com. June 5, 2007. Retrieved June 27, 2011. * ^ "New Georgia Encyclopedia, "Fulton County"". Georgiaencyclopedia.org. Retrieved June 27, 2011. * ^ "New Georgia Encyclopedia, "DeKalb County"". Georgiaencyclopedia.org. June 19, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2011. * ^ "Creation of the Western and Atlantic Railroad". _About North Georgia_. Golden Ink. Retrieved November 12, 2007. * ^ "Thrasherville". _Georgia Info_. Retrieved February 6, 2017. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Ambrose, Andy. "Atlanta". _New Georgia Encyclopedia_. Georgia Humanities Council. Retrieved February 6, 2017.

* ^ "Georgia History Timeline Chronology for December 29". Our Georgia History. Retrieved August 30, 2007. * ^ Storey, Steve. " Atlanta
Atlanta
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FURTHER READING

* Atlanta
Atlanta
and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events: Years of Change and Challenge, 1940–1976 by Franklin M. Garrett, Harold H. Martin * _Atlanta, Then and Now_. Part of the Then and Now book series. * Craig, Robert (1995). _ Atlanta
Atlanta
Architecture: Art Deco to Modern Classic, 1929–1959_. Gretna, LA: Pelican. ISBN 0-88289-961-9 . * Darlene R. Roth and Andy Ambrose. _Metropolitan Frontiers: A Short History of Atlanta_. Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1996. An overview of the city's history with an emphasis on its growth. * Sjoquist, Dave (ed.) _The Atlanta
Atlanta
Paradox_. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 2000. * Stone, Clarence. _Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta, 1946–1988_. University Press of Kansas. 1989. * Elise Reid Boylston. _Atlanta: Its Lore, Legends and Laughter_. Doraville: privately printed, 1968. Lots of neat anecdotes about the history of the city. * Frederick Allen. _ Atlanta
Atlanta
Rising_. Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1996. A detailed history of Atlanta
Atlanta
from 1946 to 1996, with much about City
City
Councilman, later Mayor, William B. Hartsfield's work in making Atlanta
Atlanta
a major air transport hub, and about the Civil Rights Movement as it affected (and was affected by) Atlanta.

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