King Williams is a writer, the director of the documentary film, The Atlanta Way, which is slated to be released in early 2020, and cohost of The Neighborhood Watch podcast. In today’s episode of our podcast, Strong Towns founder and president Chuck Marohn talks with Williams about how Atlanta’s gentrification is both similar to and different than what’s happening in other American cities. Williams describes what people mean when they say “The Atlanta Way” — it’s a particular way of making and presenting decisions that can be traced back more than a century— and why the middle-class in Atlanta are now facing gentrification themselves.
1:45 – How gentrification gets confused with positive redevelopment and community reinvestment
11:30 – Why gentrification is almost always avoidable
22:00 – The “Olympification of Atlanta” and what Atlanta did and didn’t learn about redevelopment ahead of Super Bowl LIII
29:00 – The tragic paradox of gentrification: people advocating for the kind of changes to the neighborhood that will ultimately undermine their own ability to live there
34:00 – The role of housing assistance and public housing in addressing gentrification
37:30 – Who will finally put the “opportunity” in opportunity zones
Williams ends by offering advice to the “gentry:” If you don’t curb gentrification, you yourself will be gentrified.
This important and fascinating discussion is a must-listen for professionals and practitioners everywhere who care not just about growing but about growing well.
For more about King Williams, watch his TEDx talk on “The Atlanta Way,” and make sure to follow him online: