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tv   City on the Verge  CSPAN  July 1, 2017 9:15am-10:16am EDT

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his employer decided to give the paper to henry, so henry became the owner of the oregonian newspaper entered it into a success and invested in real estate as the town grew and was able to build a house as grand as this one. >> watch c-span city tour of portland, oregon today at noon eastern on book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span three working with our cable affiliate and visiting cities across the country. now on book tv, we talk about the city of atlanta and urban renewal. this program contains language that some may find offensive. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> folks, i guess we are going to start here. so, thank you so much for coming and i hope you are comfortable because i'm going to talk for a bit here. my name is mark pendergrass as a about a third of the people in the audience do because that is their name, also. they are related to me. this is the bookstore i love to come to all independent bookstore with great hearts and is also close to where the pendergrass enclave has lived for many many years. i grew up he or in atlanta. i live in vermont, now. i come back here frequently to see my mother who is right here in my father who was very much involved in my research for this book. read most of the manuscripts and
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who died last year at the age of 99 and a half and i just want to dedicate this whole talk to him. he was a wonderful, wonderful, kind, generous man and i dedicate the book to him into my mother into my made, my african-american maid whose name was willie mae and whom i call me and i will be talking about her-- maybe i should talk about her now. i don't really have this planned in particular as to what i will say in what order, but i promise you it will be interesting. when i decided i would write a book about atlanta, which i haven't lived in for decades, i thought that number one it took a lot of that's to decide it was going to do this, but no one has written a book about atlanta towards the general public encumbrance away since the olympics held here in 1996.
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two really good books were published then, where peach street meets sweet auburn by gary pomerantz and atlanta rising by frederick allen, but it's a huge amount that has happened in a time and when i named it "city on the verge" it's because your city is on the verge of tremendous change, in the middle of tremendous change and it's urgent that you figure out what you will do in the next 20 or 30-- well, one year because-- let me tell you to give you an overview of what's about to happen here, for years the population was moving out and the last you years it's been moving back to some degree. well, it will move back according to the experts are
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lots in the next 30 years the population within the city limits of atlanta is probably going to triple. right now it's about 455,000 people. it will probably be one and a half million people and how you handle that in terms of transportation, in terms of equity and affordability, in terms of livability and walk ability and biking and getting out of your cars is absolutely crucial. so, when i decided to write this book i thought, how am i going to focus this, what's a narrative? whenever you write a book you wanted to read well and people to actually be drawn in a narrative arc through the book and i decided that the best way to do that was to write about that atlanta beltline. everyone calls it a transformative project. it is a transformative project,
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so let me describe that briefly to you and why i chose to write about it. in 1999 a young master's degree student at georgia tech named ryan burrs decided to write his master's thesis: for something called the beltline. he was not the first person to come up with this idea that way, but he's the first person to really nail it and to eloquently explain why it was a good idea and so his idea was to have a 22-mile loop around the city of atlanta, mostly two or 3 miles from the center of town and his idea was to put streetcars on it and it would connect neighborhoods that were quite wealthy with neighborhoods that were quite poor and he was hoping it would cause development and people to move back in and more density in the city and better transit.
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he wrote it and called it the beltline. the reason he called it that is because it was already called the light in the late 1800s by railroads. so, let's me just back up and explain a little bit about atlanta in terms of transportation. chapter two in this book is a history of atlanta viewed through the lens of transportation. the city as many of you i'm sure no began in 1837 and was called terminus, a wonderful poetic name for a city. [laughter] >> very appealing. it was called that because it's where the railroad would end it. they taste bought arbitrarily where the railroad would end and it did and a bunch of other railroads crossed and by the late 1800s, well, by the civil war atlanta was a very important
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nexus of the railroads, which is why sherman burned it to the ground in 1864. atlanta came back with a vengeance colonist self the phoenix city. atlanta has always had this sort of can-do attitude and we are going to go forward and do what we need to do it is also always been completely full of itself and full of a lot of hot air. in the late 1800s someone in savanna joked that if atlanta could suck as hard as it blew like being a blowhard it would be eight sink award like savanna so,-- but, it's kind of lovable and that way. atlanta has never been like the rest of the south. it's always kind of been a little bit looking up north, a little envious of up north. they are always talking about how they will be the next great
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international city, part of that same blowhard in this, which hopefully someday will be true, but a lamb is really still in its adolescence right now and it's on the verge of growing up and that's an advantage. you don't have a lot of density. you have some really interesting places here that you could preserve a. let me go off on another grant. as you all know, atlanta is famous for destroying its historic structures without any regard to what they might mean. i have a picture in the book of the terminal station, beautiful structure, which i don't remember because they destroyed it in 1972. i never paid much attention to us. gorgeous, a railroad station built in 1905 and so this is part of the history i started to tell you before i went off on my
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tangent. atlanta started as a transportation hub for railroads. it got really crowded in the middle. by the late 1880s, they began to build beltline railroads to go outside of that center and there were four different ones, so ryan's idea to connect them was unusual because they never were connected. they were owned by four different railroads and there was under street build up around them. people began to live around them and then not streetcars came in the late 1800s and there was this magnificent network of streetcars in atlanta. in their incident with them one year after i was born in 1948, they destroyed all of the streetcars in atlanta. why? because they were old-fashioned. why? because starting around 1915,
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atlanta really began to switch to automobiles and trucks. there's a picture in the book of downtown atlanta in 1914 and it had a few streetcars, a lot of pedestrians walking across the street in five points of atlanta and there was some horses and buggies and there were a couple cars and then there's a picture on the next page from 1924, 10 years later. it was all cars with some streetcars packed in, so people began to complain that the streetcars were in the way of the cars and there was traffic jams so they ended up building the streets over the middle of town. that's how downtown-- how underground american to be. in the process of cars and trucks taking over, these beltline railroads died.
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the industries moved to further out because it was cheaper land and they could be serviced by trucks, so by the 1990s when ryan was writing this master's thesis, it was mostly-- i have a picture of the book covered with vines and weeds and there were homeless encampment along it's, so ryan wrote this thing and said people are beginning to come back into town. we should turn this into this vital network, take advantage of the infrastructure that we already have instead of trying to make up some brand-new thing, which atlanta tends to do and he sought as something that could really change the city. it was very well written and it's actually online. you can find his thesis and let me just say ryan wrote a book himself called "where we want to live" and came out last year.
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are books of kind of complementary because his is a big picture book about what we should do with cities and etc. mine is a very nitty-gritty book and down on the streets and meeting the people there and a different approach and mine is much more about atlanta, specifically. so, he wrote this brilliant thesis and put it on the shelf and thought nothing would ever come of it, like most master's theses. so, he went to work for an architectural firm and one day a few years later at lunch he and his colleagues were just talking about what they had written their master's thesis on and he explained his and they said, wow , that's fantastic. bring that in and let us look at it they read it and said you've got to do something with it and is so together they wrote a letter and they sent to to georgia politician and a planner
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and environmental people and they all wrote back and said, that's a terrific idea. good luck with that. [laughter] clec except one person who was the willard who was actually running for mayor right now on with eight other people in the city of atlanta and kathy championed this idea and so did ryan in a sort of build a grassroots organization for a few years. in 2004, mayor shirley franklin to dawn and it developed into a barack percy come on which we have now. she found great weeks, it businessman who had sort of semiretired and had enough money to donate his time, which he did for four years to this project and i have gotten to know all of these people. i've interviewed like 400 people for this book in the last six years, so i began to work on it in 2011. they tried to figure out how
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could they find it oh, in the process ryan's original idea of running streetcars around morphed quickly. his friends and said why don't we put a trail by it where people can ride their bikes on it and why do we have people be able to walk along it and then a guy named jim langford who was at the time in charge of the trust for public land, someone approached him and said they wanted help turning the sort of derelict land south of this big old derelict sears building into a park and they said you can make this into a park and alleviate all the flooding by building a retention pond there. he thought that was a great idea the beltline was in the news at that point, the idea of it. he said, you know and looked at the map it goes right up to
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piedmont park, goes through piedmont park. if we build this part down here and oh, look there's this other little part down here in this neighborhood and he realized it connected a bunch of parks. why not make it a green way. why to make a linear park that connected parks so he hired alexander garvin who is a world-famous city planner who i also got to know through this to come down here and to try to figure out what kind of a parks you could have and atlanta is severely under parked. we have a lot of trees in this city, beautiful trees, but most of them aren't people's backyards, not in public places. in metro atlanta, which is this huge sprawling mess up 6 million people or so now, they are losing land at an alarming rate, losing trees at an alarming rates.
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so, where was i? [laughter] >> let me mention while i'm thinking about it, my mother here is the author of a book called "neighborhood naturalist" and she hopes to start trees atlanta with a woman named marsha began fully, which has turned into a huge organization which is building on arboretum on the beltline. oh, i know i was talking about alexander gardner, so they came down and got in a helicopter to look around this whole area and see what they might see and suddenly he said, what is that. there was a huge hole in the ground, a quarry in westside elana. it was owned by vulcan and he thought it's within like a mile up where the beltline is supposed to go. wouldn't it be fantastic if we could get this and fill it full of water of people could sail on
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it and we could do all this wonderful stuff in this body of water. it was in a very poor section-- is in a very poor section of down, so there's a lot of empty space. you could make bicycle paths and help sporting fields and do all kinds of things with. so, he took a picture from the helicopter and put it on the back of this thing, which he called the emeralds necklace. he called his idea that beltline that emerald necklace, but there was a lease on it until the year 2034, so it was kind of-- he felt a little strange putting it there, but the people who own vulcan sought on the back of this thing and called him and said we are ready to sell and they did, so the end city of atlanta now close this and they are currently filling it up with water from the chattahoochee river and it will serve as emergency water supply for the city of atlanta, which given
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climate change and arguments with florida and alabama as to who owns the water is a good idea, but i will say-- let me say also when i write books, i generally don't like to preach at people. i don't like to tell them what they should think. i lay it out. i try to make it engaging and try to make it narrative nonfiction that read like fiction and-- because i think nonfiction is a lot stranger than fiction. no one could ever make up all of the challenges of this beltline ended up having to overcome and i could talk about some of them may be during question and answer. i don't think i will take up your time with those, but-- i can't remember what i was going to say again now.
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oh, the quarry. i was going to complain about the quarry. in 1990-- this is another segue, in 1996 the olympics tried it-- decided terrorist might come in plutarch water supply because they were paranoid and they put up fences around the waterworks, which is where when i was in high school the cross-country team would practice and run around. beautiful place. in fact, they built a building there for community. you could have cooked out there and picnics. it was a nice place, so that-- since then it's been walled off in the beltline will go right by the waterworks, so i looked it up to find out about terrorism and water supplies and i found several articles saying you cannot poison them if you wanted to even if you drove up a semi
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tractor full of poison you would have a hard time poisoning the water. there is just too much water. i'm talking about untreated water. i think once it's treated, which is underground over there, then you don't want anyone near that, but-- there is a group it turns out a facebook group called waterworks park or friends of waterworks park. i have a picture from their website in the book showing what they think it should be like. i agree with them. even more, when they build-- when they fill up the quarry it's going to be a 300-foot deep relatively small lake right near the city of atlanta, right in the beltline. garvin envisioned-- he was going to fund this by selling the rights to coca-cola to name a
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damn he wanted them to build through it to create a waterfall called dasani water falls, which i thought was amusing, but he was envisioning a lot of recreational activity on this lake. it's very clear from my interviews with the previous commissioner of the department of watershed management and from the current one who i think is a lot more open that they have no intention whatsoever of letting any human being near this body of water for the same old reasons. terrorists might pollute. this is the stupidest idea of ever heard because this is not even water they are using for the city. it's an emergency water supply, a reservoir. there's no reason to keep people out of it for that reason. the argument is that it's so deep that people could drown. people can drown in a bathtub, so have a lifeguard or several. have a little area where it's
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not so deep, which i'm sure you could figure out. lets people swim in it. let people fish in it. let people sail on it. also the problem is there's a big high cliff took its scenic and beautiful. either been there. they are worried about people falling off or jumping off, i guess. so, prevents their. not a horrible thing, but something to prevent children from wandering over it. anyway, i don't say that until the end-- very into the book. i say a lot of things i think in the last chapter of the book. so, anyway i decided i would focus on the beltline. i decided i would, you know, trace the history of it and i did, so you will see the prologue is me walking around the beltline with ryan and actually with two of my brothers
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i left them out of the story, pretty much. in late 2011 and early 2012 and i think it's compelling. first chapter talks about how ryan got the idea for the beltline and previous ideas for it and then every other chapter is about how the beltline developed and all the challenges it faced, which were numerous, so that's one, three, five, seven and nine. by the time i got 29, i brought the story up to pretty much the present, really to the end of 2015 and in the final chapter i brought it right up to date. in between those, i put two historical chapters, chapter two , a history of atlanta look through from the lens of transportation, which i mentioned which includes the development of marta, which has been incredibly troubled rapid
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transit system. then, the fourth chapter after a skip is the history of atlanta viewed through the lens of race called the two atlantis because really there were two separate atlantis and let me just mention here one of the reasons i wrote this book was to get to know my own city that i grew up in for the first time. i knew this side of town where we are now because i used to visit all my cousins and my grandparents right out here and i knew the area over on the northwest side of town of buckhead, but i didn't know any of the poorer areas of town in the south and particularly the west. well, my made, willie may who began to work for our family in 1950 when i was one and a half years old, she lived on this-- simpson street it turns out.
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i never went to her house. i knew nothing about her life and this person who is someone who is so important to me who is my second mother who made all the food that my family ate for dinner before she went home and tonight, who loved me more than you can imagine and, you know, she died when i was up in vermont. i had already moved there and i had two little kids and i was poor and when she had a stroke my mother told me and i did not come home because i was busy and had a job and had little kids and then she had another stroke and she died and i did not come home for the funeral. i felt horrible about this ever since, so one of the reasons i wanted to write the book was to search for knee atlanta.
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i called her knee because i cannot pronounce her name correctly, so i did. very personal book in many ways, so you will see that the epilogue of the book is about knee and so it was interesting. i decided i would spend the night in different areas around the beltline, which is connecting these areas for the first time, really. and it was a fascinating and wonderful experience i made many new friends, many of whom have come to my book signings in the last week here in atlanta and it's been very wonderful to reconnect with them. one of the people-- i didn't stay with her, but i interviewed mary porter and i would like to read to you from that section at the beginning-- oh, still telling you about the book, selected those nine chapters there's a chapter on public health issues, a chapter on
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homelessness, amazing experiences that i had meeting and talking to homeless people in different areas in atlanta. then, when tended a two were of neighborhoods around the beltline, so i started with east event, went south. so, i went to clockwise south to neighborhoods such as south atlanta and peoples town and pittsburgh, none of which i had ever heard of growing up your didn't know anything about. event, which the west side two places like places like west in and washington park and grove park and english avenue and then i went to bury troubled neighborhoods. that i went north to places i knew better, but still learned a lot. call your hills, and we park and piedmont heights and places like that and i stayed with people
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all over, so i wanted to redo the beginning of the south beltline chapter, chapter 11, a slow dance to better communities mary porter morning 9047, grew up in the south atlanta neighborhood. there really is a neighborhood called south atlanta. i had no idea. it's where mcdonough and jonesboro road split. you may have been there, i don't know. i interviewed her-- i think it says in here. i won't tell you. in the south atlanta neighborhood originally known as brownsville founded by freed slaves after the civil war. there, black residents turned back white police and vigilantes during the atlanta rate-- race right of 1906. i interviewed porter in the heart of that community wears jonesboro road ports off from
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mcdonough boulevard. without a block away from the future beltline in community grounds, a coffeehouse that serves as a meeting place and refuge from the abandoned buildings and impounded car lots hereby. as i spoke to porter, who had recently moved to a nearby retirement complex i felt a curious affinity. we were almost mirror images of one another. she's only a year older than i. we both grew up in atlanta, albeit on opposite sides of the city. her parents had eight children. i was one of seven. i had known a few black people other than yard men or maids. she had known hardly any white people other than a few local store owners. so, i urge you to buy the book and read the rest of this. [laughter] >> because it was quite an experience talking to her.
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i would say one story she told me. basically, she told me she had a great upbringing. it wasn't full of prejudice and hatred took it was solid wonderful community to grow up and where if you did something wrong your parents would know about it by the time you got home, so you better watch out. everyone was very friendly and it was safe. there was one street you want to go down, but you knew that and she a one point did play with some white kids, which was unusual. they came over a field from liquid, which was a white neighborhood and they got along fine until one of the white kids brought his cousin over and the cousin said you are playing with [bleep] and they never came again and she went home and she said to her mother, what's a [bleep] and her mother said it's a bad word, don't use it and
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that was the first time she knew anything about that, so it was amazing. there were many many stories like that that i heard. i heard stories about people who had snuck a drink at a white water fountain to see whether it tasted any different and then run like hell. i heard the story of a woman named jerry mcwilliams who works at the wrens nest in weston, which is where joel harris lived to roach rabbit stories. who by the way was not a racist. he wrote in dialect, but read the part about him. it's interesting. but, jerry is an african-american and i was interviewing her and she was telling me all about this stuff and took me 482 or an acid which you grow up and she said i grew
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up right here. i said i thought it was mostly a white neighborhood of until the 60s and 70s and she said there was a small black area here. i used to walk by here all the time on the way to sears and we didn't know what it was, this building and there were all these little creatures, rabbit and fox in the front yard, so my girlfriend and i when we were about 14 decided we would knock on the door and ask them what is going on here, so they did, they knocked on the door into little old ladies, to little old white ladies open the door and said we don't let [bleep] in here and closed the door and she told me this like it was matter of fact and then she ends up working there. it was secretary-- segregated until 1988, unbelievable. , so everything in the city of atlanta, every issue has an
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underlayment, under-- unspoken underlayment sometimes a brace, everything if you look at it closely, so it's a something that you can't and should not ignore. the good news is atlanta has always been much more progressive. it didn't riot and burn when other cities were doing so. we weren't little rock. we weren't birmingham during the civil rights era, but there was plenty of prejudice. let me tell you one other thing-- oh, oh, cm telling about the book. when i finished all the neighborhood site did something called outside the perimeter, outside 285 interstate. that could be an encyclopedia. that's were like 90% of the people in the metro atlanta live , so how would i concentrate on the? so, i decided to look at gwinnett county to the north
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because when i grew up it was the quintessential white county and the grew with no planning pretty much and explosively. i think it was the fastest growing area in the us during the 80s and 90s. now, it is a majority minority. there are fewer than half of the people who live there are white. a lot of different kinds of people. there's very wealthy korean communities, a lot of latinos, many of whom are undocumented, in danger of being exported by mr. trump. and a lot of vietnamese. they got a wonderful school system. and they have really been able to handle all of these languages and all of these cultures in a
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remarkable way. i was impressed and in a lot of ways with gwinnett. i read about that and then to the east i wrote about stone mountain and clarkston. clarkston is where many refugees have settled and again, there are stories are amazing and could take up a whole book itself. then, stone mountain is a bit further to the east from clarkston and i found a woman named shannon byrne who lives in stone mountain. i think she grew up there and she is a smart and funny and so she is fascinated by all the different people who walk up stone mountain. many of them are tourists from around the world, but many lived there. is become a very diverse neighborhood, so she has a website called: ima you should go look at that website. it's fascinating, so i walked up
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stone mountain with her and interviewed people while i was there and what's ironic about this is that stone mountain is where the ku klux klan had its rebirth in 1915 following the lynching of leo frank and not that long after the atlanta race riots and it has these confederates sat-- statutes of generals on the side of it and there are confederal flags all over it and white ring races like to go and gather their and have rallies, but it's not that way anymore, so i was just fascinated by that position that is so much that is still here in atlanta i was here when i grew up poor i went to westview cemetery where my grandfather, my mother's father is interred in a magnificent mausoleum there
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and there's also, it turns out, a little here-- hill for confederate veterans and there's statutes of the unknown confederates and up on top of this and there's a picture of this in my book is a tattered confederate flag. well, this whole neighborhood is completely blacked out around it or almost and i just couldn't believe they would allow this flag to be flying there, but there was. it may still be there. it was a couple of years ago, so let me say one other thing and i will be quiet. there are a lot of issues, and a lot of issues that i dealt with in this book. certainly, urban planning, transportation, development and business, as i mentioned, homelessness, affordability issues.
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huge problem with that. people are recognizing it and it's in the newspapers all the time. unless they are able to cope with it-- let me-- education, unless you have decent schools you are in trouble wherever you live, so i'm hopeful about atlanta, i really am, but i said in the book that it's on the verge of tremendous growth and rebirth or declining in mediocrity and good luck in any quality and we have the worst and in and letting of the worst inequality between the very wealthy and the very poor of any major city in the country and so there is intergenerational poverty that's almost impossible to get out of in these almost
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third world conditions that people live in and then i saw and that i took part in for a wild. so, one of the things i said at the end of this is that there is no magic bullet. you need lots of different programs, but whatever you do make it include everyone. it annoys me when they talk about affordable housing and they say that means anyone who makes 60% or more of the area median income. well, the area median income is like $67000 in atlanta, so 67% of that is about $40000. none of the people who live in the neighborhood of pittsburgh or english avenue or grove park make that much money or very few. they are not going to get help at all if that's what you call affordable housing, so there is
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something called zoning ordinances and most of those are limited to 60 or 80% of the ami. you should pass it so has a sliding scale so no one pays more than 30% of their income. that's what everyone says you should spend on your income. i don't think it's rocket science. more people want to move into atlanta, are moving into atlanta it's driving the prices and rents up. you need some kind of rent control. many places have it. atlanta does not. you need some kind of mechanism to protect property taxes from going through the roof etc., etc., etc. it could be done because people want to move here let's say they don't do it in gwinnett county or surrounding areas and so maybe their luxury apartments would be cheaper than your
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luxury apartments in atlanta. i don't think that matters. i think the developers can handle this. they are going to make money or they won't build, so that means they will just have to charge more for the top and to pay for what you are forcing them to provide on the lower end and you can't have smaller places, tiny house movement, all kinds of things, but i just really think this is an important thing and you are having a mayoral race right now in the city of atlanta and i'm so grateful that michael allocate who is the head of park pride tries to promote better parks in atlanta. he loved my book and he wrote a very nice a blurb for it, which i'm very grateful for. what i'm really grateful for is that he contacted me and said can you get me nine copies, can you get basic books to send nine copies of the book to me because i'm personally going to hand
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them to every mayoral candidate because they need to reach a book. he has done that for seven of them. he has not tracked down two of them yet, but i would like to think that the conversation that starts from people reading this, i would like to see a small group discussion all over atlanta. i really hope this book has an impact. i'm proud of having written it. i'm very grateful you are here to talk about it and i will be quiet now and entertain questions. thank you. [applause]. >> yes, sir? >> one of the first things you said was that there was a figure 1.5 million people possibly that might live within the current feel a bit limits of atlanta by 2030? >> in about 30 years. >> where to that figure come from and can you expand on that
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and was a part of a study because the first thing that came to mind was, what kind of residential areas and types of housing will these people be living in. >> that's a good question. to answer your question where did i get it from, tim mccain is the new plan commissioner for the city of atlanta and he's a very smart guy, i think. he has hired ryan gravelle to be in charge of what he's calling the atlanta city design product and they are trying to figure out the answer to the question that you just asked. i'm not a city planner by training. you are actually, i know and there's other people in the audience who are, so i might throw that back to you except i don't think we have time for that right now, but maybe after we talk. he told me he thought there would be about one and a half million people in atlanta within 30 years and i think that he
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probably knows what he's talking about. i have seen figures that say it's just going to double, but no one can really predict the future. where will they put them? they will have to have more dense housing. people will have to move up. hopefully, they will do it intelligently. you just passed a tax to help-- you past two kinds of transportation taxes, one of which last for 41 years and should generate about $3 billion. that's a lot of money. the other is time-limited, but equally important, so you are building more bike trails, the past foundation is doing an agreeable job of doing that of connecting a bunch of bike trails within the city of atlanta and then it's going to go to alabama, to stone mountain , all over the place. they are thinking they are going to rebuild the streetcar system,
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which i think is a mistake. i think that it's a good idea to put streetcar at least on the east side trail because if you don't all it's doing, you know, i didn't talk about this in my talk, but most of you know the east side trail has been incredibly successful. it's a packed with bikers and of strollers and dog walkers especially on the weekends, but the rents have gone through the roof and there are more cars there. ..
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this is not rocket science. give the road dais a northside drive or the places you can do this to and make it dedicated only to buses and people will ride it. i take a bus sometimes to get to my mom's place and i'm the only white person on it invariably. that is going to change, if you have a bus system where people can visit a lot faster than being in a car they will get out of their car. that is going to happen and what has to happen. we have to build mixed income, mixed-use communities and in an intelligent way, you already know all of this.
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other questions? this is dennis creech who happens to be related to me who also happens to have started self based, wonderful, sustainable building, lobbying organization. >> and recommended highly. many things innovative about the beltline, perhaps financing tops the list. did you address that. is this likely, on the east side. >> it remains to be seen. it is the allocation district.
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and we have a really poor area where we once re-development to occur, you freeze the property taxes and school taxes at a given level. as you develop and as people want to move out to this poor area, property taxes will go up. you have it for a specific time and in the case of the beltline it is 25 years. for 25 years everything over the level they froze it at, in 2006, goes back into developing the project. becomes a snowball effect, the more money we get. it is a great idea but the economy collapsed in 2008, have not -- they are devoted to
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affordable housing. it hasn't been enough to do for it. it has not worked and it won't be sufficient to build the beltline. it has required the philanthropies like the cox foundation, basically all the money and cox enterprises home depot, ups, did i mention coca-cola, other organizations, kaiser permanente, major public health, gave a lot of money to develop the trail. the federal government has given a lot of money. under obama you had tiger grants. trump has talked a big story about trying to do
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infrastructure development but it remains to be seen what will happen and at the same time cutting funding with housing. i don't know the answer to that question. the westside trail is going to be completed this late summer. and what impact, whether it will replicate the huge development on the east side, won't do it as quickly. eastside is beginning to come back. the westside is a disaster in so many ways. if it does create development, it is wonderful, what it is supposed to do and everybody says that is gentrification. i don't like the word gentrification. i wish it would be abolished. it is always pejorative. what gentrification means is you are safe walking your streets.
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it is pretty out, you have greenery. it is referring to a way of life that pretty much everybody would want to live in. the question is what is bad about gentrification is it drives out people who can't afford it. what you want is to improve the quality of life for everyone and have the people who live there be able to stay. they would love to see development, whether it will happen or not remains to be seen. i think it will eventually especially if i am right about the number of people coming into the city. all of these places nobody wants to live in, like the pittsburgh neighborhood, everybody wants to live in. it could happen on a dime, it is urgent urgent urgent that the affordable housing issue, all kinds of little programs which is great but they are all
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piecemeal. they have got to actually address it. atlanta have a history of doing things in a piecemeal way. we got to do that or that. i hope they realize they have a real opportunity now to get it right. >> figures for growth. what words of wisdom do you offer and what do you see happening there. southwest in particular, developed areas. would you hope to see happen in decades to come. >> there are things happening outside the perimeter.
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the initiative the regional commission has helped responsible, and town centers, suburbs are building their own green lines, belt lines and many other places, suwanee built its own town center. and clayton county, i didn't finish what i did on the outside, and new urbanism in the country and southeastern. to answer your question, everybody recognizes the cul-de-sac suburbs didn't work. don't think they are going to do that many more of them.
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to imitate the cities, and make livable, walkable communities where they are. we will see how that works but a lot has to do with transportation issues, antoinette todd never joined marta because of racial issues, they didn't whatever and americans coming to their lily white suburbs. they are regretting that now and in the next we 10 years it is likely they will vote -- want to pay their 1% tax and i think marta will expand but we are behind the eight ball that way. marta turned around under keith parker in the last few years and done an incredible job and now they are doing transit oriented
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-- instead of all the parking lots that surrounded them. >> let me mention one other thing while i am thinking about it. this is a marketing plea for outside atlanta. the subtitle of the book, city on the verge, atlanta and the fight for america's urban future. it is not just atlanta that is dealing with these issues. every major city in the country is dealing with similar issues in one way or another. i think atlanta has something to teach other cities. atlanta -- it is still developing, it has done a terrible job in many ways, the poster child for sprawl, if atlanta can pull off this big
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transformation, anybody can. i compared it to that song in new york, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. if atlanta can do this it will really show the country and the beltline really is an extraordinary project. the high line in new york city which is often compared to is not very long and doesn't run through neighborhoods. it has lots of development around it but the beltline goes right through those neighborhoods and connects them in a way that very few cities are doing. i am getting the high sign from the tv people that i should wrap this up. thank you very much. [applause] >> thanks a lot.
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>> every summer, booktv visits capitol hill to make members of congress, what are you reading. here's a look at some other answers. >> reading a book called massacre of mountain meadows i can't remember the names of the co-authors. a historical account of an event called the mountain meadows massacre that took place september 11, 1857, in southern utah. it is a tragic event, but one that affected significantly into the history of the state of utah where i come from. >> i'm reading a book by president jimmy carter, his autobiography, call a full life. i had the privilege to attend
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his sunday school where he taught sunday school. i was in the congregation in his sunday school class. it was amazing. after that i went to the school he attended and it has been turned into a wonderful museum. >> thomas mayer, about the relationships between the kennedy family and the kershaws before churchill became prime minister and of course joseph kennedy was ambassador to the uk at the outbreak of world war 2 roback and was widely criticized, very sympathetic to the germans, not that he wanted the germans to win but didn't think we could win and wanted to keep america out of it. well researched book about relationships up to the time churchill was still alive and kennedy was assassinated so it attracts that whole period from joseph kennedy to jack kennedy.
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>> we want to hear from you. send your summer reading list via text, post it to our facebook page, on twitter@booktv or email us at >> here's a look at some of the books being published this week. former breitbart news arthur believes -- releases his self published book dangerous. sarah offers her thoughts on how art can temper war and lead to a more peaceful world and draw your weapons.
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>> look for these titles in bookstores this coming weekend watch for many of the authors in the future on booktv on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] >> all right, folks, let's get going this morning. remember to put your phones on do not ring so that we are not interrupted during speaker presentations. my name is reina pennington and i teach military history here and i'm happy to introduce a couple friends of mine. first up is jennifer


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