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Articles by Na'Taki Osborne

Na'Taki Osborne is the manager for Community and Leadership Development Programs with the National Wildlife Federation in Atlanta, Ga., a member of the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, and a senior fellow and trustee of the Enviornmental Leadership Program. She is currently working on an oral history project to document Atlanta's African-American environmental legacy.

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Atlanta, Ga.: the famous “Hot-lanta” of Southern heat and hospitality, home of “down-home” fried chicken and a growing black middle class, cradle of the largest historically black college community in the world, hotbed of the civil-rights movement, and … the sprawl capital of the South.

As Atlanta gets greener, who will benefit?

Photo: iStockphoto.

As a resident of Atlanta for the past 15 years, I have witnessed one bad urban-planning decision after another. I have watched the fare for public transportation go up to pay for its expansion into the suburbs, while services in the inner city got cut — a double whammy for the poor and transit-dependent who make up the system’s core ridership. I have seen public housing for poor, black, and elderly residents be converted into upscale condos and townhouses. I have seen a boom in McMansions in historic inner-city neighborhoods, raising property values, contributing to global warming, and making it almost impossible for longtime residents to remain.

Now, I see a proposal that seems, at first glance, like it should be welcome. T... Read more