Atlanta ( /ætˈlæntə/ ) is the capital of, and the most populous city in, the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is also the 39th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.
Atlanta was founded as a transportation hub at the intersection of two railroad lines in 1837.
Atlanta is rated as a "beta(+)" world city that exerts a moderate impact on global commerce, finance, research, technology, education, media, art, and entertainment. It ranks in the top twenty among world cities and 10th in the nation with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $385 billion. Atlanta's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors that include transportation, logistics, professional and business services, media operations, medical services, and information technology. Atlanta has topographic features that include rolling hills and dense tree coverage, earning it the nickname of "the city in a forest." Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Summer Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics, and culture.
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 were forced to leave the area in 1821, and white settlers arrived the following year.
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 on December 29, 1847.
By 1860, Atlanta's population had grown to 9,554.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, Atlanta was gradually rebuilt.
During the first decades of the 20th century, Atlanta experienced a period of unprecedented growth.
On December 15, 1939, 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 actress, was barred from the event due to racial segregation laws and policies.
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.
During the 1960s, 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 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 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.
In 1960, whites comprised 61.7% of the city's population.
Atlanta was selected as the site for the 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 bombing, the spectacle was a watershed event in Atlanta's history that initiated a fundamental transformation of the city in the decade that followed.
During the 2000s, 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 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 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 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 doubled in size; the Alliance Theatre won a Tony Award; and art galleries were established on the once-industrial Westside.
Atlanta encompasses 134.0 square miles (347.1 km 2 ), of which 133.2 square miles (344.9 km 2 ) is land and 0.85 square miles (2.2 km 2 ) is water.
Most of Atlanta was burned during the Civil War, depleting the city of a large stock of its historic architecture.
During the Cold War era, Atlanta embraced global modernist trends, especially regarding commercial and institutional architecture.
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. Surrounding these high-density districts are leafy, low-density neighborhoods, most of which are dominated by single-family homes.
Downtown Atlanta contains the most office space in the metro area, much of it occupied by government entities.
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 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.
Atlanta has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) according to the Köppen classification, with the seasons more or less defined, although the winter has a shorter duration, with hot and humid summers and mild winters (in some cases the outbreaks are cold), but susceptible to snowstorms even if in small quantities on several occasions unlike the rest of the southeastern United States. 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 can bring spring-like highs while strong Arctic air masses can push lows into the teens °F (−7 to -12 °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.
Typical of the southeastern U.S., Atlanta receives abundant rainfall that is evenly distributed throughout the year, though spring and early fall are markedly drier.
The 2010 United States Census reported that 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 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 has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, ranking third among major American cities, behind San Francisco and slightly behind 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).
In the 2010 Census, Atlanta was recorded as the nation's fourth-largest majority-black city.
At the same time, the white population of Atlanta has increased.
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.
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 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.
With a GDP of $385 billion, the Atlanta metropolitan area's economy is the tenth-largest in the country and among the top 20-largest in the world. Corporate operations play a major role in Atlanta's economy, as the city claims the nation's third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. It also hosts the global headquarters of corporations like The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, Chick-fil-A, and UPS. Over 75% of Fortune 1000 companies conduct business operations in the city's metro area, and the region hosts offices of over 1,250 multinational corporations. Many corporations are drawn to the city by its educated workforce; as of 2014, 45% of adults aged 25 or older residing in the city have at least 4-year college degrees, compared to the national average of 28%.
Atlanta started as a railroad town, and logistics has been a major component of the city's economy to this day. Atlanta serves as 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 the city'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 it has helped make it the world's busiest airport, in terms of both passenger traffic and aircraft operations. Partly due to the airport, Atlanta has been also a hub for diplomatic missions; as of 2017, the city contains 26 consulates general, the seventh-highest concentration of diplomatic missions in the US.
Media is also an important aspect of Atlanta's economy.
Information technology—a business sector that includes publishing, software development, entertainment and data processing—has garnered a larger percentage of Atlanta's economic output.
Recently, Atlanta has been a center for film and television production, largely because of 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 based in 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 $9.5 billion into Georgia's economy in 2017, with Atlanta garnering most of the projects. As a result, by the following year, Atlanta emerged as one of the all time most popular destinations for film production globally.
Compared to other American cities, Atlanta's economy in the past had been disproportionately affected by the 2008 financial crisis and the 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 saw a 0.9% contraction in employment and plateauing income growth at 0.4%. Although unemployment had decreased to 7% by late 2014, this was still higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.8% Atlanta's housing market has also struggled, with home prices dropping by 2.1% in January 2012, reaching levels not seen since 1996. Compared with a year earlier, the average home price in Atlanta plummeted to 17.3% in February 2012, thus becoming the largest annual drop in the history of the index for any American or global city. The decline in home prices prompted some economists to deem Atlanta the worst housing market in the nation at the height of the depression. Nevertheless, the city's real estate market has resurged since 2012, so much that median home value and rent growth significantly outpaced the national average by 2018, thanks to a rapidly-growing regional economy.
Atlanta has a dynamic, distinctly Southern, culture. 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 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.
Atlanta is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, and 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 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, which is home to the 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 is home to significant art museums and institutions.
Atlanta has become one of the USA's best cities for street art in recent years. It is home to Living Walls, an annual street art conference and the, an annual event series that merges public art, live music, design, action sports, and culture. Examples of street art in Atlanta can be found on the.
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.
As a national center for cinema and television production, Atlanta plays a significant role in the entertainment industry.
Main festivals in Atlanta include Shaky Knees Music Festival, Dragon Con, the Peachtree Road Race, Music Midtown, the Atlanta Film Festival, National Black Arts Festival, Festival Peachtree Latino, Atlanta Pride, the neighborhood festivals in Inman Park and Virginia-Highland (Summerfest), and the Little Five Points Halloween festival.
As of 2010, Atlanta is the seventh-most visited city in the United States, with over 35 million visitors per year.
Atlanta contains several outdoor attractions.
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.
Atlanta is home to professional franchises for four major team sports: the Atlanta Braves of 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. The Braves, who moved to Atlanta in 1966, were established as the Boston Red Stockings in 1871 and are the oldest continually operating professional sports franchise in the United States. The Braves won the World Series in 1995, and had an unprecedented run of 14 straight divisional championships from 1991 to 2005. The Braves have a new home as of 2017, having moved from Turner Field to Suntrust Park, which is located in the Atlanta Metropolitan area 10 miles (16 km) northwest of downtown Atlanta in Cumberland/Galleria, Georgia.
The Atlanta Falcons have played in 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 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 in 1968, and they currently play their games in Philips Arena. The Atlanta Dream is the city's Women's National Basketball Association franchise.
Professional soccer has been played in some form in Atlanta since 1967.
Atlanta has had its own professional ice hockey franchises, both of which relocated after playing in Atlanta less than 15 years. The National Hockey League (NHL) has had two Atlanta franchises: the Atlanta Flames began play in 1972 before moving to Calgary in 1980, while the Atlanta Thrashers began play in 1999 before moving to Winnipeg in 2011. Atlanta also has an Alliance of American Football team, the Atlanta Legends, which will play in 2019. On August 2, 2018, it was announced that Atlanta would have its own Overwatch League team, Atlanta Reign.
Atlanta has been the host city for various international, professional and collegiate sporting events, most famously the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics. Atlanta hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. It will host again in 2019. 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 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 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 hosts the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the SEC Championship Game, and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
Running is a popular local sport, and the city declares itself to be "Running City USA". The city hosts the Peachtree Road Race, the world's largest 10 km race, annually on Independence Day. Atlanta also hosts the nation's largest Thanksgiving day half marathon, which starts and ends at Georgia State Stadium. The Atlanta Marathon, which starts and ends at Centennial Olympic Park, routes through many of the city's historic landmarks, and its 2020 running will coincide with the U.S. Olympic marathon trials for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Parks and recreation
Atlanta's 343 parks, nature preserves, and gardens cover 3,622 acres (14.66 km 2 ), which amounts to only 5.6% of the city's total acreage, compared to the national average of just over 10%.
Atlanta offers resources and opportunities for amateur and participatory sports and recreation.
Government and politics
Atlanta is governed by a mayor and the Atlanta 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 is Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat elected on a nonpartisan ballot whose first term in office began on January 2, 2018. Every mayor elected since 1973 has been black. In 2001, Shirley Franklin became the first woman to be elected Mayor of Atlanta, and the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a major southern city. 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 is the site of most of Georgia's state government. The 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 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 also plays an important role in federal judiciary system, containing the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Historically, 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 is split between two congressional districts. Most of the northern portion 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. A sliver in the north is in the 11th district, represented by Republican Barry Loudermilk.
The city is served by the 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 ranked Atlanta as the sixth most dangerous city in the United States in 2012.
The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department provides fire protection and first responder emergency medical services to the city from its 35 fire stations. In 2017, AFRD responded to over 100,000 calls for service over a coverage area of 135.7 square miles (351.5 square kilometres). The department also protects Hartsfield–Jackson with 5 fire stations located on the property; serving over 1 million passengers from over 100 different countries. The department protects over 3000 highrise buildings, 23 miles (37 kilometres) of the rapid rail system, and 60 miles (97 kilometres) of interstate highway.
Due to the more than 30 colleges and universities located in the city, Atlanta is considered an important hub for higher education.
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 is served by many private schools, including Roman Catholic parochial schools operated by the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
The primary network-affiliated television stations in Atlanta are WXIA-TV 11 (NBC), WGCL-TV 46 (CBS), WSB-TV 2 (ABC), and WAGA-TV 5 (Fox). Other major commercial stations include WPCH-TV 17 (Ind.), WUPA 69 (CW), and WATL 36 (MyNetworkTV). WAGA-TV and WUPA are network O&O's. The Atlanta metropolitan area is served by two public television stations (both PBS member stations), and one public radio station. WGTV 8 is the flagship station of the statewide Georgia Public Television network, while WPBA is owned by Atlanta Public Schools. Georgia Public Radio is listener-funded and comprises one NPR member station, WABE, a classical music station operated by Atlanta Public Schools.
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 Journal and The 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'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 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 has a network of freeways that radiate out from the city, and automobiles are the dominant means of transportation in the region.
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 and Cumberland, remain unserved. As a result, a 2011 Brookings Institution study placed Atlanta 91st of 100 metro areas for transit accessibility. Emory University operates its Cliff shuttle buses with 200,000 boardings per month, while private minibuses supply Buford Highway. Amtrak, the national rail passenger system, provides service to Atlanta via the Crescent train (New York–New Orleans), which stops at Peachtree Station. In 2014, the Atlanta Streetcar opened to the public. The streetcar's line, which is also known as the Downtown Loop, runs 2.7 miles (4.3 kilometres) around the downtown tourist areas of Peachtree Center, Centennial Olympic Park, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, and Sweet Auburn. The Atlanta 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 (80 kilometres) 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 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 received a bike sharing program, known as Relay Bike Share, with 100 bikes in Downtown and Midtown, which expanded to 500 bikes at 65 stations as of April 2017.
According to the 2016 American Community Survey (five-year average), 68.6% of working city of Atlanta residents commuted by driving alone, 7% carpooled, 10% used public transportation, and 4.6% walked. About 2.1% used all other forms of transportation, including taxi, bicycle, and motorcycle. About 7.6% worked at home.
— National Geographic magazine, in naming Atlanta a "Place of a Lifetime"
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 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.
Atlanta has 17 sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):
- Montego Bay, Jamaica (1972)
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1972)
- Lagos, Nigeria (1974)
- Taipei, Taiwan (1974)
- Toulouse, France (1974)
- Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom (1977)
- Daegu, South Korea (1981)
- Brussels, Belgium (1983)
- Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (1987)
- Tbilisi, Georgia (1988)
- Bucharest, Romania (1994)
- Cotonou, Benin (1995)
- Olympia, Greece (1995)
- Salcedo, Dominican Republic (1996)
- Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Bavaria, Germany (1998)
- Ra'anana, Israel (2000)
- Fukuoka, Japan (2005)
- Chengdu, Sichuan, People's Republic of China (6 September 2007)