The explosive growth that Atlanta has experienced in the past few decades can be credited almost wholly to its establishment as a transportation hub. Our transportation network attracted corporations who, in turn, created thousands of job opportunities. Now is the time to expand transportation options, with more transit and even high-speed rail. This will relieve traffic and air pollution problems that could slow the growth of the metro area and provide a sustainable foundation for future generations. As a life-long resident of the suburbs of Atlanta, I wish that these changes had been considered much earlier. By making these changes now, metro Atlanta can teach future generations, as well as other urban centers, how to live and grow more sustainably.
Lauren, a 2011 graduate of Wheeler High School in Cobb County, served as chair of the Transportation and Air Quality Committee of the Model Atlanta Regional Commission youth leadership program. She and her committee developed a resolution to involve metro Atlanta’s corporate leadership in an initiative to advocate for high-speed rail, connecting metro Atlanta to other cities along the East Coast. She currently studies urban planning at Cornell University.