“Atlanta was officially incorporated as a city in 1847, when a circle with a one-mile radius was drawn from the Zero Mile Post to define its boundaries.”

With beginnings as a “makeshift railroad junction” named Marthasville, America’s biggest southeastern city has come a long way. In his new volume, Colchester-based author — and Atlanta native — Mark Pendergrast argues that the city has reached a key historical moment. At the center of Pendergrast’s analysis is the BeltLine, a grassroots revitalization effort to create an interconnected 22-mile loop of streetcars, trails and parks encircling downtown. Offering both an account of Atlanta’s tumultuous history and an anatomical breakdown of the BeltLine project so far, Pendergrast situates City on the Verge within the larger context of urban America’s future. A must-read for urban-planning junkies, it should also appeal to those interested in community building and the oft-charged politics of the built environment. –Seven Days

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