Profile: Atlanta, Georgia

Get a feel for ATL with this quick profile.

Population: 490,000

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Major Airport: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Companies With a Major Presence Here: The Coca-Cola Company, CNN, Delta Air Lines, Home Depot, InterContinental Hotels Group, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, AT&T, UPS, Turner Broadcasting, Cox Communications, Equifax, The Weather Channel, Arby's, Beazer Homes USA

Metropolitan Atlanta has long had the reputation for gridlocked traffic and endless suburban sprawl. But while Atlantans may be known for preferring the subdivisions of the suburbs, nearly as many live inside the city among its collection of self-contained and eclectic neighborhoods.

The suburban expansion actually is beginning to reverse, as homeowners in such areas as Lawrenceville, Lithonia, Jonesboro and Douglasville are relocating “inside the Perimeter,” or ITP (the city core and inner suburbs encircled by Interstate 285), to shorten their daily commutes and enjoy more of the cultural attractions of the “in-town” communities. City officials and business leaders are trying to capitalize on the trend by developing the Beltline Project, a planned 22-mile loop of green space, trails, public transit and mixed development that will cut through city neighborhoods.

Whether you live ITP or OTP (outside the Perimeter), Atlanta is unique because it can support a wide range of incomes, interests and homeowner needs, limiting the frequency of residents relocating to other regions. Downtown condos and industrial lofts are within walking distance of hip restaurants. Planned communities surround top public schools. Gated communities are a few minutes from big-box retailers. McMansions are sprouting in older urban neighborhoods. From one corner of the region to the other, you can find what you’re looking for in the “ATL.”

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