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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Majors_Forum
Atlanta, a city with developed public transport
     2012-November-6  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Sun Jin, Han Ximin

xmhan@126.com

“WHEN Atlanta talks, the world listens.”

Atlanta, Georgia, has a history of nearly 180 years and became known to the world through the international popularity of the classic romance novel “Gone With the Wind,” written by Margaret Mitchell and first published in 1936.

Atlanta established “friend-city” exchanges with Shenzhen during Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s visit to Shenzhen in March.

In the eyes of Reed, the two cities share many similarities. Innovation and vitality have made both cities important business centers in their respective countries.

“Before my trip to Shenzhen in March, I did a lot of homework about the fast-growing city full of vitality,” Reed said in a recent interview.

He also drew comparisons between the two cities’ experiences in hosting international athletic events.

Shenzhen successfully hosted the 26th Summer Universiade in 2011, 15 years after Atlanta hosted the 26th Olympic Games in 1996. The Olympics brought a new look to Atlanta and attracted visitors from around the world for sightseeing and holidays.

“I think Shenzhen is experiencing the impacts and changes brought by an international event,” Reed said. “I think residents can feel the convenience brought by the infrastructure and transportation projects.”

Both cities also deal with growth.

“Shenzhen has attained a high level (of growth) through 30 years of fast development. Yet Atlanta’s development is gradual,” Reed said. “But there is one similarity. I think everyone who visits the cities can feel the changes, the vitality and the pioneering spirits.”

Atlanta’s economy has maintained double-digit growth over the past decade, ranking it second among U.S. cities, following Denver, Colorado. Atlanta’s unemployment rate in the past decade was lower than the national average.

To further stimulate employment and economic development, the city has increased its investments in public projects. Atlanta opened new international flight terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in May. At the same time, the government is investing a huge amount in infrastructure for Atlanta’s Clean Water Plan and in a youth plan, which teaches high school graduates job skills and competitiveness through field training in communities and factories.

Traffic jams are a headache for cities across the world, but a strong public transportation network has somewhat relieved the problem in Atlanta.

“Thanks to decision-makers in the past decades, their forward-looking vision, dating back to the 1950s, foresaw the great demand and importance of public transport,” Reed said. “In the 1960s, Atlanta started a rapid-transit system by constructing the subway and bus systems.”

Those systems were vital to putting Atlanta on the world’s biggest stage.

“Without advanced public transport systems, we couldn’t win the hosting right for the 1996 Olympic Games,” Reed said. “Without the Olympic Games, the world wouldn’t have learned so much about Atlanta.”

Railway funds mainly come from a consumption tax on residents. In 1965, the city imposed an 8-percent consumption tax, with 12.5 percent of the tax’s revenue designated for public transport projects. The fund is directly appropriated to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).

MARTA started operation in 1972. It is the principal rapid-transit system in the Atlanta metropolitan area and the ninth-largest in the United States.

Atlanta is home to the largest concentration of colleges and universities in the southern United States. The Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University are top universities in the United States.

The Georgia Institute of Technology — also known as Georgia Tech — is well recognized for its degree programs in engineering, computing, management, the sciences, architecture and liberal arts. Georgia Tech is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 public universities in the nation and is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities.

“One distinguishing feature of local universities is their strong and close connection and partnership with enterprises,” Reed said. “They attach importance to innovation by students and provide everything possible for their inventions and teach them skills to transfer inventions into products.”

 “Shenzhen should continue its opening and reform. That is what I deeply felt in my last visit to the city,” Reed said. “I think Shenzhen should invite more foreigners and organizations, both at governmental and nongovernmental levels, for exchanges in various fields. At the same time, Shenzhen should promote itself internationally.”

 

Mayor of Atlanta 

Kasim Reed

KASIM REED, born in 1969, is the 59th mayor of Atlanta and took office Jan. 4, 2010. He soon initiated a package of plans to improve public recreation facilities and worked to improve the city’s fire alarm service and health conditions. Mayor Reed is a Democrat and was once a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, an international law firm with offices in Atlanta.

He is a board member for the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, transportation committee chairman for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and transportation commission chairman for the city of Atlanta, among other positions. Reed was selected as one of Georgia Trend magazine’s “40 under 40 Rising Stars” in 2001, and has been named one of “10 Outstanding Atlantans.”

 

City of Atlanta

ATLANTA is the capital and most populous city of the southern U.S. state of Georgia. Atlanta was established in 1847 at the intersection of two railroad lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the Civil War to become a national center of commerce. After World War II, Atlanta became an emerging business center and modern city with the rise of the American economy in the South. Atlanta is a primary transportation hub for the southeastern United States via highway, railroad and air. Multinational enterprises including Coca-Cola, UPS, Holiday Inn and Bell have set up headquarters in the city.

The 1996 Summer Games were staged in Atlanta, which became the fifth American city to host the Olympic Games.

 

Atlanta’s TOD model

ATLANTA is the smallest city in North America with a Metro system, and the earliest city to implement Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).

A TOD community is pedestrian-friendly and mixed-use, providing relief from auto-dependent lifestyles by increasing access to transit for residents and workers, enabling them to drive their cars less and ride transit more.

“TODs provide people with options so they can choose where to live, work, play and mingle. TOD provides important mobility options for young people, the elderly, people who prefer not to drive, and those who don’t own cars,” Reed said. “It can increase transit use near stations by 20 to 40 percent and reduce rates of vehicle miles traveled. If the Atlanta region is going to grow by 3 million new people by 2040, it will need to accommodate and move those residents in different ways than in the past.”

(Han Ximin)

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