My research on the Midtown neighborhood in Atlanta argues that when planning and urban development efforts fail to recognize the fragility of queer spaces, there can be serious consequences for the viability of LGBTQ spaces. In Atlanta plans for high-end redevelopment along the Peachtree corridor took precedence over longstanding LGBTQ bars on the street and explicitly excluded the adjacent Midtown gayborhood from influencing the redevelopment process. As interest in redevelopment in the Midtown area heated up, Midtown lost many gay and other queer residents who moved south and east in search of more affordable spaces further away from the Midtown “sun.”
There are many lessons derived from this body of work, a few of which I’ve shared here. However, there is much more to be learned from research on large scale, long term, collaborative efforts. In a time when uncertainties are growing, divisiveness is the order of the day, and climate change is impacting ecological integrity throughout the world, the need for adaptive visions for resilience, collectively determined trajectories, and effective ways of working together over the long term could not be more important. Through the study of these long term landscape scale collaborative groups participating in CFLRP, we offer applicable lessons that can help shape a future in collaborative environmental management that is based on adaptive management, resilience, ecological integrity, learning, and collective action.
Disciplines in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy promote critical thinking, analytical methods, and empirical skills as the path to understanding the key political, social, and economic issues that dominate our public discussions.