The Impact of Sports in Atlanta

Atlanta has been deemed one of the most fun cities in America. It is a hub for entertainment that attracts people of all interests. One of the major influences of the entertainment culture in the city is sports. The city has been the host site of some of the largest sports events in the world including the Superbowl, the 1996 Olympic Games, and many more. It also harbors all of the major pro sports in the country with premiere venues to watch them in. It also houses many colleges with sports teams rich with tradition that also are embodying the modern culture of the city.  No matter what team allegiance fans may have, there is a very high chance that they have watched a major sporting event played in Atlanta. I believe that sports in Atlanta have impacted the colleges, social appeal, and economy of the city. 

The many sporting events that have been hosted in Atlanta have shaped it’s social appeal. The 1996 Summer Olympic Games changed the popularity of the city and effectively displayed the culture of the city. The games brought Atlanta to the world stage and shaped the infrastructure around the city to increase the social appeal. While the games may be remembered most for the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, the event was still incredibly popular due to the huge commercialism effort. Over two million tourists came to the city to watch the games, while another 3.5 billion people watched at least some part of the games around the world. It set records for the most countries represented at 197, as well as the most participants with more than 10000 athletes. Many different attractions were made to increase entertainment while at the games. Concert venues, amusement park rides created a “country fair” setting for everyone to enjoy.

The city also invested heavily in allowing artists to display their work across the city, as well as many performing arts centers to host cultural events. Despite all the costs that it took to run the games, it actually turned a 19 million dollar profit and was deemed by many as one of the only financially viable olympics. But one of the biggest impacts of the games was the infrastructure that was left after the games were over. The city was able to take the venues and reuse them for their sports teams and colleges. The Olympic Stadium was reconfigured into Turner field, which was the home of the Atlanta Braves and now belongs to Georgia State. The pool was given to Georgia Tech and is used not only by the college team, but is also used to host many swim events and swim lessons for the residents in the city.

McAuley Aquatic Center at Georgia Tech (2019)

 All these things transformed the social appeal of the city. The games forced the city to make dramatic infrastructure improvements that are still around today. The restaurants  It helped rapidly modernize the city and further progress the ideal of Atlanta being an international hub for not only work but entertainment as well. It was able to show the world how Atlanta was quickly becoming one of the more modern cities in the United States.

What has defined the economy of Atlanta is primarily the businesses that reside in the city. However another major factor of the economy in the city also comes from the professional sports teams and events that have happened. One of the biggest financial impacts on the city was the hosting of Super Bowls 28, 34, and 53. All three gave the city a chance to host an event almost as big as the Olympic Games. Similarly to the Olympics, all three Super Bowls caused the city to invest millions of dollars into its entertainment infrastructure. The most recent Super Bowl (53) was the most expensive one of the three. Around 46 million dollars was spent on hosting the event and building the infrastructure.  Even with all the spending, the city made an estimated 400 million dollars from the game and game related events. The Super Bowl is the largest sporting event in the U.S, and for it to be hosted in Atlanta has had a huge boost economically that has affected the modernism and growth of the city. This also has been true with other major sporting events. The NBA All-Star game, PGA Championships, WreslteMania, The World Cup, and many more have both been hosted in Atlanta. Both have also brought in revenue and brought sports fans from around the country to the city. For the local population, Atlanta houses all major sports teams. No matter what sport is your passion, there is a team with a beautiful venue that can be enjoyed by all. Each of these teams have a major economic impact on the city. From providing jobs to work in the venues, to the ticket sales from fans, the professional sports in Atlanta have brought huge amounts of revenue to the city.  When determining when to host a large event such as the Super Bowl, it must be asked if a city has the infrastructure to host the event, and if it is worth the investment. Atlanta was willing to invest in building the infrastructure with hopes that it would have a positive impact on the city. This is part of the reason city officials invested in having the Mercedes-Benz Superdome constructed. This massive stadium has become the premiere location to host major events such as the Super-Bowl. Also with the entertainment culture within the downtown of the city, Atlanta has been deemed a perfect location to hold the largest sporting events in the U.S. The events have been worth the investment, as the city has made billions of dollars from the sporting events that it has hosted. Atlanta will always have the infrastructure to host such large events, and will be the host site of many more large sporting events that will continue to bring a major economic impact to the city. Sports has given the city the revenue to constantly improve and modernize providing a better life for its residents.

It also houses the College Football Hall of Fame. The city  is home to thousands of players who spend their lives trying to make it big in the NFL. This drive has shaped the youth culture of the city into a very competitive football climate. It is the dream of these players to someday play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the college Football National Championships and the Super Bowl. This culture while cutthroat, has actually been credited as a very positive influence for the youth in the city. Football for Atlanta’s youth can be an opportunity to break through barriers that may be holding them back from success. It can pull them from poverty to college which can provide a better life for themselves and their families. It is an escape from the issues they may have in their home life and can boost them into success. The college that embodies this the most is  the Georgia Tech football team. Tech’s football program is rich with tradition and history, and is one of the iconic college football teams. It is home to Bobby Dodd Stadium, which is the oldest on-campus football site in the FBS. Constructed in 1913 by Tech students and formerly known as Grant field, Bobby Dodd stadium has been added onto from the original version for over a century.

Bobby Dodd Stadium Today (2021)

Pair that with the legacy of John Hiesman and other greats and you are left with a very rich tradition that has been established by Georgia Tech. But as the city has modernized, so has the football program. Tech’s football team is adapting to the sports culture of Atlanta, a modern environment that’s motto is “competition is king,” and “404 the culture.”

Bobby Dodd has also undergone many changes to become one of the more modern college football stadiums in the country. All these changes to the program have revolved around the sports culture in Atlanta. The competition is king motto idealizes not only what Georgia Tech wants in their program, it also idealizes what it means to live in Atlanta. Whether in sports or in business, I have learned the people of Atlanta work hard and compete for success which is on display in their sports culture. 

A lot of people think that Atlanta is defined by its working environment and large business field. But I think a lot of Atlanta’s culture has been defined through its sports. I believe that sports have had a major impact on the city in many different ways. As a sports fan I, as well as many other people, have witnessed a sporting event that was hosted in Atlanta. As a student at Tech I marvel at the rich history of sports in the city, and I think that many people fail to recognize the major impact sports have had on the city. I believe that this city is one of the greatest hubs for sports, and the impact of them has had a very positive impact that will continue in the future. 


New York City’s Influence on Modernism and Overconsumption

If there is one place that truly captures the success, power, and culture of the United States, it is New York City. Conceived as New Amsterdam in the 1600s, the economic and social powerhouse has grown into arguably the most important city in the world. This realization of this capacity came into eyes in the 1920s, during the peak of the modernist movement and the end of World War I. The birth of mass culture, the Harlem Renaissance, and Consumerism all grew exponentially as interconnectivity and new means of communication all culminated together into what is now referred to as The Roaring Twenties, with massive amounts of wealth pumped into the United States and New York ( Editors). All of this success, however, came with a price. Under the mask of prosperity, crime grew, droughts built up, and racism increased, all contributing to the greatest underlying issue of overconsumption in New York. The wealth of certainly generated one of the greatest decades in the city’s history, and the modernist images of this time period reflect this concern that is still a looming issue in The Big Apple today in 2021. 

A self acrylic painting of ice skaters in a wintry scene in Central Park. Surrealism was a sub-art movement derived from modernism. Notice how the trees slowly fade into the skyscrapers as if they were one, a demonstration of how aspects of life can blend into the same if one is not careful to take a step back and observe their livelihoods. Max McMurry, 2021

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby came into circulation in 1925 and has now sold over 25 million copies. The work captures the riches of old and new money in New York City through the eyes of a young man named Nick. Arriving from the Midwest, Nick takes in the wealth and love story of Jay Gatsby. Fitzgerald does an excellent job fabricating and constructing the life of the upper class. Ornate diction and descriptions give the reader one of the best images of what life was like back then. Flashing lights and parties are attended by people arriving in vibrant Rolls-Royce’s and extravagant boas where not one outfit is worn twice, and butlers cater to anyone’s will. Perhaps the strongest suit of Fitzgerald’s work is his ability to create this image through the lens of a character who also has never seen this lifestyle before.

“Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white hears and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money” (Fitzgerald 53). 

Nick’s identity as a new person in a new world allows for Fitzgerald to create a source of relatability to the reader, whom the vast majority of are not a fraction as wealthy as the characters, making this book a great look into what life would be like in the modernist era as if one were looking at it for the first time. As the book progresses, however, we begin to see the darker side to an affluent lifestyle. Jay Gatsby is later realized that he made his riches through criminal activity and shady business practices, and he lives mainly alone and without friends. He uses his money to conceal his past self yet is unable to reach the level of happiness he had years ago, as he now resides in a world where few among the rich accept him. A persisting symbol of empty satisfaction is the billboard of T.J. Eckleburg, whose eyes stand “one yard high,” yet have washed out over years of neglect and faded into gray (Fitzgerald 20). The size of the billboard represents copious amounts of wealth, but at the price of insufficient care or respect for other people, as the eyes slowly blend into the accompanying piles of ash. On the same level, Gatsby’s wealth fails to fix his happiness, as his romantic life crumbles apart, and later Gatsby’s funeral is attended by no more than two people, a signature blow to the rich man’s acceptance and popularity. The degradation and shallowness of Gatsby’s life symbolizes the issue of consumerism in today’s society, as many people (especially those in New York City), often buy things to cover up the emptiness inside. Ironically, the quick demise of Gatsby’s life greatly resembles the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which occurred 4 years after the novel was published, and how the rate at which stocks and standard of living inflated to amounts far higher than the actual success of companies and the masses.

Poetry in Modernism

One of New York City’s greatest contributions to modernism was the growing influence of women in art and movements in the time period. The passing of the 19th Amendment in the beginning of the decade paved a way for women to contribute to politics and create an identity for themselves. One of the more well-known female figures that capitalized on this rise in women’s recognition was Dorothy Parker, a New York native poet. Parker grew up in the city’s Upper West Side and grew in popularity with her poems that appeared in magazines like Vanity Fair and Vogue (Encyclopedia Britannica). She became infamous for writing in a witty way that challenged female values and politically correct statements. None of her contributions during The Roaring Twenties reflected the modernist movement in New York as her poem “Observation,” published in 1925, and later in her best-selling collection in 1926.

If I don’t drive around the park, 

I’m pretty sure to make my mark. 

If I’m in bed each night by ten, 

I may get back my looks again, 

If I abstain from fun and such, 

I’ll probably amount to much, 

But I shall stay the way I am, 

Because I do not give a damn.

(Dorothy Parker, 1925)

 Each of the first six lines began with the letter “I,” demonstrating a reluctance to listen to anyone as Parker mocks those who choose to take a step back and relax in the chaos of New York. The poem reads loudly, without care for the minds or ideas of those around whom may try to conform her to society. The simple AABBCCDD rhyme scheme creates an acceleration that patterns the roaring cars and angered voices of the city. She refuses to “abstain from fun and such,” rather preferring a week without breaks (Parker 5). The voice of Parker can compare to the overconsumption and avoidance of real issues. She admits she loses her looks and sleep by living this way, but this observation goes uncared for as she continues this unrealistic lifestyle that will have to eventually collapse. Dorothy Parker’s words still resonate almost a century later, as Wall Street bankers and Fifth Avenue fashion designers work for days without sleep to cater to an unrelenting demand for success. The constant speed at which people work resulted in many clear warning signs missed during The Roaring Twenties that eventually led up to The Great Depression. Similar today, mental health is often thrown out the window in favor of short-term achievements, disproportionally affecting those in urban areas like New York, and this eventually will come back to haunt those who cannot find a balance in life.

Another poem written in 1920s New York City, Langston Hughes’ “Weary Blues.” Similar to Dorothy Parker’s poem, “Weary Blues” talks about Black culture during The Roaring Twenties, another group of people that saw slow progression in social acceptance. The avoidance of emotions in favor of making money slowly catch up to the piano man, as he falls into a slow dreadful pattern of performance until his death.

Florine Stettheimer’s The Cathedrals of Broadway

Continuing with the presence of women in the modernist movement, another artifact of the period that resembles life right after the in The Roaring Twenties was Florine Stettheimer’s Cathedrals of Broadway, an oil on canvas print published in 1929. Fountains of lights and glowing neon dominate the painting, and winds whisp up towering American flags and bright banners, signifying a never-ending motion to New York’s fast-paced life. 

The Cathedrals of Broadway, oil on canvas (1929)

In the center of Stettheimer’s work, the only gray in a sea of color, is the city’s mayor Jimmy Walker throwing out the first pitch of the 1929 baseball season, one that would begin in joy, but crash in depression. Stettheimer even draws herself in the bottom left corner in a pink dress, buying tickets as she enters into the city’s night life district, possibly using the last of her pennies to pay for a final show at one of the Broadway theaters whose signs glow in the yellow background. Unlike in The Great Gatsby, Stettheimer’s work was painted as a result of the Stock Market Crash, but it still captures the spirit and prosperity of earlier times of the decade. As the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art puts it, “many Americans turned to the world of entertainment to escape reality,” displaying a sign of hope as many try to forget the harsh times that are approaching, but also exemplifies the issue of consumerism as a means of distraction (The Met Fifth Avenue). The idea of New Yorkers forgetting the current conditions of life in favor of reminiscing on the past certainly has its positive traits yet disregarding current issues and instead purchasing movie tickets or going to a fair embodies the problem of overconsumption that we still witness in the city today. Though turning to better things helps in the short run, overlooking a problem through impulse buying has hurt the city of New York as witnessed through the COVID pandemic. Thousands of restaurants in the area continued to empty savings accounts during an economic boom between 2015-2019, but this quickly backfired as an emergency hit, and now 90 per cent of all restaurants in the city cannot afford rent (Zaveri, et al.).

Multiple artifacts from this time give us a great picture at what life was like back then and how it affected those of that period. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby takes a look inside the richest people of that period with lavish parties and backdoor business. The Cathedrals of Broadway shines a bright image of the never-ending consumption madness of insomnia of New York with vibrant colors and flashing lights. Finally, Dorothy Parker’s “Observation” shows what it was like for a woman to finally gain freedom yet still struggle in the greatest city on Earth. Exploring modernist images that came from New York City shows us how easy it is for history to repeat itself as overconsumption glosses over the fact that some things need to be changed in our lives to avoid the same mistakes.


Anonymous Contributor. “Observation Analysis.” Observation Analysis Dorothy Parker : Summary Explanation Meaning Overview Essay Writing Critique Peer Review Literary Criticism Synopsis Online Education, 2008,

The Editors of Encyclopedia, Britannica. “Https://” Dorothy Parker, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020, 

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New Directions, 2021. Editors. “The Roaring Twenties History.” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, 2010, 

Metropolitan Museum of Art Editors. “The Cathedrals of Broadway .”, 2000, 

Stecyk, Griff. “The Cathedrals of Broadway [Florine Stettheimer].” Sartle, 27 Sept. 2020,

Stettheimer, Florine. The Cathedrals of Broadway. The Met Collection API, New York City, 1929, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gallery 902.  

Zaveri, Mihir, and Daniel E. Slotnik. “9 Of Every 10 Restaurants and Bars in N.Y.C. Can’t Pay Full Rent.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 Sept. 2020, 

Everyone Appreciates Music

Anthony Cochran, 11am Class Period

The Modernism movement was largely driven by groups from different backgrounds being brought together by the close quarters of cities developing at the time. The rise of industry during the beginning of the 20th was the largest factor in driving people into different cities around the world. The blending of culture that would then take place in these densely populated areas drove major social change and several unique cultural movements. Most distinctly, these changes were focused on a divergence from the established norms of the previous century. These changes can be observed in nearly any form of art as individuals sought to express themselves more deeply and capture the turbulent time they were living through. While these changes were diverse, music was commonly appreciated within each movement and is similarly appreciated today.

In the United States, a prominent example of the shift toward cities is the well known cultural hub, New York City. During the Modernist era, New York City experienced several demographic changes that began the process of developing into the melting pot we know today. In the year 1919, New York City experienced an influx of individuals returning from service in World War One, immigrants seeking a better life, and African American populations seeking refuge from the racist institutions of the south. This rapid influx forced people together physically and created an environment for major ideologies to merge. An example of a cultural movement arising out of this cultural amalgam was The Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance represented one of the most culturally intense and expressive times for African American populations in the United States. As housing in New York City was highly dense, individuals with similar backgrounds would live close together, creating microcosms  within the city where specific groups thrived. In the case of the Harlem Renaissance, the lack of space drove a sense of community that led to commodities that were previously withheld from African-American populations to arise. For example, performance venues, a concept that had previously been reserved for the wealthy, non-persons of color in the south, were created allowing for African-American performers to express themselves and providing non-white individuals another way to appreciate the music. This newfound freedom provided by these secluded areas of New York City drove a wave of cultural expression in many forms. 

Generally, music venues are vital to the appreciation of music as a community. The above images show examples of two venues in Atlanta  where deliberate steps have been taken to enhance a pedestrian experience through music. The leftmost image shows a band performing live to restaurant goers as a source of entertainment as they enjoy their meals. The right image depicts a rooftop patio where a group has gathered to experience the atmosphere created, in part, by live performance. In either case, the musicians are able to attain a wider audience and have a greater social impact as a result of the venue they were provided. The creation of venues through which musicians were able to grow their audience during the Harlem Renaissance allowed for major musical trends to form.

One of the most iconic trends to arise out of these circumstances was jazz music and dance. This music form incorporated traditional African musical aspects dealing with rhythm and specific percussive style. While jazz was a complete divergence from what was considered standard for music at the time, it became wildly popular and representative of the social changes taking place in and around Harlem at the time.

From Slavery To Reconstruction, 1934, Aaron Douglas

The above painting is titled From Slavery to Reconstruction by Aaron Douglass, and is well known for capturing the essence of the movement developing in Harlem during this time. At the bottom of the painting, cotton plants are depicted, a reference to the common task of those in bondage being forced to pick cotton. However, the rest of the painting depicts a larger rejection of the referenced state of subjugation. The depictions of people in this work are shown celebrating, with their arms raised and several musical instruments being played. This state of rejoice highlights the rise in African-American expression that swelled during this time. From this image we can appreciate the critical role that music played in this expression. Douglass choses to use brighter colors to highlight instruments on the right side to emphasize the change and growing role of music that came with this time period. 

Similar to the changes experienced in New York City during the time of modernism, soon to be metropoles of Europe would experience changes that shaped the cities we know today. The population shift we see in areas across Europe were largely driven by the rise of industry across. Workers were needed to run factories to keep up with the growing demand for mass produced goods. As such, droves of individuals seeking financial stability flocked to fill these roles. This shift toward urban life created an environment for deep ideological merging to take place. Similar to the movement taking place in New York City around this time, artists and musicians were inspired to break away from previous artistic norms. This led to a series of unique artistic movements such as cubism, Dadaism, Futurism, and many more that all carried with them unique style and form. Along with each of these movements came groups of artists and manifestos that outlined the purpose behind their work. Two such movements took a special appreciation for music in these communities.

Chanteurs de rue, 1950, Kees van Dongen

Above we see the painting Chanteurs de rue by Kees van Dongen, a famous Impressionist painter of this time period. The goal of Impressionist artwork was to capture the feeling of a scene rather than any particular feature or aspect of what was taking place. In the image above we see several people with instruments and several others holding pamphlets in a semi-circle. The feeling given by the painting is that of a nighttime ambiance for street performance. The title of the painting Chanteurs de rue translates roughly to “singers of the street”, allowing us to assume this work tries to capture the feeling of a group of musicians performing their works on the street at night. This scene reveals that in certain cities, music became an appreciated part of the cultural changes taking place to the point that others hoped to capture its essence in other mediums.

Similarly, the Futurists hoped to capture the emotions evoked by musical development taking place as a result of the cultural convergence we saw across Europe. The Futurists were a group largely based out of Italy fixated on capturing ideas of destruction, industry, and rapid change. This drove many Futurist works to include elements of motion and project the feeling of intensity.

A Futurist Evening in Milan, 1911, Umberto Boccioni

The above painting is titled A Futurist Evening in Milan by Umberto Boccioni, depicting the interaction between a band and its audience. This work includes the depictions of motion and disorder that are common to Futurist paintings, while also providing an interpretation of the music and performance of this time. This painting conveys the unique perspective that while the Italian Futurist movement was focused on generally extreme ideals about structure, their form was used to appreciate the vibrancy of music.

From the modernist era to now, this overwhelming appreciation for music still holds true. In the Atlanta area, there are no shortage of places to experience live music and examine how it brings individuals together in this community. In my experience of simply walking down the Beltline path, I was able to listen to and even meet with a musician who has made himself a part of the musical community in Atlanta.

Depicted above is street performer Joseph Davis playing guitar outside of Ponce City Market on the beltline trail. Despite the usual bustle of individuals passing by, a significant number of people had stopped to listen to him perform. Davis has had the opportunity to play in venues all around the country and has now been a part of the music environment of Atlanta for several years. He describes the role of music in the Atlanta community as a uniquely healing presence that works to bring people together. As I observed him continue to play, it became very clear that almost anyone passing by was willing to take a moment to appreciate his work, even if for just a moment.

In comparing the wild changes of the modernist time period to now, it is clear that the appreciation of music in a community is nearly universal. Musical performance was able to inspire Impressionist and Futurist artists to make it the focus of their work. For those experiencing the cultural liberty of the Harlem Renaissance, the growth of jazz music was nearly the foundation for other cultural changes taking place. Even today, there is no shortage of people willing to take time to appreciate the musical talents of others, whether in a particular venue or simply on the street. Music uniquely drives people together, providing an unmatched sense of appreciation in those who feel its impact. 

Works Cited

Barris, Roann. African Art in the Early Twentieth Century. 

Bérubé, Michael. “Masks, Margins, and African American Modernism: Melvin Tolson’s Harlem Gallery.” PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, vol. 105, no. 1, 1990, pp. 57–69., doi:10.2307/462343.

Conrad, Peter. “In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris, 1900-1910 Review – ‘You Might Need Sunglasses’.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 17 Aug. 2014, Editors. “Harlem Renaissance.”, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009, 

Kuiper, Kathleen. “Modernism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2009, 

Savage, P.E. Cultural evolution of music. Palgrave Commun 5, 16 (2019).

Sotheby’s. “Rhythm & Form: Cubism’s Love Affair with Music.”, Sotheby’s, 17 July 2018, 

Waterman, Richard Allen. 1967, “African Influence on the Music of the Americas” in Acculturation in the Americas: Proceedings and Selected Papers of the XXIX International Congress of Americanists, Sol Tax, ed., Cooper Square Publishers, pp 207­217.

Wolfman, Ursula Rehn. “Picasso and Music.” Interlude, 11 Nov. 2019,

Young City is Taking Action

On January 14, 2020 my brother and I were walking through a hall in my high school on the way to my car to go home. We heard a loud bang but thought nothing of it, thinking that something fell. 30 minutes later I learned that someone had been shot. In the past year, there had been at least one other death and multiple gun related issues in our district. But it seemed as though our school district and local Houston government was doing very little to try and prevent issues like this. Over the next couple months, I could see some of my friends taking charge, organizing protests and meeting with local leaders in Houston.

There has been a surge of political interest and action among the younger generation in the past couple years. From racial injustice and climate change, to gun control and LGBTQ+ rights, more people are standing up and sharing their opinion to try and enact change in the government. Both Atlanta and Houston have had more people calling for change and social justice. We could see the similarities between the two cities in the recent presidential election. Although Texas was still red in this past election, Houston was close to becoming blue. But the influence of a younger generation and minorities was depicted in the results of the Georgia presidential election, leading to a Democratic majority in Congress and a Democrat as President. Houston is an extremely diverse city, with people coming from all over the world to work, study, and live there. Because of it’s diversity there’s an immense culture and influence that is slowly changing what is stereotypically conservative southern.

Daniel Rivera, Man at the Crossroads, 1934

The immense amount of opinions and diversity in a city is depicted in Diego Rivera’s “Man at the Crossroads”. This image was highly controversial because of its depiction of communism, which was a taboo subject in the 1930s. But Rivera was conscious and aware of the necessity to depict all of the ideas that were forming at this time, no matter how controversial they were. The melting pot that forms in cities is what makes up the culture of it. In Houston, there are people of many races there, and I was able to go to one of the most diverse high schools in Texas. Being exposed to new opinions was when I began to form my own opinions.

I created this image as part of a photography project I had my senior year of High school. I decided to make it in response to the events that occurred in January 2020.

From my personal experience, I had never cared much for political issues, and would share whatever opinion my parents had expressed on the topic. It was not until I had experienced these issues on a more personal level that I began to be less apathetic and take more action. It is easy to feel apathetic towards something when you feel detached from it. The rest of Gen Z and millennials are the same way. Our political opinions are influenced by our surroundings and experiences. And our impact on the political climate is not miniscule. As I mentioned before, Texas as a state was close to turning blue, which wouldn’t have even been considered a possibility in the 2016 election. Not only did the voter turnout break records this past election, especially among young adults, but among the young adults who did vote, around 65% of them voted for Joe Biden, helping him win key swing states like Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Gun control and racial injustice are the two main political issues that I have had more of a personal connection to, all because of events that have occurred in the past 2 years. Texas is known to have lax firearm regulations, making it easy for residents to obtain and possess a gun with little law enforcement. Around 1870, there were strict gun laws, prohibiting the use of weapons in public areas, as a result of the aftermath of the deadly Civil War. Laws and fines were placed on the purchasing of weapons into the 1920s. Today, gun regulation is quite the opposite. In Houston, there were an average of 550 incidents per year since 2015. There were 10 teenagers who died this past January due to gun violence. 

Houston was also affected when the George Flloyd incident occurred because it was his hometown. Numerous people gathered for his burial, and soon after protesters filled the streets outside of City Hall, demanding change. Despite the threat of COVID-19, young people still gathered for a united cause, understanding the importance and injustice that was prevalent across the United States. Ludwig Meidner’s Apocalyptic Landscape depicts chaos and violence happening in a city. This reflects the chaos that occurred and that would lead to protests in Houston. Many young adults were angered by the fact that despite these events happening, change did not seem to be happening and laws were not passed.

Ludwig Meidner, Apocalyptic Landscape, 1912

Many student protests were organized in 2020 to bring attention to gun violence, climate control, and racial injustice in Houston. I personally knew someone who organized a March for Our Lives protest, following the shooting at my high school. News spread fast, flooding Instagram stories, Twitter feeds, and news outlets. I would see my peers sharing more and more political information on their social media. They would encourage their followers to call policial figures to demand change, going as far as to writing scripts for emails and phone calls so that the challenge of forming messages yourself would be taken away. Many people have links in their biographies on social media to send them to learn about political issues that are important.

Picasso’s Guernica was used as an anti-war protest after the bombing of Guernica, Spain. The lack of color, and use of a grayscale was chosen to create a more impactful image. Pablo Picasso used his influence in order to share his opinions on events that happened around him. For our generation, we use social media as the way to spread news and try to make an impact.

Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937

Despite being in a world where it is easy to share our opinions and spread information, protests show in a different way how important certain issues are to a group of people. Protests are much more impactful, showing unity among different races and generations. In the past year, many protests were held in Houston, and some were organized by Gen Z teenagers. Young adults’ apathy towards politics have changed, and started to become an influential generation when it comes to political change.

Works Cited

  • Hess, Abigail J. “The 2020 Election Shows Gen Z’s Voting Power for Years to Come.” CNBC, CNBC, 18 Nov. 2020, 
  • Rivas, Brennan. “Perspective | When Texas Was the National Leader in Gun Control.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 12 Sept. 2019, 
  • Chapin, Josh. “Gun Violence in America: Houston Averages 550 Incidents per Year.”, 3 June 2017, 

The homeless crisis of Atlanta


Homelessness emerged as a national issue around the 1870’s in America. It emerged in mostly urban cities like New York city.

This is a picture taken of a beggar in 1910. It was taken in New York City, a large, urban city like Atlanta. 

The issue really took off during the 1930’s during the Great Depression with a large rise in unemployment throughout the country and it has not stopped since. Since coming to Atlanta for college, I have seen the beauty of the great city. I have also experienced the culture through touring different places and listening to the music that artists from the city have produced.

This is a photo I took from West Village of some of the city of Atlanta. 

But, this wonderful city is not without flaws. It has a large homelessness problem. Coming from a small town there were never any problems with homelessness. I noticed this issue right away when I came to Atlanta. Homeless at stoplight begging for money, the tents of the homeless all around the city. It was very new to me. According to Midtown Atlanta news there are about 3,200 homeless in America bringing the percentage of the population homeless in Atlanta to .65%. This percent may not seem that high, but it is almost four times the national average of .17%, which is absurdly high. Being homeless can leave a person victim to the elements and without proper food and nutrition. They also are not able to afford health insurance, and thus cannot afford to visit the doctor for even yearly check-ups. Covid-19 has hit the homeless population especially hard. It has resulted in closed shelters and has understaffed food pantries. The closure of facilities that people rely on for food and shelter can be devastating and possibly dangerous if they are unable to find other places. There has also been an increase in the amount without housing due to Covid. The laying off of workers has caused many to struggle paying their bills. This has resulted in an increase of the homeless population over the past year.

Major groups that homeless are comprised of

The people who are homeless are usually the mentally ill, addicts, families of a mother and children, and veterans. These are people who need help the most, but instead do not receive the help they need, and are instead forced to live on the streets because they cannot afford housing. Drugs are a big problem in America especially with the homeless population.  According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, “38% of homeless are dependent on alcohol” and “26% abused other drugs”. That is astronomically higher than the national average for alcohol and drugs.

Above is a picture of an empty heroin bottle from 1910. Drugs started to become a problem in the early 1900’s and are currently a detriment to the homeless population.

 According to about “34%” of the homeless population is comprised of homeless families. These are mostly women supporting one or more children. Around 10% of homeless were at one point veterans. Men who at one point fought for our country, now cast aside to the streets. Many of these people have mental illnesses. Human rights campaign estimates “26.2%” have mental issues, and they do not get the therapy needed to help treat these mental problems.

Issues that affect the homeless

The homeless face many problems in Atlanta. Homeless are the victims of crimes, such as assault, sexual harassment, and rape. According to The Guardian “more than 1 and 3 have had some form of violence against them while being homeless”, and “around 7%” have been sexually assaulted”. Atlanta is one of the more dangerous cities in Georgia. Anyone who wants to can walk up to a homeless person and commit acts of violence against them. They have nowhere to go for safety and no way of defending themselves, especially if the attacker is armed. We need to focus on getting the homeless off the dangerous streets of Atlanta and into housing. The homeless also are unable to receive medical help. This is due to the fact that they do not have health insurance. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information homelessness is commonly associated with “parasitic infestations, dental and periodontal disease, degenerative joint diseases”. These are health problems that can be solved by a simple check up at the doctor and dentist, but homeless people are not able to afford housing so there is no way for them to afford health care. Each year thousands of homeless die because of preventable issues such as these. National Health Care for the Homeless Council found that about 6,000 homeless died during 2018. They admitted that this number is much higher as many deaths go unknown. In 2021 Atlanta we have the ability to stop these deaths. University College London found that “A third of deaths in the homeless are caused by treatable conditions”. This does not factor in the murders and deaths by environmental conditions like the cold, or natural disasters. These can be alleviated by providing housing for these groups of people to protect them from nature and others.

The need for more affordable housing

Housing in Atlanta the cost of living is increasing rapidly. According to the Atlanta newspaper housing has had an “increase of more than 45%” since 2013. As a city, one of the ways to help with this issue, is to increase government spending on affordable housing. An example of a type of this housing is subsidized housing. Subsidized housing is owned by private owners, but some of the rent is paid for by the government to help lower income people with payments. According to the US Council on Homelessness, “When housing costs are more affordable and housing opportunities are more readily available, there is a lower likelihood of households becoming homeless”. In larger cities, like Atlanta cost of living is very expensive. This is a driving factor in the large number without homes. Dropping the expense of housing would result in less people on the streets.

The need to open back up shelters 

As more people are receiving vaccinations for covid we need to start opening back shelters. Covid has forced shelters to limit the number of people they can admit. From the CDC’s chart, covid cases in Georgia have fallen from about 10,000 a day to 3,000 a day, since the new year began. This fall in cases should be responded with the opening back up of facilities that help people in need. Some people rely on these shelters in order to not have to sleep on the streets at night. Lower capacity in shelters simply means more people sleeping on the streets of Atlanta each night.

This is a picture I took of a local shelter in Atlanta. Its name is My Sister’s House and is about a mile off of campus. The shelter is meant for women and children. It provides food and shelter and also teaches job training, life skills, and counseling.

How you can help

Most of the topics I have talked about are tasks that only the government and elected officials can do, but there are many things that people who want to help out can do. When a homeless person comes up to you and asks for money you should not give it to them. Many of the homeless are addicts and instead of buying food or items they need will spend it on drugs and alcohol. What can be done instead is buying food and hygiene items and donating it to the local shelters, food banks and pantries. Clothes are also always needed especially underwear and socks. You can also give these items to them directly.


This is a picture of canned foods, one of the most commonly donated foods to shelters and food banks.

Above is a picture of people waiting in line outside of a soup kitchen. Soup kitchens like these are what food banks of today are based off of. The picture was taken somewhere around 1910-1920 a few decades after homelessness became a national issue.

Items like this may not seem very helpful to the donor, but they go a long way for people with very little money. Volunteering is always needed at shelters and food banks. They will accept anyone with open arms to do tasks like sorting donated items and handing out clothes and foods. Your time will be very beneficial and impact lives.


Ultimately, homelessness in Atlanta is a huge problem. It mostly affects those who need help from society the most, addicts, single mothers, the mentally ill, and veterans. They suffer from various issues like abuse, chronic disease, and inability to defend themselves from the environment. Due to these reasons, we need to focus more money on affordable housing and bring shelters and food banks back to full capacity as covid cases lower. Shelters can be helped by providing donations of food and clothing that will be distributed to homeless. If we as a city join together with the goal to solve this crisis, we will be successful and provide help to those who need it the most.

Works cited 

Atlanta On the Rise

Imagine you were a foreigner traveling to the United States for perhaps your first time. You do not know much about U.S except for the common misconceptions that Americans are loud, busy, and quite unhealthy. Now let me ask you, what cities or places would you want to visit the most? Most people would probably say New York, maybe Miami or Los Angeles, Washington D.C. Now what if I were to ask you this same question, except this time you are from anywhere but the Southeast? As an American, you have quite a bit more knowledge about your country. This might change your choices a bit, maybe you might say Boston or Nashville. The odd person maybe has Atlanta in their wish list of places to go, and for good reason. Atlanta is a city that is open and accommodating to everyone whether that be sports, universities, jobs, history, talent, diversity, you name it. Atlanta is a city that has always been at the forefront of change and will continue to evolve and adapt to our quickly developing world.

Aeroplane synchromy in Yellow-Orange, Macdonald-Wright 1920

During the 1950s and 60s, America was in great turmoil. The civil rights movement was in full effect, and cities all over the United States were sites of large protests, gatherings, marches, and boycotts. Of the many cities, Atlanta was at the heart of it all and was home to the great Martin Luther King Jr. While many places, especially in the South, were reluctant to change, Atlanta embraced it. In the painting Aeroplane Synchromy in Yellow-Orange, this idea of a diverse group of individuals banning together to bring about change is displayed. The wide variety of colors used in this painting shows the diversity of people that came together to support the protests and the civil rights movement as a whole in Atlanta. When looking at this painting, there is noticeably a hand protruding, and it appears that it is holding some kind of tool. This detail in the picture symbolizes the meticulous process of building Atlanta into a city where everyone has a chance at achieving their American dream. Upon closer inspection, the image seems to be an aerial view of a city with building and skyscrapers growing higher and higher. Unlike the previous more symbolic elements of the painting, these structures show a more direct representation of Atlanta and all it has to offer economically.

Pertaining to Yachts and Yachting, Charles Sheeler 1922

The above image, Pertaining to Yachts and Yachting, illustrates how Atlanta is a melting pot of culture and ideas being brought from all over. The yachts in the image represent how Atlanta is rapidly growing in population and even in land area. Atlanta is known as the “capitol of the South”, and according to recent migration trends, people are moving south at an even higher rate than in previous years. This will lead to even greater growth in the future for major cities in the Southeast, especially Atlanta. With more people passing through the area and the actual city, along comes many more ideas. Ideas can never hurt, so the more that are in and around a city, the better. Atlanta will continue to progress and grow due to the average person’s desire to move south to a warmer climate. Looking back at the image, if one were to glance at this artwork for the first time, he or she may not realize that the image is of boats. At first glance, the sails appear to be pages. These pages look like they are all being flipped. This idea of flipping a page conveys Atlanta’s evolving and ever-changing nature. There is a common saying about turning a page which symbolizes moving on or starting new. This idea is embodied by Atlanta. Atlanta is always at the forefront of change whether that be social change or scientific advancements or economic change. This city is accepting to all people, all races, and all genders. This open to all ideas mentality is a huge reason for past success and will continue to be a big part of why Atlanta will continue to rise on the list of top cities in America.

La Plena, Rafael Tufiño 1952

Rafael Tufiño captures Atlanta’s busy nature in his mural, La Plena. When looking at the image for the first time, it almost feels overwhelming. There are so many different people doing various task, there are animals and monsters, as well as bones and skeletons everywhere. The mural looks so busy with all that is going on. The busyness portrayed by the image symbolizes the daily occurrences in Atlanta. There is always a lot going on with businesses, schools, sports, and travelers. Back in 1960s, Mayor Ivan Allen coined the phrase “the City too busy to hate” when referring to Atlanta. The essence of this quote is captured in the above image. La Plena pictures each individual occupied with some sort of task. It conveys a chaotic feeling towards the audience; however, upon careful analysis, it seems as if the image is divided into 6 squares. This changes the chaotic nature of the artwork to a more organized chaos. This organized chaos is far more representative of Atlanta. While one would not necessarily describe living or being in Atlanta as chaotic, one who is not from the area might come to this “chaotic” conclusion on first glance. Although there is a lot going on all the time, the city is still perfectly able to function and run smoothly like a well-oiled machine. There are lots of moving parts, which are all integral to the success of the city, but each has a role to play.

Georgia Institute of Technology Football Field, Jake Imhulse 2020

The image above is picturing the Georgia Institute of Technology whose campus is located in the heart of Atlanta. Atlanta is home to two major universities, Georgia State and Georgia Tech and has many other universities whose campuses are within driving distance from Atlanta. This is significant because Atlanta has a large number of young individuals who are talented, smart, and driven to be the best they can be. This is very attractive to businesses that need young talent or who are looking for interns and future employees. Being home to major universities is also important for the facilitation of new ideas and culture. Of Georgia Tech’s student body, around ten percent of students are considered international students. These students come from hundreds of countries around the world and bring their knowledge, way of life, and ideas to the city of Atlanta. Having these universities in town not only attracts international students, but it also attracts students from all over the United States as well. Around thirty percent of Georgia Tech’s student body is from outside Georgia, so not only are ideas and culture from outside the country coming to Atlanta, but ideas and culture from inside the borders of the United States are coming to Atlanta.

Coca-Cola building in Atlanta, Jake Imhulse 2021

There are many companies that have headquarters in Atlanta with one of the most popular drinks in Coca-Cola being headquartered out of Atlanta. Due to Atlanta’s overall standing among cities in the United States, as well as future protections for the city, there are a vast number of businesses that are already in Atlanta or are looking at moving to Atlanta. A couple years back, Amazon was looking at a location for its second headquarters. Now we all know how big of a company Amazon is, so even though they ultimately decided against choosing Atlanta, it is still big news that Atlanta was a top contender for a potential headquarters location. As mentioned above, there is a lot of top-notch, young talent in Atlanta because of the various universities that are located in the area. Companies are always looking for people to intern or co-op, so Atlanta always catches the eyes of business executives.

Atlanta connector, Jake Imhulse 2021

The major I-75/I-85 connector is shown in the picture above. The highway symbolizes connection and how Atlanta is in a prime location in the United States. There are many major highways and roads that travel through and around the city. These highways typically get a high volume of cars and trucks that use them every day. Although no one likes traffic, people traveling through, to, and around Atlanta only benefits the area. Atlanta is also home to the busiest airport in the world. According to CNN, Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta’s airport, saw 110.5 million passengers in 2019. Having an airport with that much traffic goes to show how interconnected Atlanta is to the rest of the world.

Knowing more about Atlanta now, would you choose to visit or perhaps think about living there? Atlanta is a city that has so much to offer. Atlanta is a city that will welcome all walks of life with open arms. Atlanta is a city that you know will continue to prosper and grow. Because of its tumultuous past, Atlanta is more than open to change. It is a city that will continue to move our world forward socially and economically. Atlanta will always be evolving and changing with the times, and it will continue to lead forward into the unknown territory of change.

Works Cited

Pirani, Fiza. “How Does Atlanta Compare to America’s Other Big Cities?” Ajc, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10 Sept. 2018,

Hunter, Marnie. “The World’s Busiest Airports in 2019 Face a Steep Uphill Climb.” CNN, Cable News Network, 19 May 2020,’s%20busiest%20airport%2C%20Hartsfield,110.5%20million%20passengers%20in%202019.

“Phoenix Rising: Atlanta in 50 Objects: Exhibitions.” Atlanta History Center, 19 Nov. 2020,

Hobson, Maurice J. “The King of Atlanta: Martin Luther King Jr. and Public Memory.” AAIHS, 7 Apr. 2018,

“Collection.” La Plena | Museo De Arte De Puerto Rico,

“Aeroplane Synchromy in Yellow-Orange.” Aeroplane Synchromy in Yellow-Orange – Design Library Image Collection,

Art, Philadelphia Museum of. “Pertaining to Yachts and Yachting.” Philadelphia Museum of Art,

Atlantic City’s Gambling

Filled with gambling, drunkards, and prostitutes, Atlantic City isn’t known for its glamour in our current times. Even with attractions like the casinos, beaches, amusement parks, and the longest boardwalk in the world, the locals will know that the reputation of the city is not something to brag about compared to its surrounding towns and the other cities of New Jersey. Being born and raised in South Jersey, I grew up knowing the huge difference between the north and the south. Even with the biggest attraction in the south, North Jersey just has better cities, schools, and businesses. So how did Atlantic City get to where it is now?

Growing up, this city was a familiar place to me because both of my parents worked at the casinos. My parents immigrated from Vietnam and my dad took a job as a card dealer and my mom was a cocktail waitress. I often visited the city and walked along the boardwalk, rode the rides, ate funnel cake, and jumped the waves with my family or friends. But this was the side of the city that was for tourists.

As you can see in the picture above, the casinos stand tall and next to the beautiful ocean and ferris wheel.

But on the other side of the city are the not-so-glamorous houses and buildings. It’s an old city that was built off the ideals of modernism.

This is a piece of art from the modernism era which began the movement to accept more ideas that were seen as forbidden before. This fueled the popularization of gambling and alcohol in Atlantic City which began its widespread growth and construction.

The Atlantic City boardwalk (shown above) became a popular attraction since it was the first boardwalk built in America and continued to be the longest in the world. As more and more people came to the city as residents or tourists, it turned into a city of fun and distraction, bringing about the rise of casinos.

When the first casino was built in this city (shown above), it was a major hit and more casinos followed after it. Eventually, Atlantic City became one of the most popular for gambling since it was one of the only cities to have them on the east coast. At its peak, there were multiple booming casinos that towered over the boardwalk. But after its peak it began to decline.

As many other cities around the country began to build casinos and capitalize on the success of gambling, Atlantic City began to struggle. This is most known by when there was a new casino called the Revel that was built. It was the most expensive one that was built out of the others ones surrounding it and it was supposed to have a lot of potential because of all the money spent on it. But it performed very poorly and eventually it went bankrupt, meaning thousands of workers were out of a job and the money went to waste. This could’ve been caused by many things but one factor that certainly affected it was the growth of casinos in surrounding states, like Pennsylvania, that directed the attraction to other places. With casinos being Atlantic City’s primary source of income, a lot of the city began to fall apart and this most definitely affected tourism on the beaches and boardwalks too. 

This bankruptcy scare affected my family because my parents and some other family members worked at other casinos and if the decline continued, there were going to be a lot of people that would become financially unstable. Many people see the city as a ruthless business where the house always wins but there are a ton of workers and families that would be affected by its business too. At the same time, crime and prostitution was common in the city which did not help it to appear better for tourists. This city contrasts with the surrounding towns a lot too. Many of the towns nearby are small and friendly.

Where I’m from (pictured above), there’s a nice lake with a connecting river and a tight knit community. These towns look mundane compared to the skyscrapers of Atlantic City and its gambling and crime issues. 

But these issues are seeming to fade in place of a bigger and broader problem. In the past couple years, the casinos have been holding up with regular business following the making of a new casino called Ocean Resort. Using the Revel building, the casino was redesigned and rebranded for the better and is seemingly doing well. But with the sudden appearance of COVID-19, business shut down and the questions start rising again about whether or not Atlantic City will suffer in the long term from the pandemic’s effects.

After waiting through quarantine and once summer of 2020 came around, the casinos did reopen. But with little reassurance about the business’s stability, questions are still being raised about the future of Atlantic City and how it will recover from the pandemic. 

Beyond modernism urban design


Modernism urban design is an urban design approach that is developed in the modernism era. Being the first doctrine of urban design developed after the industrial revolution, modernism has many characteristics, good or bad, that is still affecting the cities’ planning nowadays. 

Two of the characteristics will be discussed in terms of city transportation. This blog is targeted to discuss the application of modernism doctrine in modern society and to share the process while analyzing the application of modernism in a specific city. And, the importance to think critically in the subject of urban design.

About Chandigarh:

Chandigarh is a relatively new city compare to the history of India and large cities like Bangalore, the construction of the city began in the early 1950s. After the partition of the British Raj, the province of Punjab was divided into two parts. The province capital went to Pakistan and the eastern part went to India. Thus, India’s Punjab province requires new capital. Also, the great amount population in East Punjab is lacking education and sanitation resources including schools and hospitals. Thus, Chandigarh is expected to be not only a political center but also a city capable to resettle thousands of refugees.

Chandigarh is a planned city. Before the construction, only several villages were in this region. Thus, a detailed plan can be put into action with little resistance. Le Corbusier and Albert Mayer designed the city. And this is one of the very few cities that was completely designed out of the modernists’ hand. Thus, it is considered as one of the numerous urban planning schemes of Le Corbusier to have been executed. Thus, Chandigarh is a suitable example that illustrates the concept of Modernism.

Design of Chandigarh and its advantage:

Considering the great number of refugees and their poor financial condition in East Punjab, each of them will need a stable job to survive. And factories are one of the buildings that can provide the most jobs. Besides this, the Indian government directly ordered industries to be part of the urban plan; the majority of them are light industries and some of them are heavy industries, for example, the Ordnance Factory Chandigarh which is affiliated with the Indian Military.

To accomplish these effects, the areas in the city are selectively designed to specialize in one task. In Figure 1, the yellow region indicates the industrial phase I – III. However, this is a master plan for Chandigarh in the 2030s. Back in the 1950s, only the industrial phase I was designed. Thus, only phase I will be analyzed.

Figure 1: The Industrial Area Phase I – III in Chandigarh (India masterplan).

In the 1900s, for old European cities like London, it is noticed that the traffic is under great pressure. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. And one of them is closely related to the industrial revolution. The factories under the concept of mass production can produce an unimaginable amount of goods, together with the demand of an equally unimaginable number of resources. For old cities, the factories are distributed throughout the city. Thus, it is predictable that the huge number of products and resources for factories capture roads’ majority capability. Even though the cargo trucks that appeared in the 1920s improved this condition by a bit, the traffic is still under great pressure.

The first step of the most effective set of solutions is to integrate all the distributed factories into a region of the city so that the products and resources will not capture the majority of the city’s transportation capability. However, this method alone will only concentrate the traffic pressure from the entire city to a tiny region in the city and greatly pressurize that tiny region even more. The second step is to move the region to the edge of the city. This theory can be explained with the help of Figure 2.

In Figure 2, the industrial area is located in the center of city. First, it is suggested to recognize the play and role of cities. Cities tend to consume resources, whether it is a natural resource extracted from ore stations or it is a semifinished good from another city, and output a great amount of product that well above the needs of itself. Thus, it is suitable to assume that most resources are from the outskirt and most destinations of the product are other cities. In Figure 2, four of the most significant logistics are included and they are the input of resources from the outskirt, the output of products to the outskirt, the distribution of product into the city, and the commute of workers. Among them, the input of resources and output of products will take the biggest share of transportation capability because they will require heavy vehicles like trucks which are slower and bigger compared to cars. Among the resources part and products part, the resources part will take more capability because a part of the products will need to be distributed throughout the city instead of going to outskirt. The shadow area indicates the urban region in which transportation is under extra pressure from resources and products. Besides the shaded area, the distribution of products and commute of workers will also put the city center’s traffic into its limit.

Figure 2: The diagrammatic sketch when Industrial Area is in city center.

If the industrial area is moved to the edge of the city, the area of the shaded region will be decreased as the industrial area approaches the outskirt. The city center is no longer pressurized. Workers and products can also travel along the ring road, for example, the London Orbital or Bundesautobahn 10 in Berlin, to reach the industrial area faster if the city is equipped with one.

The last step is to build a high-speed transportation network that is capable to function under great pressure near this industrial area, for example, railways and highways.

In terms of the concept from the three steps, Chandigarh’s design of the industrial area is considered successful. Factories are concentrated into an industrial area, and the area is located near the boundary of the city. Also, the major road NH-21 together with a railway from Punjab to Haryana runs through the industrial area.

Design of Chandigarh and it’s weakness:

Figure 3 The planning map of Chandigarh (Chandigarh: a memorial to arrogance, Gethin).

Considering the city built for thousands of refugees, the city’s residential area is designed under a scheme of high-density. Figure 3 is a planning map of Chandigarh and it is obvious to notice that the city is made up of small, close-packed blocks. These blocks are called “superblocks” or sectors. And every sector has a similar layout. The detailed layout of a sector is displayed in Figure 4.

Figure 4: The concept of one superblock (Chandigarh Urban Planning Concepts, Avasak).

In Figure 4, there are “commercial strips” around the edge of the superblock and a “commercial street” that is in the center of it. These are the places where small commercial areas will be built which are responsible for supplying the entire superblock. In order to further analyses the superblocks, the commercial areas have to be discussed first; just like the factories are analyzed before discussing the industrial area.

There is one similarity between a small commercial zone and a factory; they all require logistics and are heavily dependent on transportation. That is, commercial zones will tend to create a lot of traffic and if congestion takes place for a long time near the zone, the activity of the commercial zone is negatively affected.

However, the initial planning of the superblocks wasn’t able to realize how enormous the scale of logistics is nowadays. And the layout of “commercial strips” and “commercial street” inside one superblock is a burden on both the commercial zones of this block and the roads in the neighbor of the superblock. This can be analyzed in three aspects.

The first aspect focused on the interior of a superblock. Considering the trucks and other large vehicles are required for logistics, the commercial zone also needs a considerable amount of time for each vehicle to stop and discharge their cargo. Since the commercial zone is just next to the “commercial street”, the vehicles have no choice but to park by the roadside. This phenomenon will exert a negligible effect on the street in the 1950s. But as the internet of things developed, more and more vehicles are demanded by the commercial zone; congestion will tend to form inside the superblock as vehicles keep parking by the roadside.

The second aspect will further develop based on the first one. There are only four entrance/exit for the entire superblock. Figure 5 is a picture from Google Map for Sector 35 in Chandigarh; as labeled on the figure, it only has 2 major entrance/exits and 2 minor exits together with 4 other tiny entrance/exits (the 2 major entrances are selected based on bandwidth). This means if congestion happens on one of the major or minor exits. Nearly of the total traffic will have to be detoured to other entrance/exits or terminate. Private cars can detour by driving into branches like the internal looped street in Figure 4. However, the cargo trucks will have to wait, because the place where congestion happens is likely to be its destination; if the congestion is caused by the discharging of other trucks during traffic peak time.

Figure 5: The Sector 35 and its four entrance/exit (Google Map).

The third aspect focuses on the connection between the superblocks and inter-sector roads. The inter-sector roads are the highways in Figure 3 that go through the entire Chandigarh city. This aspect is a graduate process, in order to describe it, a series of diagrammatic sketches are needed, and they are Figure 6, Figure 7, and Figure 8.

It is assumed that congestion appears inside one superblock, as shown in Figure 6, the reason may vary; probably it is due to the discharging of cargo as described in the first and second aspect or else. Because the internal of the superblock is directly connected to the highways by the entrance/exits shown in Figure 5. Internal congestion will force all vehicles in the entrance/exits to form a line, if there are sufficient vehicles, the line will be long enough to approach the horizontal highway in Figure 6.

The vehicles in the horizontal highway can be concluded into two categories, the ones which will continue to drive along the highway and the ones which will turn and drive into the congested superblock. The ones in the first category can continue smoothly, however, the ones in the second category are forced to wait behind the congested line. Thus, as cars accumulate, cars will accumulate fast because this is a highway, a bottleneck will form in the middle of the highway and it is shown in Figure 7.

The bottleneck will considerably decrease the vehicles’ velocity nearby. However, the velocity very far from here is barely changed. Thus, as long as the congestion remains, the bottleneck will grow in size, and further decreasing the vehicles’ velocity. Then, as shown in Figure 8, when the shaded area — the bottleneck– is approaching the crossroad, the vehicles traveling in the vertical direction will also feel the resistance; because the crossroad is a roundabout (it is not drawn in the diagrammatic sketch Figure 8). In a roundabout, vehicles from all directions are expected to encircle constantly together; if there is a bottleneck in the horizontal direction, the velocity in the vertical direction will also be affected.

Figure 6: The initial phase of congestion.

Figure 7: The developing phase of congestion.

Figure 8: The spreading phase of congestion.

Nowadays, the road condition in Chandigarh is not in a good shape. Considering it is a relatively new city in India, Chandigarh is one of the most congested cities in India. Figure 9 shows the ranking for the 20 most congested cities. However, Chandigarh is a relatively new city, it is not yet overpopulated. Thus, Figure 10 also lists the population density of all 20 cities and is arranged in descending order.

Figure 9: The ranking for 20 most congested cities in India. (Mobility and congestion in Urban India, Akbar)

Figure 10: The ranking for the 20 cities in population density.

Because Begusarai and Kozhikode are lacking recent population data, the comparison is only between 18 cities. Among the 18 cities, Chandigarh is the 15th most populated city; but it is the 12th most congested city. This indicates that Chandigarh is very congested among all cities if all cities have the same population density. It is mentioned again that Chandigarh is a relatively new city in India and it is anomalous for it to behave in this manner. One reason for this is probably because the superblock design has the above three aspects mentioned above which will potentially cause congestion.


Critical thinking is always important. Yes, the concertation of the industrial area in Chandigarh has a huge advantage and the design of superblocks in Chandigarh to some extent has disadvantages. But, these never indicate the concertation of industrial area is always a good approach nor the superblock is always a bad approach.

For example, the concertation of the industrial area will make the city vulnerable to air or artillery strike, since a single precise explosion can detonate and wipe out most of the factories in this industrial area. However, this disadvantage is insignificant because the world is now in a relatively peaceful era.

Also, superblock design in Chandigarh is a disadvantage; one of the reasons for this is because superblock is next to the high-way. If the superblock is congested, the high-way will also be affected. Thus, if the road next to the superblock is not a high-way, then congestion that happened inside one superblock is likely to exert a much smaller influence. For example, if a city’s high-ways are all integrated on overpasses or underpasses. Then the superblock’s close-packed arrangement may value more as an advantage.


Akbar, Prottoy, et al. “Mobility and Congestion in Urban India.” 2018, doi:10.3386/w25218.

Avasak, Gauri, et al. CHANDIGARH Urban Planning Concepts.

Gethin, Christopher. “Chandigarh: a Memorial to Arrogance.” Built Environment, vol. Vol.2, May 1973, pp. 291–294.

Rajkumar. Chandigarh Industrial Area Location Map, MasterPlansIndia, 19 Jan. 2014,

Tungare, Amit. “Le Corbusier’s Principles of City Planning and Their Application in Virtual Environments.” May 2001, doi:10.22215/etd/2001-04766.

Urban Planning, Chandigarh Administration,

Sandy Springs: Beyond Gentrified

Fifteen year old promises of affordability along the Atlanta Beltline have fallen through, proving further the desire of city politicians to ostensibly  satiate the masses while receiving checks under the table. The Beltline, initially funded in April 2005 by Mayor Shirley Franklin, promised upwards of 5,600 affordable units along the structure to actively fight against the economic displacement that the city knew such a construction would bring about. Today, less than 700 of those promised units have been built, and the Beltline instead stands as a symbol of Atlanta’s continuously growing gentrification.

New York Mural by Stuart Davis, capturing the rapid growth of the city in the height of the Empire State Building, and those left outside the hustle, unable to keep up with the unforgiving boom of the city. 

The more recent development of Sandy Springs, which sits just north of Atlanta, has housing prices that are already classified by the Urban Displacement Project as a mixture between moderate income to exclusive, surpassing their definition of “Advanced Gentrification.” Sandy Springs serves as an example of a location where housing rental and purchase rates have been rising rapidly for years, to the extent that residents of 20+ years are forced to uproot their families and jobs in search of housing within their budget.

Cat-walk by Charles Sheeler. The geometric perfection, pristine colors, and blue sky make the view of scaffolding and general industrial development soothing, however, construction often becomes a hassle to move through in reality, and adding to the hustle of the city. In the same vein, the economic growth of gentrification appears positive on paper, but demonstrates many negative side effects in reality.

Affordable housing, defined in this sense as a range of available housing priced for low, mid, and high income individuals and families, is imperative within the realm of providing personal necessities under the umbrella of universal human rights, and a lack thereof is harmful to the diversity, economy, and future of a city. The city of Sandy Springs is only one of the many rapidly expanding locations that are displacing their long term residents, and more policies have been created in favor of this crisis than in opposition to it. 

As housing prices rise to match only those who can pay top dollar throughout the whole of a city, minorities and low-mid income households are displaced. The exclusivity growing throughout the city has been forcing low income families out for years, and has now reached a point where more than a third of the city’s current inhabitants are cost-burdened, or paying over 30% of their income for housing.

Though Sandy Springs is home to a fairly diverse population, many minorities have taken the brunt of the impact, being deprived of adequate access to knowledge about the changes being brought upon their residences. In speaking to members of the community, one young adult revealed that there was a particular apartment complex with a large Hispanic population in the North end of Sandy Springs, which held inhabitants that were unaware of reconstruction plans on the building until the demolition was scheduled concretely. The information was accessible only to those searching for it, and there was no consideration to the language barrier present for many of these families involved. Without active retaliation by both the community and government of the city, the unique and rich culture that has thrived in Sandy Springs will be replaced by large corporations and strictly wealthy residents.

Composition C with Red, Yellow, and Blue by Piet Mondrian is a simple modernist painting with clear and concise divisions between differing shapes and colors, representative of the segregation that gentrification induces.

While the effects of unbounded housing prices on population diversity may be detrimental in themselves, these effects also adversely impact the economy of a city. The introduction of more housing, job opportunities, and revitalization projects such as the Atlanta Beltline have brought a population boom to Sandy Springs, causing an increase in housing demand. This increase in demand has in return brought an opportunity for prices to rise drastically, and they have; average home prices in the city rose from $241,700 in 2006, to a current average of $447,800.

Though a greater amount of money flowing into the economy may look beneficial on paper, a lack of affordable housing is likely to drive away current and new businesses in the area. When individuals are forced to move out of the city due to unsustainable rental rates, they either accept a longer commission time, or are also forced to leave their jobs. Longer commission times have become increasingly common as housing prices have risen in the city, and in some situations, businesses have had to shorten their working hours to accommodate. If employee retainment becomes a consistent problem, businesses are made to spend the average cost of filling a position far too often for the expenditure to be worthwhile, and they will move to a more conducive location. Several companies have begun homeownership initiatives to institute more permanent housing and stop employees from being uprooted, however, this is yet another large cost for a business to take on in response to a lack of affordable housing available in a city. A continuation of increasing prices within the housing market will destroy the city’s economy; having only the wealthiest within city borders would remove all essential jobs paying low to mid income from the equation, leaving no individuals to work in grocery stores, restaurants, and even many emergency service positions. Though a jump in housing prices may initially signify economic growth, it will become virulent if left in ignorance to run rampant.

Real change for those drowning within rising housing costs must start from education in the community. Policy implementation is within direct authority of those in power, but the introduction of wealthy individuals and large corporations is rather enticing for policymakers, as monetary support is often valued above all else. Without the voice of the community exercising their own rights to have a say in the matters of their own city, economically complicated necessities like this will not come to fruition. It is imperative that each and every member of a community have access to knowledge of local current events, regardless of whether they are a homeowner or renter, and should be provided with the same opportunity to attend and speak at public events such as city hall meetings

With a combination of displacement, reduced racial and socioeconomic diversity, and economic upheaval, what will the future of Sandy Springs look like without change? It will become an empty husk, rather than the vibrant city it is today. Long term inhabitants will be largely outnumbered by those only able to afford a short stay, unique and small businesses will be replaced by large corporations, and much like the introduction of the Atlanta Beltline, the city will come to represent vigorous gentrification within the Atlanta area. 

Skaters or Flaneurs? How Savannah’s Underground Metal Scene Reflects a Modernist City


shouts the Official Savannah Website in proper serif letters, backed by a charming crisp photo of morning glories. “Savannah, Georgia is a charming Southern escape where art, period architecture, trendy boutiques and ghost stories are all set under a veil of Spanish moss.” The website then assures its adventurous audience, who hasn’t yet been swayed by the perky graphics, that there are “over 15 Can’t Miss” things to do in savannah. There’s a stroll on the waterfront, a shopping spree on Broughton street downtown and even a ghost tour, “if that’s your idea of a good time.” 

Surprisingly none of the local metal shows made the list. 

Not even when “Vacant Flesh” is playing with “Overdose” for only 5 bucks!” 

Although this isn’t surprising seeing as Savannah loves to keep up appearances as a quaint, historic posh little southern experience, it does oversimplify the “mood” of the city. What appears at first glance to be touristy and unassuming, is actually a hotbed for angry youth driven Southern metal. With the presence of SCAD, the alternative and dark history and the layout of the city, Savannah allows the local metalhead skaters to act as modern day flaneurs, reflecting, for better or for worse, a kind of modernism thriving in the squares. 

Left: A poster for an old show at local Café “the Sentient Bean” which hosts many events and gigs for young people in Savannah. Right: A modernist collage by Hannah Hoche displaying what it is to be a woman in the 1910s. The above is a poster for such a metal show next to a modernist collage, there is a visual similarity between the two as collage is integral to both movements. The right reminds me of being a woman and that strangeness almost feels like it was meant to pop out at you, similar to the poster to the left.


Savannah’s metal scene is a reflection of modernist ideas in that the city can be viewed through the skateboarding metalhead eyes of a teenager, but metal in general has its own modernist strings.

With early rumblings in the 1950s, heavy metal really began with the British band Black Sabbath’s first album in 1968. Immediately the band was steeped in socially taboo subjects such as “political corruption”, “recreational drug use” and “social ostracization.” The genre soon grew more popular with bands like “Deep Purple” and “Iron Maiden” screaming away about modernistic themes, although in a different time, these lyrics and topics are reflective of unrest and reactions to industrialization.

Left: guitarist at Death Eagles Show. Right: Pitcher with Violin by Georges Braque. Although the two are superficially similar in that they contain instruments, the real feeling I get from the right piece is similar to the eagerness expressed by the photo to the left. The cubism aims to express something more than a portrait, something moving or past or different, and that is what I understand the guitarist to the left to be eager for, though a different medium.

After a slight downturn in popularity, with grunge and alternative rock seeing more attention, metal has had recent resurges with youth, “Symphonic” and “In Flames” are some of many popular bands in the scene trying new “avant-garde” styles that resonate with die hard fans.  These “new” ideas also reflect the modernist aspects of metal as they can be compared to the desire for new literary styles and pieces.

There is then the specifics of Southern Metal, a synthesis of different genres, as Michael Mcdowell puts it in his dissertation regarding the southern metal scene, “Southern Metal music is an outgrowth of Black Sabbath-influenced metal, Black Flag influenced hardcore punk, Lynyrd Skynyrd-influenced Southern rock, and Melvins-influenced “sludge.” This blend of “traditional” and “new” is also a comparison to the modernist era, with different “isms” and ideals spread out, in fierce opposition at times, within the whole of the movement. This is especially reflective in Savannah. Savannah’s mood is a dichotomy, — seen most clearly in its metal scene– a constant struggle between the youth crying for “new” and the defiant foot of tradition.

To the left is a classic mosh pit at a metal show, consisting of flailing hands and limbs. To the right is the modernist piece titled, “Funeral of Anarchist Galli” I felt the extreme emotion in these images was similar. Of course the right is more serious and dark, yet they both convey movement and a sense of defiance so well.


Metal is inherently connected with the “fringe” of society that often picks up a skateboard. The two seem to coalesce is Savannah with the true flaneur of the city being not the fancily clad horse carriage riding tourist, but the band t-shirt wearing skater kid.

When Savannah was laid out by Oglethorpe in 1733, it was constructed with the intention of walking. The squares are set up parallel to large main streets in rows that allow pedestrians to wind around the historic buildings and green patches. This aspect also allows skateboarders to roam with the fear of cars being lessened. This leads to a sort of meandering about the city on four wheeled pieces of wood, for no particular purpose but to be moving with the group, and of course to be seen.

This is flaneur behavior.

A comparative diagram of the modernist flaneur and the Savannah Skater.

In the same way that London lent to the strolling fashionable man about town, Savannah’s metal scene, its winding squares and its populous of “onlookers” lends itself to the teenage skater.

In my created image above I point out some less positive aspects of the flaneur and how these are also reflected in the “modern skater” I reference the “probably misogynistic” qualities and the male privilege they represent as they can walk around the city with little to no worry. The irony of the Savannah skater is that they may listen to Black Sabbath scream about social unrest with teary eyes, yet perpetuate the social chains of their own city by remaining ignorant or participating in sexism, homophobia, racism and xenophobia.

This begins to tap into another aspect that is so central to the “mood” or “core” of Savannah and the Savannah metal scene, the balance of tradition and progress, politically and socially.


Southern metal consists mostly of white, working class musicians. Savannah is no exception, yet certain aspects of Savannah’s culture and mood allow it to extend past this one dimension and diversify and grapple with this aspect of the scene in many ways.

Savannah has its pearly exterior, from the park benches to Spanish moss in the trees, Savannah reeks of kitschy southern performance. But Savannah also has rich history in alternative forms of expressions, from housing some of the first successful drag queens to jazz musicians, filmmakers and now artists from all over the world.  Savannah has a long history of being much more akin to New Orleans when the sun goes down than those coaxing families toward their waterfront hotels would like you to believe.

The above is my second created image, representing in a sort of constructivist style what I understand about Savannah, more of an attempt to express the feeling of Savannah’s metal scene. The movement not only of something physical like moshing, but the feeling of the drums in Savannah’s tight brick buildings and the adrenaline of someone screaming about injustice.

Savannah is home of course to SCAD, the Savannah College of Art and Design, which adds to this tension as it brings students from all over the world eager to see live music and bring their own unique perspectives to the scene. SCAD, being an art school also naturally fuels the anti-establishment feelings with its students, who tend to lean toward fringe activities such as skateboarding and metal. But, this is where Savannah is truly found, there is a creation of something new (how modernist) in Savannah’s scene specifically. The diversity of the SCAD students mixed with the traditional ideals of both what is southern and what is metal meld into a fierce amalgamation of youth.

Savannah’s unique local businesses also lend to this synthesis, as cafes and boutique stores open their doors after hours to house gigs and all types of performances. These places seem to understand the line they walk, holding poetry readings and metal shows within the same day.

This allows for the true growth of Savannah, real southern charm to shine through. When old white men who have listened to metal for decades begrudgingly nod to the screaming “newness” of young college students from quite literally all over the world, something signifigant occurs. There is an evolution from the old metal that concerns industrialization and new metal that concerns gender non comformace and racial injustice.

This is not to say Savannah nor its metal scene is without prejudice, in fact as mentioned before “the Flanuers” still can promote ignorance and the ugly horns of deep seeded racism still protrude with the influence of “Lynryd Skynrd” and southern tradition. But the majority of youth in the scene are actively fighting against this, far more than those who wish to keep Savannah’s image fountains and feathers.

A new band called “Pig Teeth” and “Basically Nancy” have become more popular in the metal scene both consisting of all female musicians. Recent protests were supported and even organized and spread by bands in the Savannah scene, and those that have not shown support have been shunned and boycotted by local business.

A better more accurate front page for Savannah’s website would be my third created peice, where the banner is layered with metal band T-Shirts, posters and time posts.

Savannahs metal scene colors the mood of Savannah for me, it demonstrates clearly the strange line Savannah walks between quaint Southern town and screaming hotbed of avant-garde art and music.


Danae. “Digital Montage: On Collage and the Legacy of Modernism.” Medium, DIGITAL ART WEEKLY, 13 Jan. 2020,

McDowell, Micheal. Southern Performance and the Southern Metal Scene.

Carrà, Carlo. “Carlo Carrà. Funeral of the Anarchist Galli. 1910-11: MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art,

“Heavy Metal 101 @ MIT.” A Brief History of Metal | Heavy Metal 101 @ MIT,

28 Feb, 2021, and 2021 27 Feb. “The Origins of Metal and How It Found Its Place in the Music Industry.” Young Post,

“Eagles of Death Metal.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 Mar. 2021,