City leadership has long used public events, urban projects, and promotional campaigns to reinvent Atlanta, elevate its status on the national and international stage, and grow for the future. In many ways, the ’96 Games were the city’s largest civic undertaking.

Looking at Atlanta’s recent past, we see how change in the city is motivated by big ideas and innovation. We see the ways Atlanta residents shaped the city through a variety of perspectives, ambitions, and projects, and actions. Understanding the processes behind these endeavors—such as the ’96 Games—can teach us how change happens, who is involved, and who benefits.

Whether we still use the results of past changes, or whether they pose new concerns for the present, major projects and changes from the past continue to impact us today. These stories of past change can also help us shape our future.

“It is my hope that as we go about preparing for the Olympics, that we build for lasting value.”

Joseph Martin, president, Central Atlanta Progress (Atlanta Constitution, September 1990).

What is important for the future of your community?

Atlanta ’96: Shaping an Olympic and Paralympic City presents stories of how Atlanta has changed in the past while also asking visitors to think about what they want or need for the places they live in the future.

What do you think? Contribute your responses here.

See what others think in the graphs to the right and the visualization in our gallery.

 

What is important for the future of your community?

Data visualization located on campus.

Next: 4 Sources & Additional Reading.

Learn more about Atlanta’s Olympic and Paralympic history and the history of the 1990s by digging into some of the sources and readings used to research for the exhibition.