How Atlanta Addresses Racism, the Digital Divide, and Climate Change


  • Atlanta has positioned itself as a tech hub for years, and the new mayor is advancing the mission.
  • Projects include plans to enhance equity in Atlanta’s tech sector and install interactive kiosks.
  • A partnership with Georgia Tech also connects students with opportunities like pedestrian planning.
  • This article is part of a series focused on American cities building a better tomorrow called “Advancing Cities.”

Atlanta has been embracing smart city technology, such as interactive kiosks and an artificial intelligence-centric non-emergency 311 system, and growing its tech sector for years. Now many local tech leaders see the city’s new mayor, Andre Dickens, as a  “visionary” who will advance that mission.

Dickens, who took office in January, is a Georgia Tech graduate and was an executive at TechBridge, a nonprofit dedicated to training organizations and individuals in technology. He also founded a home furnishing retail startup and was an assistant director at Georgia Tech’s Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which helps ensure that the university is recruiting, engaging, and retaining a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students.

“We can talk shop,” Jason Sankey, the chief information officer at Atlanta Information Management (AIM), a department within the Atlanta government that helps guide technology-related activities associated with delivering citywide products and services, told Insider. “He understands how technology impacts everything we do. It’s enhanced AIM to have a leader that has an IT background, and that’s exciting for me.”

The mayor also has a unique perspective on the importance of technology in helping the city innovate and address inequities, he added. Here’s a look at some of the projects Atlanta has in the works in partnership with local businesses and organizations.



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