The numbers are astonishing. Between 2000 and 2006, metropolitan Atlanta grew by 890,000 people, more than any other metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta's population now stands at 5.13 million people in the 28-county metro region. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, 9.36 million people live in Georgia, the 9th most populous state. These numbers have important public health implications for all of us. This issue highlights some of our school's efforts to protect and improve the health of Georgians.
What are the public health benefits of living in a community where people can travel to work, shop, and play without driving a car? A new study will examine the health benefits of living in Atlantic Station, a relatively new mixed-use neighborhood in midtown Atlanta. The study is a collaborative effort involving the RSPH, the CDC, Atlantic Station's developers, and others. Results from this research may have major implications for how neighborhoods are designed and built in the future.
The Atlantic Station study is but one example of our many partnerships in the city and across the state. In recent years, the RSPH has collaborated with hospitals, health agencies, businesses, and churches in Southwest Georgia to promote health and prevent cancer and other chronic diseases in rural communities. At Emory, RSPH faculty and students have teamed with other university partners to empower Atlanta high school students with real-world skills in health sciences and research. And as our population grows, so does the need for effective collaboration between local and state public health agencies and the Metro Atlanta Region of Business Executives for National Security in the event of an influenza pandemic or other widespread emergency.
This issue of Public Health also features several alumni who have dedicated their careers to working with companies and health and community agencies in the Atlanta area. All of these relationships prove that local partnerships benefit all of us.