While it is clear that business interests, local and international, have been the driving force behind much of Atlanta's growth, I would suggest that the close liaison between industry and local government has been the real key to Atlanta's success. Much of the credit can be given to Andrew Young, Mayor of Atlanta in the early 1980s. Mayor Young was the first to articulate clearly that for Atlanta to survive and thrive, it had to develop strong international business and diplomatic ties.
Atlanta International School was founded, with the support of Mayor Young's city government, in 1984. Today, the school has 650 students from 59 different countries. The existence of a school like ours, together with the attraction of many overseas consulates and trade commissions, has created an added international vitality to Atlanta.
This is not to take away from the impact of the business community. I am quite sure, along with Hamish McRae, that the legacy of the Olympic Games will be positive. Cities around the world with aspirations of real international status would do well to study the Atlanta model.
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