Skip to content
CityLab
Economy

How to Start Your Own City

A year ago this week, Jason Lary was sworn in as mayor of his brainchild, the brand new city of Stonecrest outside of Atlanta. Now Stonecrest is a frontrunner to land the new Amazon headquarters. How’d he do it?
Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary (right) with Christiaan Burner, CEO of Quicket Solutions. Burner's company is proposing a cloud-based platform that will propel the city into a near paperless environment.
Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary (right) with Christiaan Burner, CEO of Quicket Solutions. Burner's company is proposing a cloud-based platform that will propel the city into a near paperless environment.City of Stonecrest/Facebook

Earlier this month, Brentin Mock reported on the burgeoning cityhood movements outside of Atlanta. Now he talks with the mayor of the newest city on Atlanta’s outskirts, Stonecrest.

You may have heard about the Amazon HQ2 proposal from Georgia offering municipal naming rights to the corporate behemoth—as in, the company could have its own city called Amazon, Georgia. That offer came from the city of Stonecrest, which sits about 20 miles east of the city of Atlanta. Stonecrest has only, itself, been a city since 2017. Residents of the formerly unincorporated area of southeast DeKalb County voted in November 2016 to officially incorporate into a city. It is one of the more recent municipal experiments to hatch across the county, and metro Atlanta as a whole, since the turn of the century.