The Atlanta Beltline remains the country's best smart growth story, and these short videos show why
Posted January 13, 2010
Two years ago I called the Atlanta Beltline "the country's best smart growth project." Although I have seen and learned about many more since then, I have not changed my mind.
The Beltline is an enormously ambitious, 15-year undertaking to use a long-abandoned rail corridor for transit, parks, trails, and revitalization in some of the city's most neglected neighborhoods. It's a 22-mile loop of an opportunity that just broke ground, and its potential is amazing.
Here are three short videos that tell the story much better than I can. If your time is limited, start with this one (only 3 minutes), just released last week:
The next one (just under 6 minutes), released last spring, tells the story in a bit more depth, featuring many of the principals and great visuals:
Finally, the most arty of the three (also 3 minutes), shows an exhibit of photos of the corridor in its pre-redevelopment condition, set to an awesome Norah Jones soundtrack:
If Transportation for America is looking for a poster child to sell its vision of a more sustainable country based on more sustainable transportation investments, it can do no better. If other cities are considering neighborhood-supportive transit investments (I'm looking at you, Cincinnati and Indianapolis), they should follow this model, in both substance and communications, as closely as they can. I love this project.
Go here for more information about the Atlanta Beltline.
Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment. For more posts, see his blog's home page.
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