Atlanta BeltLine is a 22-mile open and planned loop of multi-use trail and light rail transit system on a former railway corridor around the core of Atlanta. The International Real Estate Federation recognized the Atlanta BeltLine as the best environmental rehabilitation project in the world during its 2014 World Conference focused on Building Humanity, awarding it the Prix d’Excellence Award.
The Beltline’s weighty mission is to reconnect neighborhoods, improve transportation, add green space, promote redevelopment, create and preserve affordable housing, and showcase arts and culture, according to Jim Morgens, a Life Member of the Georgia State Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land (TPL). Morgens made his remarks at a recent presentation for Buckhead Heritage members and guests.
Thousands of visitors flock to the Atlanta BeltLine to exercise, explore Atlanta’s neighborhoods, and spend time with family and friends. The BeltLine’s slogan is “Where Atlanta Comes Together.”
Working closely with the City of Atlanta, new, expanded, and renovated parks along the BeltLine may include Piedmont Park (expansion), Boulevard Crossing Park, Enota Park, Westside Park, and enhanced Tanyard Creek and Ardmore Parks.
Early city plans in the 1950s recognized the potential of using the existing ring of railroads around the central city. In fact, the City of Atlanta Trail Corridor plan created by the PATH Foundation in 1992 included much of the same loop.
In 1999 Ryan Gravel completed his master’s thesis at Georgia Tech that detailed how passenger transit could be constructed around the loop. Morgens helped seed the funding of the 2004 TPL study, known as “The BeltLine Emerald Necklace” by Alex Garvin. That study shaped the master plan for the Atlanta BeltLine. Morgens also served on the committee that oversaw TPL’s acquisition of $44 million of property for the BeltLine.