Kaid Benfield Archive


The Atlanta Beltline remains the country's best smart growth story, and these short videos show why

Kaid Benfield

Posted January 13, 2010 at 1:47PM

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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.