By John Becker, Communications Coordinator, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership
The Atlanta BeltLine is the most comprehensive transportation and economic development effort ever undertaken in Atlanta. It is among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States. The project will ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods via a 22-mile loop of multi-use trails, light rail transit, and parks using railroad corridors that formerly encircled Atlanta. The newest section of the Atlanta BeltLine – the Westside Trail which will run between Washington Park and Lena Ave. to the north and University Ave. in Adair Park to the south – is set to open later this year.
To fully realize the vision of 22 miles of a more connected Atlanta, the Atlanta BeltLine also supports affordable workforce housing, economic development, job creation, public health, streetscapes, public art, environmental clean-up, and historic preservation – all with an eye toward sustainability. Two organizations – Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) and The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP) – work together with numerous partner organizations across the city, region, state, and country to bring the program to life.
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. was formed in 2006 to manage the implementation of the project. ABI works with partners including City of Atlanta departments, to manage all aspects of the project. This includes leading efforts to secure federal, state and local funding, spearheading all design and engineering, constructing trails, parks, transit, streetscapes, affordable housing, & art, managing the community engagement process, and serving as the overall project management office to execute the Atlanta BeltLine project.
The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership is a private, independent non-profit created in 2005 to advance the Atlanta BeltLine vision. Partnership staff works to enable the project [raise private sector capital funding], engage the public [grow civic support], and empower the residents [provide positive socio-economic outcomes] living in the 45 Atlanta BeltLine neighborhoods.
Here are some of the specific things ABP does to carry out its mission and the URL’s of webpages where you can learn more:
- Educate and inform residents through Atlanta BeltLine bus, bike and walking tours: www.beltline.org/tours
- Facilitate countless hours of resident engagement through volunteer opportunities like Adopt-the-Atlanta-BeltLine and other programs: www.beltline.org/volunteer; www.beltline.org/adopt
- Provide residents with an opportunity to stay fit and healthy while exploring the Atlanta BeltLine through our Run.Walk.Go! Race Series (including the Westside 5K on July 15!): www.beltline.org/races
- Create more vibrant public spaces through funding for Art on the Atlanta BeltLine: www.art.beltline.org
- Help existing residents stay in their homes through free homeowner education workshops: www.beltline.org/homeowner-workshops
- Nurture innovative approaches to health-related programming through partnerships like the Westside Trail Community Health Grant Program (partnership with Kaiser Permanente): www.beltline.org/healthgrants
- Advocate for policies and funding that support affordable housing and unbiased development: www.beltline.org/housing
- Provide access to workforce development programs that help residents remain productive parts of their Atlanta BeltLine neighborhoods: www.beltline.org/careers-in-healthcare
You can learn more about both organizations and how they work together to deliver the Atlanta BeltLine project and vision by visiting www.beltline.org.