1 Atlanta, GA: BeltLine
Atlanta, Georgia, is a “driving” city. Virtually a poster child for highway building and suburban expansion for decades, the city and metro region today are investing in a longterm, integrated approach to connectivity that embraces public transit. From an economic perspective, the effort is catalyzing redevelopment opportunities for nearly 6,500 acres of potentially developable land along an abandoned rail corridor ringing the downtown. From a social and political perspective, when complete, the “BeltLine”—with its tagline: “Where Atlanta Comes Together”—will link 45 “in-town neighborhoods.” The bold idea represents the “most comprehensive transportation and economic development effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs currently underway in the United States” (Atlanta BeltLine Partnership; Atlanta BeltLine Inc., 2015). Such an investment in transit and trails is notable for any American city, but especially one synonymous with sprawl.