The Beltline - An Update

Issue Two contains an article about the Beltline in Atlanta.  This "glorified sidewalk" (a term actually used as a compliment in a recent New York Times article) was the brain child of Ryan Gravel.  To his delight, it is has spurred billions of dollars of new development.  To his dismay, it is leaving behind the people of Atlanta.

We believe that the primary accountability for the Atlanta Beltline is not to private funders, civic partners, or to organizational leadership, but to the people of Atlanta who have given the most to make the project possible.
— exerpt from Ryan Gravel's letter to the Atlanta Beltline Partnership Board

Ryan states in his letter to the Atlanta Beltline Partnership Board dated September 26, 2016 that only 200 of the 5,600 intended affordable housing units have approved funding.  He sites this as an example of the changing priorities of the Atlanta Beltline Partnership (ABP).  In this letter, he resigns from the Board of the ABP in order to devote his efforts to the grassroots vision.

We will be interested to see what happens next in the Beltline saga.  Will it become another story of "gentrification"?  Or can the Beltline become a support system for the community that supported it from the beginning?

Meredith M Howard is a photographer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.  She was inspired to start THE STREETS magazine after many conversations with strangers in downtown Atlanta.