James Corner Field Operations and Perkins+Will have been selected as the lead designers of the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile green beltway of park networks, multi-use trails and light rail, which will also reuse and revitalize old rail tracks and restore local ecosystems. According to the FreshKills Park Blog, the $2.8 billion green infrastructure project will connect over 1,200 acres of parkland, restore multiple brownfields, construct 5,600 affordable housing units, and create 30,000 new full-time jobs over a 25-year period. Over 100,000 people live within a half-mile of the Beltline, which connects 45 of Atlanta’s neighborhoods.
Brian Leary, President & CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., told the Atlanta Examiner, “by creating a design which will integrate all of the BeltLine’s components in a comprehensive way we are building the BeltLine’s foundation.” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed added that the selection of the design team was “a great step forward,” and “the eyes of the nation are on Atlanta’s Beltline as a model for smart growth and urban redevelopment.”
James Corner Field Operations and Perkins + Will won a competitive bidding process. The Atlanta Beltline Board selected the two groups because of their capacity to integrate transit (including networks of trails), housing, and green infrastructure. The Board also hopes that the project will receive federal funding given it’s “shovel ready.”