Riding Out the Green Wave of Gentrification in Atlanta Public Deposited

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  • February 28, 2019
  • Jones, Ansley
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Across the country, cities compete through livability initiatives, such as projects that improve the walkability, affordability, and other public health conditions in communities. One widespread strategy has been the construction of greenways as a means of converting urban liabilities into assets. These ‘glorified sidewalks,’ as coined by The New York Times writer Richard Fausset, have had a transformative effect in many major cities, such as the High Line in New York, the 606 in Chicago, and the Beltline in Atlanta. These examples are famous for spurring rapid private development and creating connected public spaces in places that were once underutilized. Though these projects have led to many positive outcomes, they are also notorious for stimulating gentrification and displacing long-standing populations in their vicinities. Other studies have empirically shown that gentrification is occurring in Atlanta due to the Beltline, so this research project is geared toward understanding the underlying policy choices that led to this situation, as well as the recent work of policymakers to bring about more equitable development. Qualitative methods, including review of archival sources and interviews of stakeholders in the Atlanta development community, are used to evaluate the planning and implementation of the Atlanta Beltline. Case studies of comparable cities are also presented in order to provide a basis for recommendations, which are focused on tenant protections, affordable housing development and preservation, and equity planning. Although many gaps are found in the Atlanta Beltline planning and implementation process, this study concludes that the Atlanta Beltline has unleashed a wave of activism which has effectively brought affordability to the forefront of the conversation between both public and private leaders in Atlanta.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Nguyen, Mai
  • Master of City and Regional Planning
Academic concentration
  • Land Use and Environmental Planning
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2018
Deposit record
  • e02cd570-38cb-4eb9-93fc-c4c5ca601a1e

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