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The Atlanta BeltLine

Where Atlanta Comes Together. Learn more


Our Sites Are Set on Groundbreaking Initiatives

The following information details the Atlanta BeltLine's primary initiatives with regard to guidelines, sustainability, issues addressed, metrics and development.

A regional ecosystem analysis of Atlanta by American Forests concludes that Atlanta’s economic growth has come at the price of too many trees, replaced by too many buildings, surface roads and parking lots, with significant negative consequences for stormwater management and air quality in the City of Atlanta. Learn more
The Atlanta BeltLine initiative involves a large number of dynamic new land use designs for the areas along the Atlanta BeltLine corridor. It is imperative that these plans incorporate best practices for maintaining water quality, conservation, stormwater collection, and protection of water resources. Learn more
In an urban environment, a wide array of contaminants can affect soil quality, which in turn impacts the surrounding habitat. The Atlanta BeltLine project is committed to using the best available practices for long-term environmental sustainability. Learn more
The Atlanta BeltLine Sustainability Guidelines require compliance with portions of LEED™-NC and Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI) green landscape guidelines to ensure that the Atlanta BeltLine corridor will be built with green materials, using best practices available in green construction. Learn more
The Environmental Justice Policy explains the Atlanta BeltLine's commitment to the fair treatment of people of all races, age, cultures and incomes; and how they shall all be fully considered during the Atlanta BeltLine’s planning, decision-making, development and implementation of programs, policies, and activities. Learn more
A brownfield site is "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” This broad definition applies to virtually every property along the Atlanta BeltLine. Learn more
Most of the sites that the Atlanta BeltLine is transforming into parks are former industrial and commercial properties. Various projects will produce new sources for stormwater collection, detention and retention, while others will create new ways to maximize water resources and help preserve wetlands and green spaces. Learn more
Exciting new organic methods are being utilized with landcare and park space management along the Atlanta BeltLine. Implementing these "greener" techniques helps reduce waste, protects plants and soil, and ultimately lowers the cost of maintenance. Learn more
Utilizing native trees and plants in landscaping plans for the Atlanta BeltLine can drastically reduce maintenance costs over the long-term because these plants are conditioned to thrive in this environment. Learn more
Too often, the wrecking ball will bring a building down while building the landfill up. As existing infrastructure is demolished to clear the way for parks and trails, planners with the Atlanta BeltLine typically divert more than 90 percent of the resulting debris from landfills. Learn more
Innovative ideas for minimal energy consumption and maximum output are helping put the Atlanta BeltLine green spaces on the path to becoming energy-cost neutral. It is already a reality in some areas, and these creative methods will evolve over time to create maximum efficiency across the Atlanta BeltLine corridor. Learn more
InitiativesCity of Atlanta Sustainability GoalsAtlanta BeltLine’s Contribution
TransportationPromote the expansion of public transit, including the continued development of the Atlanta BeltLine and the implementation of the Atlanta Streetcar projects and focusing on improving neighborhood connectivityAtlanta BeltLine’s 22-mile-long pedestrian-friendly transit loop will connect 45 intown neighborhoods and link with the existing MARTA and proposed streetcar systems
Fleet FuelsReduce petroleum fuel consumption by 10% by 2015 by those municipal departments with the greatest levels of fuel usage and have a city fleet composed of 15% alternative fueled vehicles in 2012N/A
Climate ChangeReduce greenhouse gas emissions within the City of Atlanta’s jurisdiction by 25% by 2020, 40% by 2030, and 80% by 2050Atlanta BeltLine will reduce greenhouse gas emission by reducing vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in areas served by Atlanta BeltLine Trails and Transit, helping the City of Atlanta to reach to its goal of 80% GHG reduction and 100% conformance with the EPA’s Air Quality index by 2050.
Water ConservationReduce system leakage by 50% by 2015The streetscape improvements within the Atlanta BeltLine Tax Allocation District and Redevelopment Area will include utilities upgrades. The Atlanta BeltLine corridor will be landscaped using native or native-adapted plants, adding no additional irrigation load to the City’s water resources.
Water QualityTo restore and maintain water quality standards by enforcing regulations, complying with federal, state and local laws and coordinating watershed protection strategies throughout City governmentAtlanta BeltLine will help improve the water quality in Atlanta waterways through integrated management of stormwater within the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, and where possible, in adjoining streets and parklands. It will act as a catalyst for remediation of 1,100 acres of brownfields4 within the 6,500 acre Atlanta BeltLine TAD, a necessity for the improvement of ground water quality. The new Historic Fourth Ward Park, with its two-acre stormwater detention lake that is designed to prevent the episodic flooding of area buildings, is an excellent example of the tangible contributions of the Atlanta BeltLine to water quality issues in the City of Atlanta.
Air QualityImprove Atlanta’s air quality such that over 50% of days qualify as good according to the EPA’s Air Quality Index by 2015, 60% by 2020, 75% by 2030, and 100% by 2050.Atlanta BeltLine will reduce greenhouse gas emission by reducing vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in areas served by Atlanta BeltLine Trails and Transit, helping the City of Atlanta to reach to its emission reduction goals.
WasteReduce, reuse and recycle 30% of the city residential waste by 2013, 50% by 2015, 90% by 2020N/A. The Atlanta BeltLine landscape is low-maintenance; all organic waste from landscape maintenance will be composted at a local facility.
GreenspaceProvide a minimum of 10 acres of greenspace per 1,000 residents, protect and restore the City’s tree canopy in order to meet a target to 40% coverage, create and maintain a park system that promotes and supports sustainable development, implement landscaping and facility renovations that reduce energy demand and maintenance costsThe Atlanta BeltLine will increase available green space in the city by 40 percent and expand access to green space with its 33-mile long trail system.
EnergyReduce the total energy use for existing municipal operations by 15% by 2020, 40% by 2030, and 80% by 2050; renewable energy 5% of total municipal use by 2015The Atlanta BeltLine corridor provides opportunities for small-scale distributed energy generation within the infrastructure, such as photovoltaic panels mounted on transit station canopies.
Local Food SystemsBring local food within 10 minutes of 75% of all residents by 2020.Not feasible within the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, due to the limited right-of-way.