An Atlanta native, Evan Ziegler took an early interest in architecture and transportation. He explored neighborhood developments as a kid and took drafting courses in high school. His first internship as an accounting student at the University of Georgia led him to discover that accounting might not be the career for him, so he decided to double-major in real estate; a serendipitous decision, it turned out:
It was my real estate development professor at UGA that told me about the Atlanta BeltLine. I moved back to Atlanta for work after graduating and, not too long afterwards, contacted Rob Brawner and Valarie Wilson about ways to get involved with the Atlanta BeltLine. I think it is a great project for Atlanta and have grown to learn the significant impact it will have not only on Atlanta but the country.
Along with urban development, Evan is an advocate for alternative modes of transportation, particularly rail transit: “I believe the next 50 years will be the resurgence of trains. People forget that only 60 years ago, trains were still a dominant mode of transportation and have been for over 100 years. Commercial train use has done well in recent years, too.” Evan believes that Atlanta is on the brink of becoming a more livable, walkable city, and that the Atlanta BeltLine and the Atlanta Streetcar will both be catalysts for this transformation.
To show his support for the transit-oriented development goals of the Atlanta BeltLine project, Evan has volunteered his time in a variety of ways. He has participated in the Earth Day spring cleanup every year since 2010 and also donated his time to a fall 2011 cleanup of an Atlanta BeltLine section adopted by his alma mater, the University of Georgia. He joined the pilot ambassador program and became an ambassador for the northeast section of the Atlanta BeltLine. He has also actively engaged the community, talking with people and handing out pamphlets to local businesses. You may have even spotted him answering questions at the Atlanta BeltLine booth at a number of festivals around Atlanta. Evan’s propensity for community engagement is time well spent, as he feels that “getting people in the community involved is great, essential, and contagious.” Thank you, Evan, for all you do!