Many metropolitan areas have development authorities or something equivalent tasked with the goal of transforming traditionally neglected parts of town into something that will attract middle class residents and in turn spur private investment. While the track record for many of these authorities varies, LDI wanted to call out two super interesting urban development projects that have experienced great success in positively transforming their downtown areas: the Atlanta Beltline in Atlanta GA and Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville SC. What makes these projects interesting is the incorporation of green space as a major redevelopment component.
The Atlanta BeltLine is transforming Atlanta with a combination of rail, trail, greenspace, housing and art. It will ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods. First conceived as a 1999 master’s thesis by Georgia Tech student Ryan Gravel, the Atlanta BeltLine utilizes an existing 22-mile historic rail corridor that encircles the City of Atlanta as its foundation. Pedestrian friendly rail transit and 33 miles of multi-use trails will follow this corridor and spur off from it. The Atlanta BeltLine represents a new framework for the region’s growth, centered on Transit Oriented Development, an unprecedented expansion of park land and public spaces, and vital expansion of the regional transit and transportation network. Currently Four trail segments are open, six spectacular new or renovated parks are now open for public enjoyment, and new affordable housing is making it easier to live along the corridor. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) is managing the planning, design and implementation of all aspects of the project with partners in the public and private sectors. Approximately 3,000 acres of underutilized land along the corridor will become available for public and private redevelopment opportunities. A map of the Atlanta beltline can be viewed here.
In the mid-1980s, the Carolina Foothills Garden Club and the City of Greenville adopted a master plan for the park in an area that for decades housed textile mills and cotton warehouses. Using funds generated through a local hospitality tax, and building on the master plan designed in 1999 by landscape architect Andrea Mains, Falls Park was developed to include 20 acres of gardens showcasing Reedy River Falls. In August 2002, Mayor Knox White announced "In Full Bloom in 2003," a $13 million initiative to transform the park into a public garden and oasis. Included in the project was construction of a 355-foot-long, 12-foot-wide, curved suspension bridge. Within two years, over $100 million in private investment was created around the park — hotels, restaurants, condominiums, apartments. To attract developers, the city pays for green space and parking garages connected to projects. Falls Park has been so successful that NPR refers to it as the park that helped one town weather the recession. A map of Falls Park on the Reedy can be found here.
Projects like these are often featured on the LDI Line during the bid stage. Prequalified general contractors can list these and many other types of construction projects on the LDI Line for free. All they have to do is upload files using our Send File upload tool and fill out the accompanying order form. Bidding subcontractors and vendors can access the LDI Line freeand order hard copy or digital files of any project from any LDI location.