Working to Include Equity Along the Atlanta BeltLine
Emily Nonko reports on efforts to ensure equitable development around the Atlanta BeltLine—one of the largest and most ambitious public open space investments in the United States.
While the BeltLine has already proven immensely popular, questions about equity, gentrification, and displacement have dogged the project for years now, especially in the tax allocation district set up to fund affordable housing projects. As Nonko notes, "in 2016, the BeltLine’s original visionary resigned from the partnership’s board, citing concerns about equitable development. Last year, a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia News Lab found only 785 of the 5,600 units had been funded, reporting that the 'mission of keeping black families and middle and low-income residents from being pushed from their neighborhoods became an afterthought to building parks and trails.'"
Nonko reports that Atlanta BeltLine Inc. is working to better achieve goals of equity and ensuring inclusive developments within the tax allocation district. To that end, the organization recently released a report [pdf] on the subject of creating and preserving affordable housing. The report sets a goal of 5,600 affordable units. Nonko reports on the details of the report, and the challenges facing Atlanta BeltLine Inc. in achieving the ambitions of the tax allocation district.