Nashville can learn some growth lessons from Atlanta — yes, Atlanta
For many, a mention of Atlanta conjures long commutes, snarled traffic and suburban sprawl.
But an innovative transit redevelopment project around the city's downtown could provide some lessons for planners and government officials in the Nashville region, which is grappling with its own growth.
On Thursday, the brainchild behind the Atlanta Beltline outlined the $4 billion infrastructure undertaking during The Power of Ten, a one-day summit for leaders from the 10 counties that comprise the broader Nashville region. The summit is produced by Cumberland Region Tomorrow, a nonprofit that encourages better growth planning.
"The whole focus of the day was not how to just accommodate growth, but to plan better how we grow," said Carol Hudler, CEO of the planning organization.
The Beltline is a 22-mile loop of bike and pedestrian trails, a modern streetcar system and parks. It's all based on former railroad corridors that encircle Atlanta.
Built to connect 45 neighborhoods, the transit-oriented redevelopment project includes hundreds of affordable workforce homes, free fitness classes, an arboretum, an urban farm and a large public art installation.