Atlanta Beltline founder Ryan Gravel quits over housing costs
The prize reflects the impact of Gravel’s city planning concepts, which are summed up in his book, “Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities.” Gravel, 43, will introduce that book during the festival’s final day.
Ryan Gravel—then a student at Georgia Tech ..
Ryan Gravel’s 1999 master’s thesis from Georgia Tech in Architecture and City Planning was the original vision for the ambitious Atlanta Beltline – a 22-mile transit greenway that transforms a loop of old railroads with light-rail transit, parks and trails to generate economic growth and protect quality-of-life in 45 neighborhoods throughout the central city. Eight years of his subsequent work as a volunteer and later in the nonprofit and government sectors was critical to the project’s success, which is now a $2+ billion public-private initiative in the early stages of implementation.
Yet engineers, planners and policy makers tend to focus on wonky stuff like percentage of parkland per person. They’re awash in acronyms like V.M.T. (vehicle miles traveled), too reliant on planning terms like modeshare that don’t resonate with the general public. These things may be useful in measuring the metrics of a city, but they sure don’t get to the reasons people want to live there. You don’t move to one city because it has 35 percent more parkland per person than another city. You move there because you fall in love with it, or with someone there, or you get a job there, or your family is from there. We need to address metrics, but the bigger goal is to make cities that we love.
The original mind behind the proposal is Ryan Gravel, ..
With the Beltline project under his belt and new professional adventures on the horizon, Gravel has taken what he has learned since graduation and written a book called Where We Want to Live – Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities. This fresh take on the future of cities investigates the cultural side of infrastructure, describing how a more thoughtful design for the construction of our lives can illuminate a brighter path forward. By invoking examples as wide-ranging as the small and elegant High Line in New York City to the revitalization of the vast and unruly Los Angeles River, Gravel describes how people everywhere are already reclaiming obsolete infrastructure as renewed conduits of urban life. More than individual projects, he argues, they represent an emerging cultural momentum that allows us to forget tired old arguments about traffic, pollution, blight, and sprawl, and instead leverage those conditions as assets in the creation of something far more interesting than anything we’ve seen so far.
Chapter 1, “Ryan Gravel’s Epiphany” – City on the Verge
"Ryan Gravel has a love for our city, an audacity to dream, and a designer’s sense of the possible,” says Bruce Stiftel, chair of the School of City and Regional Planning. "His dream has given new vitality to Atlanta and serves as an inspiration to planning and architecture students everywhere, nowhere more than in the same studios where he dreamed - at Georgia Tech on Fourth Street in Atlanta.”
Review: Ryan Gravel’s Where We Want To Live …
Ryan Gravel, the man behind Atlanta’s increasingly popular Beltline, resigned Monday from the organization that helps raise funds for the project, according to a news report.
Ryan Gravel "Where We Want To Live" 04.15.2016 - …
"While Ryan was working on his thesis, all of us professors at Georgia Tech believed in the transformative power of the idea and the brilliant planning and design of the project itself. But we were only academics, dreaming dreams, and having dreamt so often of transformative projects, Ryan’s thesis soon became another memory,” say architecture professor Richard Dagenhart, Gravel’s mentor. "Until it was not.”