Atlanta BeltLine creator resigns from organization over housing concerns

Ryan Gravel (Courtesy Atlanta BeltLine)
Ryan Gravel (Courtesy Atlanta BeltLine)

Ryan Gravel, the urban planner whose master’s thesis became the Atlanta BeltLine, has resigned from the organization raising funds to make the 22-mile loop of paths and transit a reality.

According to SaportaReport, Gravel and fellow board member Nathaniel Smith, founder of the Partnership for Southern Equity, both resigned from the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership on Monday. They both cited the lack of equity and housing affordability along the BeltLine.

Gravel said the vision for the BeltLine has been one of inclusivity – making sure its success does not prevent people of all income levels from being able to live along the BeltLine corridor.

From Gravel and Smith’s resignation letter: “While there have been success stories that we can be proud of, our coalition’s progress has not been commensurate with the scale of the challenges at hand. The recent announcement of $7.5 million from TAD bonds, for example, will likely support fewer than 200 affordable units out of ABI’s obligation to 5,600 – it is a drop in the bucket when compared to the need. As the economy roars back to life and growth in the city accelerates, this work is increasingly urgent and we feel strongly that our attention must be channeled directly toward it.”

You can read the full text of Gravel and Smith’s resignation letter at this link.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the editor of Atlanta Intown.