The urban planning guru who dreamed up the Atlanta BeltLine is staging a contest for rethinking the car-centric uses of I-285 and turning the entire Perimeter highway into “A Bigger Better Loop.”
Ryan Gravel launched the contest for the concepts on Nov. 15 at Generator, his Downtown nonprofit that serves as a brainstorming club. He’ll hold an “ideas workshop” there on Nov. 22 from 2-6 p.m. and announce winners Dec. 6. Find out more about submitting ideas for the competition at this link.
In an interview, Gravel said the contest is just for playful, casual fun and he’s aiming for far-out concepts, while at the same time acknowledging that one never knows where brainstorming might lead. After all, that’s how the BeltLine came about 20 years ago, an anniversary that is the occasion for the I-285 contest. This year also happens to be the 50th anniversary of I-285.
“I do like the idea of rethinking I-285. It could do more than just carry cars,” said Gravel. “…So I like the idea of 285 becoming something that people love. And I don’t know what it would take to do that. I definitely think that it’s possible and I don’t think that it comes, necessarily, at the expense of cars.”