The ATL Beltline & Built Environment

Amanda Tyler connects the effects of built environment and overall community health within Atlanta by examining birth outcomes as a type of metric. Specifically focusing on the Atlanta Beltline and how it has changed the lives of people living within a mile to half mile radius, Tyler reports overwhelming positive impact on the active lifestyles of those that take advantage of the paved trail system circling the city. Beyond the obvious positive effects of an increase in physical activity to an individual that the trails provide, they are also decorated with invigorating green space along with commissioned art pieces which decorate the 33 mile track. The Beltline has not only created an easily accessible exercise space for Atlanta civilians, but also an area which has the potential to drastically strengthen the overall health and inter connectivity of the people that surround it.

The Beltline’s art infrastructure and green space becomes my primary focus in relating this journal to my argument piece. Outside of the influences of physical activity on better health conditions, I believe the Beltline to be a vital location in the comparison of Atlanta’s built environments based on crime rate, public art, and general vandalism (graffiti/tags/broken windows) because it’s most popular stretches are all located within areas of significant art culture in the city, namely the neighborhoods surrounding Krog Street and Cabbagetown. Tying this together with the broken window theory, the beltline is a beacon of communal order due to how it’s open green appearances affect the communities that utilize it. Rather than attempting to reduce vandalism and other disruptions, the trail has the ability to increase residents satisfaction in the surrounding areas.

Tyler, Amanda, “Built Environment and Birth Outcomes: Examining the Exposure to the Atlanta Beltline and Its Effects on Community Health.” Thesis, Georgia State University, 2015.

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