Gravel > 20 years later, damn proud.

(ideas.) Twenty years ago, I never imagined we would actually build the Atlanta Beltline. I just wanted to graduate – which I did. I finished my Beltline thesis in December 1999, carried it up to the library, and set it alongside every other thesis at Georgia Tech. Then I skipped my commencement ceremony and Karen and I went to New York City to celebrate.

A lot has happened since I finished Belt Line – Atlanta; Design of Infrastructure as a Reflection of Public Policy. I was lucky to meet people who wanted to make it real. We happened go public with the idea at exactly the right time in Atlanta’s transition from population decline and stagnation to growth and vitality. And Atlanta had a community structure that allowed the idea to spread like wildfire across the city. You can read all about that story in Where We Want to Live, but the short version is that we built a movement around a big idea that inspired a generation of hard work that, for all our missteps and blind spots, has lifted an incredible vision to life.

I’m pretty damn proud of that – proud of all the people who made the Beltline possible and proud of those still working hard to make sure the project delivers. Thank you – let’s celebrate! Come share a toast to 20 years of the Atlanta Beltline! Generator is hosting a special happy hour on December 6. We’ll have drinks and a couple announcements, including winners of our ideas competition – “A Bigger Better Loop.”

Even as we continue our work to make sure the Beltline lives up to its promise, we also need to look ahead with fresh eyes and new ideas. The world is changing much faster than it was twenty years ago and the opportunity to inspire our future with better ideas is increasingly urgent. That’s why we’re building Generator – to seek out and cultivate a generation of new ideas.

Please help discover and support the next big Beltline idea by making a donation to Generator. We are raising $300k to build out a space that can advance a new generation of ideas about our future.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME! See you on December 6!


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