GRAVEL > a bigger better loop.

This December marks the 20th anniversary of my Atlanta Beltline thesis (dang!) and, as I’ve said, even with all of its challenges, I’m damn proud of the progress we’ve made. More than that, I’ve met a lot of people along the way who also have great ideas – most of which we never hear about. That’s why I founded Generator – a nonprofit venue and platform for sharing and supporting ideas about the future of cities. Next month we’re leveraging the Beltline anniversary to call attention to that effort – and to have some fun in the process.

You are invited to help celebrate this milestone. Come join us between 4-8:00 on Friday, December 6 at Generator – click here for location. It’s a free event, but if you love the idea behind Atlanta Beltline, please help us support other people with ideas by donating to Generator. Our $300k goal includes sponsorship opportunities like an exciting new partnership to be announced at the 12/6 event.

Part of the celebration is an ideas competition inspired by the success of the Atlanta Beltline. Generator is asking you to pitch your ideas for the transformation of Atlanta’s larger loop: Interstate-285. It’s a great time to think about A BIGGER BETTER LOOP #biggerbetterloop because it also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the opening of Atlanta’s notorious, 64-mile circumferential highway, which carries over two million travelers a day.


Regional growth over the next twenty years is likely to crush I-285 in gridlock, creating a challenge for your daily commute and an opportunity for you to think big about the loop’s future. This should be a fun competition – don’t burden your idea with today’s politics, policies, budgets, or other constraints. Like the Atlanta Beltline, think big and be creative.

  • Submissions are easy – forms are here.
  • Deadline is Tuesday, December 3 at 5:00 PM via
  • We’ll have awards in multiple categories – Best for the People, Best for the Planet, Most Utopian, Most Dystopian, etc. And thanks to the Transformation Alliance, we are offering cash prizes for K-12 students!
  • Winners will be announced on December 6 at the event and via Instagram and Twitter at @generatoratl

Purely for your inspiration, here are some of my quick sketches for I-285. Follow me @ryangravel for more ideas.








1 reply

  1. What fun. So proud of you Ryan!
    I well remember 285 back in 1974 when it was a few less lanes and yet barely a vehicle on it at some times in the day. Wondered to myself if it would ever be congested? Today of course looks like poster child for induced demand. Clearly we can’t expect more lanes to cure our transportation woes. There are so many practical solutions demonstrated world-wide from which to choose; but cultural change, while the most difficult, will be the most effective answer.
    Best success with Generator. This is probably your next Best Idea since the Beltline even as I know you have had some great ideas and many worthy accomplishments since.

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