By Dallas Clement, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Cox Enterprises
It may not be obvious to everyone, but the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership is at a major turning point in its evolution. Now that the Atlanta BeltLine is gaining momentum, it becomes more and more important that we keep the original vision of the project in focus. We need to work even harder to ensure that this 22-mile loop of trees, trails and transit truly becomes a ribbon of civic improvement that connects the 45 nearby neighborhoods, increasing economic opportunity and improving the quality of life.
The dream for the Atlanta BeltLine began in 1999 and today includes nearly seven miles of trails, six adjacent parks, 88 real estate developments either completed or in progress representing 12,136 new residential units, and 113 workforce housing units. Early in the life of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, this organization had to work to convince others to buy into the vision. Now that much of the concept has been proven as Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. continues the buildout, it is time to involve the region in an even broader collaborative effort to see the project through.
Transforming the way Atlanta lives, works, plays and travels is no small feat. That’s why our newly adopted strategic plan calls for a renewed focus on partnership. This strategy is based on the understanding that there are competent, capable organizations in Atlanta with the capacity and expertise to further the Atlanta BeltLine vision, and it builds on what got the project this far; cross-sector collaboration.
The most core tenet of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership is its belief in the value of partnerships across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The guiding principle of employing, leveraging and nourishing relationships is at the heart of everything the Partnership does. Going forward, we will rely even more on such collaborations to achieve our goals.
As stakeholders in the Atlanta BeltLine vision, it is important to us to not only raise funds to support the project’s development but to also step in where necessary to resolve issues and clear potential hurdles.
It is also our charge to sustain broad public support. We’ll do that through creative programs that provide positive experiences, and by making sure that our public officials now and in years to come continue to play a lead role in the expansion of the Atlanta BeltLine.
Perhaps most importantly, we will work with community partners to spread the positive impacts of the project to the broadest possible cross-section of the population. The goal here is to help ensure inclusive housing options, positive health outcomes and improved access to economic opportunity.
We will need your ideas, your talents, your passion and your commitment to a better Atlanta region as we continue the most comprehensive urban revitalization project in the country. You are the biggest part of our strategy.