Posts Tagged ‘Parks and greenspace’

First phase of the BeltLine opens this weekend

The Atlanta Memorial Trail opens for business tomorrow at 3 p.m.

Amazing Park Pride conference

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hear Mayor Kasim Reed address Park Pride’s conference at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. First off, it was a fantastic event, and kudos to my good friend, Abi Paine, who worked so hard on the program to underscore the many benefits of parks. They not only include aesthetic beauty but offer an increase in property value and create a place for kids to play and often, according to one speaker, access a sense of freedom for the first time.

Mayor Reed gave a powerful speech about his commitment to greening Atlanta —  greenspace and the BeltLine — and, in response to a pointed question by Maria Saporta, announced his support for a designated fund for parks. Reed talked about finishing the jobs we’ve begun — that we have so many smart people working on projects forever — rather than starting new intiatives. And he instilled a sense of pride in Atlanta by noting the draw to this place despite our lack of oceans or great lakes. There’s opportunity here by virtue of smart people, he said, referring to a statistic by Edward Glaeser, a Harvard professor of economics, who recently wrote on a NYT blog that nearly 43 percent of adults in Atlanta boast college degrees. Check out Glaeser’s blog post, “Betting on Atlanta,” here:

Mayor Reed also noted that the recession has led to a rediscovery of the value of parks. Apparently, Piedmont Park has seen an uptick of attendance during the dampened economy as people realize the cheap thrill of heading to the park.