Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail: Population Comparison Measuring Changes in Behavior Related to Health

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Smith, Sarah M.
Ross, Catherine L.
Elliott, Michael
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The Atlanta BeltLine is one of the largest redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States. It represents an exciting new vision for the city of Atlanta and the Atlanta region. The project will ultimately include the transformation of a 22-mile mostly abandoned freight rail corridor to a new system of parks, trails, and transit. The construction of the BeltLine is creating greater opportunities for residents to have a higher quality healthier life through the creation of new greenspace, walkable neighborhoods, high-quality infill development, transit, and healthy communities. Taken together, the BeltLine components are intended to create a continuous loop of urban regeneration around the core of the city. Linked by transit and greenspace, the BeltLine will connect people with places and with each other. A section of the BeltLine, known as the Eastside Trail, will eventually include lighting, plantings, and other design elements and is intended for walking, bicycling, and other non-motorized movement. This research report examines how an external health determinant such as the construction of the BeltLine Eastside Trail can potentially shape individual behavior patterns in the population living along the corridor. The report also analyzes how this behavioral change can impact public health, specifically by providing an increased opportunity for physical activity, as well as how the creation of greenspace, which provides opportunities for social interaction, can improve mental health.
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