Large-scale, sustainable urban development projects can transform surrounding neighborhoods. Without precautionary policies, environmental amenities produced by these projects, such as parks, trails, walkability, and higher-density development, tend to result in higher land and housing costs. This will make it harder for a low- and moderate-income households to live near the projects, and neighborhoods are likely to become increasingly affluent. The Atlanta Beltline will ultimately connect 45 Atlanta neighborhoods via a 22-mile loop of trails, parks, and eventually a streetcar, all of which follow abandoned railroad tracks. This paper examines the effect of the Beltline on housing values within one half mile. From 2011 to 2015, depending on the segment of the Beltline, values rose between 17.9 percent and 26.6 percent more for homes within a half-mile of the Beltline than elsewhere. The implications for housing affordability and neighborhood change of projects like the Beltline, and associated policy questions, are addressed.
Immergluck, Daniel and Balan, Tharunaya, "Sustainable for Whom? Green Urban Development, Environmental Gentrification, and the Atlanta Beltline" (2017). USI Publications. 14.