Sustainable Urban Development

Introduction to Equitable and Sustainable Development

This tool uses the Atlanta BeltLine project to introduce students to key concepts in Equitable and Sustainable Development, particularly as it pertains to large infrastructure projects. Through a combination of take-home readings, lecture, and in-class group activity, students will explore the successes, and critiques of the BeltLine project. Equally important, they will learn to define what infrastructure means, what it does, and how we can impact its development in order to achieve equity and sustainability.

This tool was created by Bethany Jacobs and Dave Ederer. 

Living Infrastructure: The Atlanta BeltLine

This tool uses stakeholder mapping to explore the various entities that influence and benefit from infrastructure projects. Through a short presentation and reading, students will learn about one specific infrastructure project: the Atlanta BeltLine. The BeltLine, originally conceived as a network of light rail lines connecting the city of Atlanta, is a massive project in both vision and implementation. Since its inception, the vision for the BeltLine has expanded to include objectives for parks, multi-use trails, affordable housing, historic preservation, and economic development. Different groups have influenced these priorities over time.

MARTA: The History and Future of Transportation in Atlanta

This is a collection of assignments about public transportation in Atlanta. The assignments are designed to 1) develop mapping and data analysis skills, 2) form an understanding of how MARTA is used today and how the system evolved to be in its current state, and 3) foster thinking about sustainable transportation. The problems are based on the IoT (Internet of Things) datasets of MARTA, which includes passenger counts of vehicles and Breeze card swipes at terminals. Reflection questions about the history of transportation are based on the 2017 report Opportunity Deferred: Race, Transportation, and the Future of Metropolitan Atlanta.

Sustainability at Georgia Tech: Campus Tour and Journaling Activity

This journaling tool, based on a lesson created by Yelena Rivera-Vale and Kristina Chatfield, introduces first year students to Georgia Tech’s efforts to create a sustainable campus community. Touring sites on campus, documenting the tour experience through journaling and photography, and considering the ways that sustainable design can impact the environment, equity, and economy will teach students about how effective sustainable design impacts both Georgia Tech and the wider Atlanta community.

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