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Atlanta according to Ryan Gravel

The urban planner who envisioned the Atlanta Beltline loves his fellow Atlantans but isn’t crazy about dog poop on the Eastside Trail

Photo by Joeff Davis
Photo credit: Joeff Davis/CL
Ryan Gravel

Ryan Gravel was a Georgia Tech graduate student when he envisioned Atlanta’s abandoned railroad tracks serving another purpose. Today construction crews are turning his idea into the Atlanta Beltline, a loop of parks, trails, and (one day) transit circling the city. The urban planner, designer, and founding principal of Sixpitch — who lives along the project in Inman Park — has traveled the world talking about the Beltline, the importance of infrastructure, and cities. Gravel’s first book, Where We Want to Live, is scheduled to be published in March 2016.

Ponce de Leon Avenue is the best place to see art in Atlanta. It’s best at 1:00 in the morning.

The best advice you could give an Atlanta visitor is get out of your car. There’s more to this town than traffic.

The Piedmont Park Pool is the best place to take the kids. Followed by King of Pops.

The Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail is my favorite spot that nobody knows about. So glad we’ve been able to keep that a secret.

The patio at Kevin Rathbun Steak is my favorite place to go for munchies. Or Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall, depending on my mood.

The Georgia Archives Building is my favorite building. That’s not a joke — it’s beautiful.

The people of Atlanta are my favorite living Atlantans. They’ve made this amazing thing come to life.

Dog poop left in the middle of the Atlanta Beltline is my biggest pet peeve about Atlanta. C’mon people, let’s be civilized.

The Atlanta of the future includes an upending of regional real estate conventions. It’s already happening — this is going to be a different place in 20 years.

I decided to make Atlanta home because that kind of change is going to make this town into an even more interesting place to live.