Project Title

Atlanta BeltLine: Ecological Utopia or Aestheticized Uneven Development?

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Sarasij Majumder

This research is based on secondary sources and observation, and doesn’t involve interviewing or interacting with any other humans.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Atlanta’s BeltLine project has been criticized for failing to deliver on its promise of affordable housing and its reinforcement of gentrification, displacement, and uneven development of the city to the point that the creator of the project has dissociated himself from it. The BeltLine has altered Atlanta residents identity and spatial perception of the city. Drawing from the Dr. LeAnn Land’s idea of property ideology along with the works of Michel Foucault and Henri Lefebvre, I have developed a “space ideology” to analyze the relationship between space and identity. This space ideology incorporates ideas on the production of space, the construction of identity through the gaze, utopias and heterotopias, and the role of the built environment in modernist and post-modern urban planning. Using the framework of space ideology, I examine the BeltLine project against the context of the historical development of American cities to analyze the disparity between the original idea of the BeltLine and its current manifestation.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Atlanta BeltLine: Ecological Utopia or Aestheticized Uneven Development?

Atlanta’s BeltLine project has been criticized for failing to deliver on its promise of affordable housing and its reinforcement of gentrification, displacement, and uneven development of the city to the point that the creator of the project has dissociated himself from it. The BeltLine has altered Atlanta residents identity and spatial perception of the city. Drawing from the Dr. LeAnn Land’s idea of property ideology along with the works of Michel Foucault and Henri Lefebvre, I have developed a “space ideology” to analyze the relationship between space and identity. This space ideology incorporates ideas on the production of space, the construction of identity through the gaze, utopias and heterotopias, and the role of the built environment in modernist and post-modern urban planning. Using the framework of space ideology, I examine the BeltLine project against the context of the historical development of American cities to analyze the disparity between the original idea of the BeltLine and its current manifestation.