Focusing on the cultural role of infrastructure (p. 79), Gravel acknowledges the precursors to the Atlanta Beltline (p. 99) and the complexities of its implementation (p. 87). However, he has high hopes, stating "I don't know what everyone else wants for the Atlanta BeltLine, but my personal hope is that it will redefine urban life in the twenty-first century South." (p. 134).
Gravel identifies some key points about infrastructure and urbanism:
- The elements of urbanism are all around: "sidewalks, porches, fountains, and all the rest in a magnificent display of urbanity," (p. 14) and it is from these types of elements great urbanism can be made, as demonstrated by the squares of Savannah, Georgia (p. 17).
- Sprawl in communities: 1) leads to sparse, segregated groups; 2) encourage car-dependence; 3) are static and nonadaptive to change; and 4) can "choke on their own success" (p. 59).
Gravel celebrates the "gras roots movement" (p. 99) and community support (p. 102) that made the Atlanta Beltline possible. He states: "Infrastructures of opportunity like the Atlanta Beltline give us hope that we can follow through on our dreams to build a new business, live without a car, or bike to the park after school" (p. 133-134). By placing his vision in the everyday, and ordinary elements of urbanism, Gravel shows how a strong and resilient community can form around infrastructure.
- "Boulevards and Beltlines: How citizens can push back against urban sprawl and create vibrant, interconnected communities," Stanford Social Innovation Review, Review By Ben Hecht, Summer 2016.
- Ryan Gravel, author Web site.
- Atlanta BeltLine, official site.
- People Places: Car-Free: links to help you have a car-free lifestyle.
- Asphalt Nation
- The Wealth of Cities
- Suburban Nation
- How Cities Work
- Global City Blues
- Get Urban!
- Sprawl Kills
- A Whole New Mind
- The Trap
- The Option of Urbanism
- The High Cost of Free Parking
- Cul-de-Sac Syndrome
- Waiting on a Train
- Triumph of the City
- If Cars Could Talk
- The Great Inversion
- The End of the Suburbs
- Why We Drive