Jan
06

To Woo Millennials, Atlanta Considers Covering Highways With Parks

As living and working in walkable urban centers becomes more popular, interest has risen in such projects, which are often called deck parks. Dallas completed a $112 million, 5.2-acre park over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in 2012, sparking commercial and residential development around it. It now draws crowds for food trucks, a reading area, a playground and free concerts.

Since then, dozens of deck parks have been proposed in about 30 cities including Philadelphia, Denver and Los Angeles, said James Burnett, a landscape architect whose firm works on many such plans, including two in Atlanta.

“Open space drives real estate values through the roof,” he said. “It was this big cavern and now it’s a green oasis.”

Backers of deck parks say they could help lure tech companies seeking to expand their presence outside of Silicon Valley. Critics say they often benefit developers and siphon valuable dollars—either through direct government support or tax-financing plans—from more pressing needs such as road repairs, expanded public transit and affordable housing.

Read more at: WSJ