By Ariana Nieves,
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)
In 2018, the city of Atlanta, Georgia, faced the need for a new parking solution near two famous sights, Zoo Atlanta and the Beltline. The original 8-acre surface parking lot could no longer meet the growing community’s needs. This demand raised an opportunity to create more parking and provide the community with a safe and multifunctional sustainable hub.
The Grant Park Gateway boasts many features such as 1,000 parking spaces, a 2.5-acre green roof, rooftop restaurant space, overtop Zoo viewing area, a shaded terrace, a grand lawn, a pedestrian overpass, and 9 acres of green space.
There is also a water feature that doubles as a stormwater management system. The stormwater management system comprises various cisterns, infiltration trenches, and a wet pond that manages the runoff helps meet irrigation demand and recharges groundwater.
The park is also built into the existing landscape and designed to emulate natural foliage and the natural veins in leaves.
Alternative Transportation Efforts
The project aimed to provide more parking spots, but it now also enhances access to alternative transportation forms. The park is close distance to various transit options and community services. The project features designated “green vehicle” parking, electronic parking stations, and carpool parking.
Additionally, the park has installed single space detection systems and idle reduction payment systems to help encourage visitors to spend less time in their vehicles and more time outside enjoying the park amenities.
The project has garnered energy savings, increased interior daylight levels, responsible construction material selections, and diverted construction waste from ending up in landfills.
The park also chose to preserve native plants and support healthy plants. In doing so, the project has been able to use vegetation to decrease adverse effects on wildlife, human habitats, and the microclimate. Further, the project also utilized reflective materials to reduce the heat island effect.
The park is helping to support the local Atlanta economy, improve human health and wellbeing, and reduce pollution.
Overall, the Grant Park Gateway is a huge success and progression in the sustainability world. It has set a new precedent by being the first project in the world to obtain LEED, SITES, and the Parksmart certifications. It serves as an inspiration to continue to go above and beyond to be as sustainable as possible.
Photography by Dorian Shy
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