November 15, 2019
Jacksonville's urban city trail

Photo:

Part of the Emerald Trail will wind along an elevated roadway in Jacksonville.

Green Development

Jacksonville's urban city trail

Amy Martinez | 10/25/2019

Last March, the Jacksonville City Council approved a plan to build an urban trail system similar to the BeltLine in Atlanta. The details of Emerald Trail:

  • Length: As proposed, the Emerald Trail will link 14 city neighborhoods via 30 miles of biking and walking paths around downtown.
  • Cost: The project is expected to cost at least $31 million and take 10 years to complete. Construction is to begin next fall.
  • Cleanup: Building the trail will involve restoring two polluted creeks and converting contaminated land to parks, playgrounds and other public spaces along the trail. In addition, the trail will be developed on public rights of way.
  • First: The first phase of the project will start at the south end of an existing trail converted from old railroad tracks near downtown and run for 1.3 miles to the city’s convention center.
  • Urban boost: Advocates say Emerald Trail will help revitalize Jacksonville’s urban core, encourage healthy lifestyles and spur economic development. The trail passes by 18 schools, two colleges and 28 parks, as well as restaurants, shops and businesses.

Kay Ehas

CEO, Groundwork Jacksonville

“What research shows is that the folks who benefit the most from a trail are the people who live near it. So if you think about where this trail is going, it’s going into African-American neighborhoods. For every dollar spent on a trail, there’s almost $2 in direct medical cost savings. Property values increase, on average, 6%. I think it creates mobility equity. You don’t need a car to get around. You can walk or bike. If we design it really well — and that’s what our donors expect — it’s going to improve the aesthetics of everywhere it goes. It will improve those neighborhoods and how they look. It creates economic development opportunities. Developers are expecting a lot out of this. I had one developer from Atlanta, whose offices are on the BeltLine, call me before buying property along the trail route. His plan is mixed-use — offices, apartments, artist lofts, things like that. He knows the impact the BeltLine has had on Atlanta, and that was an impetus for him to buy the property.”

Laying the Groundwork

Founded in 2014, Groundwork Jacksonville is a public-private partnership charged with mapping out the Emerald Trail. The nonprofit — part of a national network of trusts focused on sustainable land development and restoration — also is tasked with raising half the funding for the trail; the city will cover the rest. Groundwork Jacksonville developed the trail’s master plan with the PATH Foundation, which has helped build more than 280 miles of trails in Georgia, and KAIZEN Collaborative, a trail planning and design firm based in Tucker, Ga.

 

Read more in Florida Trend's November issue.

Select from the following options:

EXISTING
DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBERS

Access Article Now!

DIGITAL
SINGLE
ISSUE

Get a single DIGITAL copy of this issue

$4.95

PRINT
SINGLE
ISSUE

Get a single PRINT copy of this issue

$4.95
plus $3 postage & handling

PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

One year in PRINT

$14.98*
plus a FREE gift!

DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

One year DIGITAL

$14.98*
plus a FREE gift!

ALL ACCESS SUBSCRIPTION

One year Combo
PRINT + DIGITAL

$24.95*
plus a FREE gift!


CURRENT  PRINT  SUBSCRIBERS

If you are already a print subscriber,
ADD DIGITAL EDITION ACCESS
to your existing subscription here!
(or call our office at 727-892-2643)

* offer valid for new subscribers only

Tags: Environment, Lifestyle, Economic Backbone, Feature

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

2019 Shine Mural Mashup
2019 Shine Mural Mashup

See all the 2019 Shine Mural Festival murals, artist and wall locations in this three minute video.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

What threat level do you believe global warming is?

  • Global warming is man-made
  • Global warming is a natural threat
  • Global warming is a hoax
  • Other (Please share your comments in the comment section below)

See Results

Florida Trend Magazine
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701
727.821.5800

© Copyright 2019 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.