Ryan brings the knowledge of building dimension and design to site planning, concept development, and public policy. His master’s thesis in 1999 was the original vision for the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile transit greenway that transforms a loop of old railroads with transit, parks, and trails to generate economic growth and protect quality-of-life in 45 neighborhoods throughout the central city. Now in the early stages of implementation, the project’s health and economic benefits have already become obvious, with record-breaking use of its first 2-mile phase of trail and over $1 billion of new, compact, mixed-use redevelopment along the same corridor since 2005.
At Perkins+Will, Ryan has helped lead early design work on the Atlanta Beltline itself, taking his long-term commitment to sustainable city building full circle: from vision, to advocacy, to planning, design, and implementation. He speaks internationally and has received numerous awards for his work on the project. Ryan is also finishing a book that investigates the cultural side of infrastructure, describing how its intimate relationship with our way of life can illuminate a brighter path forward for cities.