LaForce Awarded Small Bets Seed Grant

<p>People running, walking and biking along a portion of the Atlanta Beltline</p>

People running, walking and biking along a portion of the Atlanta Beltline

Researcher Salimah LaForce (CACP), teamed up with Scott Gilliland (IMTC) and Jeff Evans (GTRI/CACP), to form an interdisciplinary team of research faculty from Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College, the College of Computing, and Georgia Tech Research Institute. They bring together expertise in data-informed emergency response, quantitative research methods and software and electronics development to investigate the use of the Atlanta BeltLine as an emergency evacuation route preceding or in the wake of a disaster event.

The Atlanta BeltLine is a walkable and bikeable path that connects neighborhoods, providing residents and visitors an attractive alternative to driving. When complete, the Atlanta Beltline can unify once divided areas, engendering greater community connectedness and economic viability. It weaves under, over and through a multitude of overpasses, footbridges and tunnels. As in any city, a significant feature is simultaneously an asset and a potential hazard. These types of structures are "vulnerable critical facilities" that should be included in emergency risk assessments and mitigation planning. Bridges of the BeltLine will conduct a mixed-methods study to understand how the BeltLine can be used as an emergency management asset.