The Landfill Site - Master Plan
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The highest point on the site, with its sweeping views extending from the Chattahoochee watershed to downtown Atlanta, seems to be a fitting place to create a work of environmental art. Legends abound in the Cherokee culture and the existence of the universe has its place in the inventory of stories handed down from generation to generation. Ancestors of the present day Cherokee believed the universe was made up of three separate worlds:  the Upper World, the Lower World, and This World.

This World, a round island resting on the surface of the waters, was suspended from the sky by four cords attached at the four cardinal points of the compass. Each direction of This World was identified by its own color and hovered somewhere between the perfect order and predictability of the Upper World and the total disorder and instability of the Lower World.

East was associated with the color red because it was the direction of the sun, the greatest deity of all. Red was also the color of sacred fire, believed to be directly connected with the sun, with blood and therefore with life. North was the direction of cold, so its color was blue. It represented trouble and defeat. South was the direction of warmth, and its color, white, was associated with peace and happiness. West was the moon segment. It provided no warmth and unlike the sun was not a great giver of life. Black was the color assigned to the West and it stood for the region of the souls of the dead and for death itself.
Mankind's goal, the Cherokee believed, was to find some halfway path or balance between the Upper World and the Lower World while living in This World.


Methane is one of the by-products of the natural decomposition of household waste buried deep in the landfill. As this process tapers off, the amount of methane generated will ultimately become too small to use commercially (it is presently used to help fuel the adjacent Blue Circle Concrete plant).

The Methane Dragon - a large environmental art piece - is proposed as a creative way to vent the gas and provide a landmark against the skyline. The gas flares mark the "backbone" of the dragon, while lighting the pathway underneath. The final form of the landfill could be sculpted to add more definition to the body, head, and tale of this mythical beast, and create a true landmark for this part of Atlanta.



The Riverway Trail system is a transect through Atlanta's cultural, aesthetic, and natural heritage. As such, it should be treated as an interpretive corridor, a place of enjoyable learning as well as recreation.

Interpretation should take many forms: e.g., interpretive signage, trail brochures, guided tours, to name a few. The Photosimulation provides a suggested layout for a typical sign. The signage should be developed to add another measure of continuity to the trail experience.

A few points to consider:
*  An overall graphic look should be developed and followed throughout the trail system (typeface, column
   width, layout, colors, etc.)
*  Work with local resource groups to find or produce high quality artwork and photographs
*  Use short bits of text, well researched, and captivating.
*  Follow the rule of 3-3-3 (people must be able to look at a sign and get something out of it, whether they stop
   for 3 seconds, 30 seconds, or 3 minutes).
*  Use high quality materials throughout. Consider Fiberglass or ceramic signage.
*  Develop a mounting system that reflects local traditions, forms, and colors.

Site Analysis  Master Plan  Return to The Landfill Site 
1997 Landscape Architecture Foundation Demonstration Project 
Sponsored by Urban Resources Partnership 
Last updated on 13 February 1998