The goal of The Region’s Plan is to “win the future” by using the unique characteristics of the Atlanta area in order to continue to develop it into a global city. In 2014, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) created a policy framework for this plan that includes three overarching ideas, which are building an innovation economy, providing-world class infrastructure, and ensuring the availability of healthy, livable communities. The ARC also created six key goals relating to this threefold vision, each of which have supporting objectives to actively work towards these goals. The Policy Framework recognizes the importance of equity in trying to build a prosperous region as a whole and, therefore, is an element in all of the plan’s policies. The policies are open to public review until July 27 and will then be reviewed by the ARC Board for approval in August.
According to Kelly Armstrong, CQG Executive Committee Member and ARC Chairman, “The Region’s Plan captures the opportunities available to greater Atlanta, based on our vibrancy, assets, and wide variety of dynamic communities. It also offers strategies for tackling the challenges we must address, to remain strong and attractive as we grow toward a region of 8 million. The Council for Quality Growth and its members represent that energy and our proud history of developing and growing strong, attractive communities through innovative practices and community oriented engagement.”
Vision: Competitive Economy
Goal 1: Building the Region as a Globally Recognized Hub of Innovation and Prosperity
In 2012, the Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy was created. It draws ideas and best practices from cities around the globe and applies them to the metro Atlanta area. This strategy is being carried out by focusing the region’s resources in the following four areas:
- Developing an Educated Workforce
- Growing Prosperous Businesses
- Supporting Innovative Entrepreneurs
- Developing Livable Communities
Objective – Ensure all centers support innovation, balance job growth and economic development
Objective – Maintain the region’s current successes in the employment sectors and increase prosperity for all workers and businesses
Goal 2: Developing a Highly Educated and Desired Workforce, Able to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century Employers
In order to ensure educational success for the entire region, the Educated Committee is composed of stakeholders from all sectors that work to understand the initiatives and strategies being used to support students in metro Atlanta. Its purpose is to support these students from early education to adulthood. The Committee works with pre-K, K-12, and post-secondary partners to support the local school systems, gather information, and share best practices.
Objective – Develop holistic, regional approach to education, from cradle to career, focusing on areas of need and working with local communities
Vision: World Class Infrastructure
Goal 3: Comprehensive Transportation Network, Incorporating Regional Transit and 21st Century Technology
The ARC uses the Equitable Target Areas (ETA) index to understand the challenges of the focus communities, which are areas with a high percentage of people in poverty or a high minority population. The index measures the impact of The Region’s Plan strategies on these areas. It is also used to prioritize projects and support decision-making.
Objective – Maintain the existing multimodal transportation system to provide for reliable travel
Objective – Provide regional systems that reduce dependence on single-occupant vehicles, reducing emissions, increasing economic competitiveness, and improving livability
Objective – Expand transportation systems while also supporting local land use plans
Objective – Prepare for and foster the use of advanced technologies on vehicle movement and infrastructure connectivity
Objective – Provide a safe and secure transportation network
Objective – Promote an accessible and equitable system, including those with disabilities, older adults, and those with low incomes
Objective – Support the reliable movement of freight and goods
Goal 4: Secured, Long-Term Water Supply
The Policy Framework emphasizes sustainability and security for the metro Atlanta public water supply systems.
Objective – Coordinate with the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and protect water quality and supplies, while also minimizing potentially harmful impacts of development
Objective – Support local jurisdictions in planning for and implementing a variety of innovative, sustainable solutions for the region’s water and other environmental infrastructure
Vision: Healthy Livable Communities
Goal 5: Developing Additional Walkable, Vibrant Centers, That Support People of All Ages and Abilities
The ARC focuses on Transit Oriented Development (TOD) as a development option that would help support this goal and vision. This pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use type of community is meant to increase accessibility to reliable transit. TOD uses approaches that provide for a diverse community and addresses the needs of all residents.
Objective – Improve quality of life and sense of community at the neighborhood, city, county, and regional levels
Objective – Focus resources in areas of need and work with local communities
Objective – Invest in greater access to a variety of safe and quality housing to accommodate for all income levels, ages, and abilities
Objective – Promote sustainable land development and use of resources
Goal 6: Promoting Health, Arts, and Other Aspects of a High Quality of Life
The ARC recognizes the importance of what is defined as Creative Placemaking. This is the deliberate shaping of an environment to facilitate social interaction and improve a community’s quality of life. Some examples of this are the Atlanta BeltLine, festivals, parades, and other community events. These help create a feeling of community and improve quality of life for everyone regardless of income level, age, or abilities.
Objective – Improve public health and safety through the built environment
Objective – Integrate sound environmental practices into regional planning
Objective – Promote Creative Placemaking to build and maintain character and quality of communities
Objective – Coordinate with regional partners to implement community priorities
To view the full presentation of the Working Draft of the policies created by the ARC, click HERE.
To visit The Region’s Plan website, click HERE.