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Planning for the Future and Empowering People to Improve Quality of Life in our Region
The Atlanta Regional Commission is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county Atlanta region. Since 1947, ARC and its predecessor agencies have helped focus the region’s leadership, attention and resources on critical issues.
On any given day, ARC works with local jurisdictions and various regional partners to:
- Plan new transportation options
- Encourage the development of livable communities
- Wisely manage precious water resources
- Provide services for the region’s older and disabled populations
- Help businesses recruit and train the workers they need
- Provide data to help inform leaders and decision-makers
- Coordinating with local first responders in preparing for a secure region
The agency serves as a regional convener, bringing diverse stakeholders to the table to address the most important issues facing metro Atlanta. And ARC offers leadership development programs to residents who want to make a difference in the Atlanta region.
ARC: Improving the Region’s Quality of Life
Regional planning has helped metro Atlanta become one of the nation’s largest, most dynamic regions – and a major player on the global stage.
The Atlanta Region’s Plan
ARC is responsible for developing and updating the Atlanta Region’s Plan, a long-range blueprint that details the investments needed to ensure metro Atlanta’s future success and improve the region’s quality of life.
The 25-year plan, developed with ARC’s community partners and with robust public input, aims to “Win the Future” by providing world-class infrastructure, building a competitive economy and ensuring the region is comprised of healthy, livable communities.
The Atlanta Region’s Plan includes an $85 billion investment in transportation infrastructure through 2040 to improve mobility in the region and provide commuting alternatives.
Key elements include a network of managed toll lanes, an expanded transit network, improved arterial roads and highway interchanges, and improved bicycle and pedestrian options.
ARC’s Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) prioritizes spending on transportation projects in the 20-county Atlanta region over the next two decades.
Regional planning has helped shape the region. Important achievements include:
- Developing a plan for the first parallel runway system in the nation, helping the region’s airport become the world’s most traveled
- Developing plans for the first rapid rail system in the South
- Protecting the Chattahoochee River in metro Atlanta
- Creating the Livable Centers Initiative, which fosters the development of walk-friendly, bike-friendly communities.
Healthy Living and Healthy Aging
ARC supports healthy living and healthy aging throughout metro Atlanta by offering a range of services designed to ensure a high quality of life for people of all ages and abilities.
For older adults and people with disabilities, ARC provides access to essential services such as transportation and in-home personal care. ARC’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) website and call center helps residents navigate challenging life situations.
Workforce Solutions for Job-Seekers and Employers
ARC’s WorkSource Atlanta Regional offers services for businesses seeking a skilled workforce, including training and skills development for new and existing employees, assistance with employee recruitment, and data tools that provide insight into labor market trends. WorkSource Atlanta Regional also provides services for job seekers, including education and skills development.
ARC is governed by a 39-member board that consists of:
- The county commission chair from each of the 10 member counties
- The mayor and a council member from the region’s largest city (City of Atlanta)
- One mayor from each of the 10 member counties, with the exception of Fulton, which has two mayoral representatives (one from north Fulton and one from south Fulton).
- A representative from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs
- 15 citizen members who are selected by the ARC board’s elected officials. ARC citizen member district map
The ARC Board meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month January through October, and the first Wednesday of December.
ARC Board Resources
For more information, visit the ARC Board and Committees page.
Office of the Executive Director
The Office of the Executive Director is responsible for the overall management of the Atlanta Regional Commission as well as ARC Board policy coordination and the building of civic partnerships.
Center for Livable Communities
The Center for Livable Communities is responsible for a range of planning and programmatic initiatives in the areas of transportation and mobility, community development, water resources, and leadership development.
Key activities include the development and maintenance of the Atlanta Region’s Plan, the region’s comprehensive long-range blueprint, and development of the Regional Transportation Plan and regional Water Supply and Water Conservation Management Plan. The center assists local governments in the development of regional plans and programs and reviews local comprehensive plans and Developments of Regional Impact (DRI). The center also produces data to inform ARC’s planning activities.
The Center for Livable Communities includes the following ARC divisions:
- Community Development
- Community Partnerships
- Mobility Services
- Natural Resources
- Research & Analytics
- Transportation Access
Mike Alexander, Director
Center for Livable Communities
Center for Strategic Relations
The Center for Strategic Relations oversees ARC’s efforts to build stronger networks for regional action and progress through communications and marketing, government affairs and community engagement. The center is responsible for supporting the goals and objectives of ARC and fostering greater public awareness of the agency’s programs and purposes.
The Center for Strategic Relations includes the following ARC divisions:
- Communications & Marketing
- Community Engagement
- Government Affairs
Susan Chana, Director
Center for Strategic Relations
Center for Community Services
The Center for Community Services provides services and supports to residents, local governments and community groups across the Atlanta region. The center’s Aging & Health division provides a range of services for older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. The Workforce Solutions division offers services to help job-seekers find training and employment, and to help employers find skilled workers. The Homeland Security & Recovery division provides training and coordination to local governments and first responders.
The Center for Community Services includes the following ARC divisions:
- Aging & Health Resources
- Homeland Security & Recovery
- Workforce Solutions
John Hammond, Director
Center for Community Services
ARC Legal Designations
- ARC is designated as a Metropolitan Area Planning and Development Commission as well as a Regional Commission under the laws of the state of Georgia. As such, ARC operates under rules promulgated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
- ARC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and is responsible for developing a multi-modal, financially constrained transportation plan that meets all federal transportation and Clean Air Act planning requirements.
- ARC serves as the federally designated Area Agency on Aging for the Atlanta region, providing services and policy guidance to improve the quality of life of older adults.
- ARC provides planning staff to the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, which develops comprehensive regional and watershed-specific water resources plans to be implemented by local governments in the 15-county metro Atlanta region.
- ARC serves as the administrative agency for the Atlanta Regional Workforce Development Board for Cherokee, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties.
- ARC serves as the local administrative agency for the Atlanta Urban Area Security Initaitive (UASI), which prepares and coordinates the region’s response and recovery to homeland security issues.
ARC Strategic Framework
The Atlanta Regional Commission advances the national and international standing of the region by leveraging the uniqueness of its evolving communities, anticipating and responding to current realities and driving a data-driven planning process that provides a high quality of life, balancing social, economic and environmental needs of all our communities.
The Atlanta Regional Commission employs shared foresight, expert staff, the ability to convene diverse communities and its reputation as a regional and national leader in order to support local governments, enhancing the lives of all our citizens by providing world-class infrastructure, building a competitive economy and shaping a regional ecosystem comprised of healthy and livable communities.
We exhibit, build and foster regional leadership to address and act on critical challenges and opportunities.
We anticipate challenges and develop creative, holistic solutions based on professional knowledge and shared foresight, community engagement and collaboration with our partners.
We are accountable to our stakeholders, try to exceed their expectations and exhibit the highest standard of ethical conduct.
The Atlanta region is changing fast. Our population continues to grow and become even more diverse. Technological innovations such as autonomous vehicles, the rise of “big data” and the Internet of Things promise to fundamentally reshape our region. ARC must work in close collaboration with our community partners in order to bring about real change and ensure that our region remains competitive with our peers across the country.
Given the pace of change and the complexity of our challenges, ARC must approach its work differently. The agency has developed an “Evolution Strategy” that includes five guiding principles designed to define our work moving forward.
- Our approach to problem solving must be interdisciplinary.
- We need to take a holistic approach to solving challenges or leveraging opportunities.
- Our solutions are grounded, and actionable.
- When we begin our work, we should start with a desired outcome in mind – we are outcome-based.
- When problem-solving, planning or executing solutions, our efforts should always benefit not only the region, but our partners – in all things we should ensure our colleagues success.
ARC’s 2016 Annual Report – The Journey Continues
From its humble beginnings as a railroad outpost, metro Atlanta has grown to become one of the nation’s largest, most dynamic regions and a major player on the global stage.How did we get here? It took careful planning, bold leadership and an ability to work together to tackle our greatest challenges.
Funding for ARC’s plans and programs comes from a variety of sources, including grants from federal and state agencies and from private sources. Constituent local governments contribute $1 per resident annually for ARC operations, as stipulated by Georgia law. These funds are used to match federal and state funding dollars.