The world is changing fast. It’s more complex and connected than ever before. The only certainty, it seems, is change.
Here in metro Atlanta, our population is booming and growing more diverse. We’re living longer, too.
The Atlanta Regional Commission is charged with peering into the future and working with our partners across the community to plan for a better, brighter tomorrow.
On any given day, ARC works with local jurisdictions and various regional partners to:
The agency also serves as a regional convener, bringing diverse stakeholders to the table to address the most important issues facing metro Atlanta.
ARC’s member governments are Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, and the city of Atlanta.
ARC: Improving the Region’s Quality of Life
Regional Planning to ‘Win the Future’
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 a $93.6 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.
Providing Services to Improve Quality of Life
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 Empowerline enables persons to connect online or by phone to obtain assistance in navigating aging and disability- related information and services, as well as opportunities to volunteer and remain active.
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.
Kerry Armstrong, ARC Board Chair
Anna Roach, Executive Director
ARC is governed by a 41-member board that consists of:
- The county commission chair from each of the 11 member counties
- The mayor and a council member from the region’s largest city (City of Atlanta)
- One mayor from each of the 11 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 every other month at 1:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month (January, March, May, July, September, November).
ARC Board Resources
Upcoming Meetings | Meeting Archives
For more information, visit the ARC Board and Committees page.
ARC Organizational Structure
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.
Contact Office of the Executive Director
ARC Operational Programs
The Atlanta Regional Commission’s programs cover a range of planning and programmatic initiatives in the areas of transportation and mobility, community development, water resources, aging, workforce development, homeland security 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, Living Beyond Expectations Strategic Plan and regional Water Resources Management Plan. Staff assist local governments in the development of regional plans and programs, reviews local comprehensive plans and Developments of Regional Impact (DRI) and provides critical services for older adults.
ARC programs and services include:
- Community Development/Metro ATL Housing Strategy/Economic Competitiveness Strategy
- Mobility/TDM Services
- Natural Resources
- Research & Analytics
- Transportation Access and Regional Planning
- Aging and Independence Services
- Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) – Homeland Security
- Workforce Development
- ARC Leadership Programs (RLI, LINK, ALMA, MARC)
Mike Alexander, Senior Director
Chief Operating Officer
Office of External Affairs
The Office of External Affairs oversees ARC’s efforts to build stronger networks for regional action and progress through communications and marketing, government affairs and community engagement. The OEA is also responsible for the agency’s strategic framework development and supporting the goals and objectives of ARC and fostering greater public awareness of the agency’s programs and purposes.
The Office of External Affairs includes the following ARC programs and services:
- Agency Strategy Framework
- Community & Corporate Engagement
- Creative Design
- Digital Media & Strategy
- Event Planning
- Local Government Affairs
Malika Reed Wilkins, PhD, APR
Chief External Affairs Officer
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 Initiative (UASI), which prepares and coordinates the region’s response and recovery to homeland security issues.
Metropolitan Planning Organization
Urban Area Security Initiative Atlanta region
WorkSource Atlanta Regional
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.
ARC Strategic Framework
ARC Evolution Strategy
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.
Here’s a handy quick-reference tri-fold brochure.
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 funds annually for ARC operations, as stipulated by Georgia law. These funds are used to match federal and state dollars.