ARC develops and updates the Atlanta Region’s Plan, a long-range blueprint that details investments needed to ensure metro Atlanta’s future success and improve the region’s quality of life. As a part of this long-range plan, ARC develops a Regional Resource Plan to protect and manage metro Atlanta’s natural and cultural resources. City Agriculture Planning aligns with two adopted policies outlined in the Regional Resource Plan. Creating and protecting space for urban farms, gardens, and orchards fulfills the plan’s objectives to preserve passive greenspaces as well as preserving areas for local food production activities.
The City Agriculture Plan program was launched in 2018 to address major findings of Atlanta’s Local Food Baseline Report developed by local non-profit Food Well Alliance (FWA). This comprehensive review of the metro Atlanta regional food system revealed a need for growers and community members to have more meaningful participation in the development and implementation of policies and programs affecting local food and agriculture.
FWA and ARC partnered in 2019 to develop the region’s first City Agriculture Plan for the City of East Point, Georgia. After the East Point City Agriculture Plan was finalized in 2021, FWA and ARC began the process of selecting a second city to continue the initiative. After considering applications from cities across FWA’s five-county service area and holding Community Food Forums in the finalist cities of Alpharetta and Decatur, ARC and FWA selected the City of Alpharetta to develop the region’s second City Agriculture Plan.