LINK™: Visiting Other Regions to Help Address Issues at Home
Every year, the LINK™ program takes the region’s most influential leaders to another metropolitan area in North America to learn about new ideas and approaches for dealing with the issues and challenges facing metro Atlanta.
The LINK program began in 1997 as a way to build on the remarkable level of regional cooperation that occurred in conjunction with Atlanta hosting the Centennial Olympic Games. Indeed, the trips have helped metro Atlanta leaders get to know each other much better, strengthening these critically important relationships.
During each trip, leaders from the Atlanta region have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with their counterparts from other regions. They explore solutions and exchange ideas for improving the Atlanta region and fostering positive community change.
The LINK delegation has seen first-hand how public art is reshaping Philadelphia communities and learned about new kinds of transit in San Diego. In Vancouver, participants visited “complete communities” built to accommodate people of all ages. And in Washington, D.C., the group saw how transit has sparked walkable development across the region.
LINK participants have brought a number of good ideas home with them:
- The regional public opinion survey from the Kinder Institute at Houston’s Rice University inspired ARC and its partners to launch the Metro Atlanta Speaks public opinion survey, which helps inform regional planning and decision-making.
- The Mayor’s Roundtable in Chicago sparked the creation of the Metro Atlanta Mayor’s Association.
- And Seattle’s Prosperity Partnership served as a model for CATLYST, the Atlanta Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy.
2019 LINK Trip to Pittsburgh
The LINK delegation made its way north to Pittsburgh in 2019, bringing back lessons in tech, redevelopment, and arts and culture.