Regional Leaders to Convene on Major Topics
Atlanta — Apr 13, 2022
More than 120 government, business, and civic leaders from metro Atlanta will visit the Austin, Texas region on May 4-7 for the annual LINK™ trip, coordinated by the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Metro Austin is one of the country’s most dynamic and innovative regions, with an economy driven by a booming tech sector. Austin is the fastest-growing large metro area in the country over the past decade.
LINK participants will explore key issues, such as transportation, housing affordability, and economic development, and explore innovative ideas and solutions to bring back home to metro Atlanta. Here are some of the themes LINK participants will be exploring while deep in the heart of Texas:
Transportation: Austin’s Drive to Keep Up with Growth
Austin residents now have the seventh-longest commute times in the country, with limited transit options currently available. LINK participants will learn about several big-ticket efforts to tackle this challenge, including: The $7 billion Project Connect, which will build a mass transit network with light rail, commuter rail, and rapid bus service; and the I-35 Express Central Project, which will add non-tolled HOV lanes.
Austin’s Affordable Housing Challenge
Like most metro areas, Austin is experiencing an affordable housing challenge. Despite housing stock being added at faster rates than ever before, supply still cannot keep up with demand. LINK participants will learn about Austin’s innovative plans to address this growing problem, such as updating housing codes to allow for more density and investing in anti-displacement measures to help residents stay in their homes.
High-Tech Powers Metro Austin’s Red-Hot Economy
Regarded as a major tech hub, Austin is living up to its new nickname, Silicon Hills. The history of tech in Austin is robust, with major companies like IBM and Motorola establishing founding offices in the city as far back as the 1960s and 70s. Today, Austin continues to experience major tech expansions, including recent moves from Tesla, Apple, and Samsung to build new facilities and infuse thousands of jobs into the metro region.
“Metro Austin is a fascinating place that offers metro Atlanta leaders the opportunity to explore key issues that we are also facing here at home, from housing affordability to traffic congestion,” said ARC Executive Director Anna Roach. “Over the years, LINK has helped regional leaders build strong relationships with one another while providing inspiration to tackle our challenges in new and innovative ways.”
LINK, which began in 1997, has been responsible for the development of several important regional efforts:
- The Metro Atlanta Mayors Association was created following a visit to Chicago in 2002
- The Metro Atlanta Speaks public opinion poll began after the Houston trip in 2013
- The Atlanta Regional Public Art Program was inspired by a visit to Philadelphia in 2014.
The LINK program is organized with support from ARC’s Strategic Partners:
LINK Presenting Sponsors
HNTB; North Fulton Community Improvement District; Partnership Gwinnett
LINK Premier Sponsors
Atlanta Airport Community Improvement Districts; Atlanta Gas Light; Atkins; Cumberland Community Improvement District; Metro Atlanta Chamber
LINK Champion Sponsors
Aerotropolis Alliance; Arcadis; AXIS Infrastructure; Council for Quality Growth; Croy; Elevate Douglas; Henry County Development Authority; Kaiser Permanente; Kimley-Horn; Morris, Manning, & Martin, LLP; Perimeter Community Improvement District; The Macallan Group; Town Center Community Improvement District; VHB; WSP
LINK Supporting Sponsors
Buckhead Community Improvement District; CERM; Sizemore Group
ARC Annual Partners
Georgia Power; Delta; Norfolk Southern; Uber
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The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 11-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 74 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.
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