Ten Challenges for the Atlanta Region

Maintaining metro Atlanta's quality of life is key. So is remaining a leader in the global economy. The ARC has identified these ten challenges as instrumental to reaching our goals as a region.

people getting on MARTA train

An expanded regional transit network is critical to keeping metro Atlanta economically competitive. The region must work together to implement the new Atlanta-Region Transit Authority, or the ATL, to expand and better coordinate mobility options across the 13-county region. Learn More

autonomous car on self-driving mode

Transportation technology is changing rapidly. Cutting-edge advancements are headed our way, experts say, such as self-driving vehicles, “smart” signals that optimize traffic flow, and connected cars that “talk” to each other and avoid collisions. Learn More

freight ship

Because of its size and its position as a crossroads for highway, rail, air, and ocean-going goods, the Atlanta region is the Southeast’s most important freight hub. And that reputation will certainly continue in the future. Learn More

two workers looking at steel pipe

The Atlanta region is a leader in jobs growth, but too many good jobs are going unfilled. More than half of the advertised jobs in the region require at least a bachelor’s degree, while only 35% of residents over age 25 meet that requirement. At the same time, some residents aren’t getting the skills needed to land a well-paying job. Learn More

colorful houses

Metro Atlanta is known as an affordable place to live, but housing cost are rising, threatening to erode this competitive advantage. Housing is generally considered affordable if a family spends less than 30% of its income on rent or a mortgage and other housing costs. By that definition, most metro Atlanta neighborhoods are not affordable for families earning less than $50,000 a year. Learn More

boxes that say online shopping sitting on laptop

Online retailers have disrupted brick-and-mortar stores, and now they’re changing city traffic patterns and land use as well. E-commerce has grown to such an extent, say retail and logistics experts, that metro Atlanta and other big cities will have to grapple with vacant storefronts, new types of warehouses, and changing delivery routes. The rapid pace of change will challenge transportation and urban planners to keep up. Learn More

students learning in classroom

Improving readiness for college and career is critical to the region’s future. The Atlanta region must work to improve third-grade reading skills, which key to long-term student success, and also take advantage of the state’s expanding technical college system to better meet the needs of today’s employers. Learn More

someone cupping water in their hand

Securing a clean, abundant water supply is vital to the Atlanta region’s economic future. This is critically important as metro Atlanta continues to grow. The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, staffed by ARC, forecasts the 15-county region will add nearly 3 million people by 2050. Learn More