Atlanta District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) provides Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) to ARC’s Plan 2040

The ULI TAP program is intended to bring professionals from the real estate, planning and development fields together to collaborate on complex land use and redevelopment projects.  TAPs are designed specifically to be run and implemented by District Councils, and are intentionally flexible to provide sponsoring organizations a customized approach to specific land use and real estate issues.  Once a project has been designated as a TAP project, the District Council TAP Committee assembles a group of ULI members with expertise in the topics under consideration. 

On July 28, 2009, ULI Atlanta assisted the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) in reevaluating its materials and planning policies for its Plan 2040 process through a TAP.   A total of thirty (30) panelists participated in the Plan 2040 TAP exercise.  The 30 panelists were divided into three discussion groups to evaluate ideal densities and development types for a variety of land uses. In addition, each group strived to identify opportunities for new development and redevelopment. Finally, the groups evaluated whether or not Atlanta’s current growth model is successful.

In terms of land use types, the groups evaluated ideal densities for three primary areas: (1) along primary transportation corridors; (2) areas without existing infrastructure; and (3) suburban areas. The groups also were asked how an updated Development Type Matrix might enforce these densities.  Along primary transit corridors, the groups viewed south of the city and downtown Atlanta as key areas for development. The group also advised the ARC to re‐evaluate the IT3 plan to identify areas for future development.

Infill development in suburban areas and in downtown was seen to be without barriers and within current market demands. Barriers to development acknowledged by the groups were aging infrastructure, availability of water, air quality, transportation, zoning issues, proximity to quality healthcare, and access to quality education. Participants proposed that the Urban Growth Policy Map (UGPM) needed to be updated to reflect these barriers and simplified to clearly outline acceptable development types.

The Atlanta region faces tremendous challenges to manage growth in the future.  The ULI experts graciously volunteered their time for a one-day working session, at no cost, to discuss how ARC’s policies can affect this growth. The topics discussed by the panel, and the guidance provided, helped to shape ARC’s focus in the required Plan 2040 Assessment document, which was completed in February 2010 and will be transmitted by the ARC Board in March to Georgia DCA.  The ULI District Council compiled a summary of the presentations and recommendations in a ULI TAP Report.  The report is available at ARC’s Plan 2040 website at the following link:  under the “What We’ve Heard” section. 


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