ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative Awards $678,000 to 14 Communities

(ATLANTA – February 23, 2011) Through its award-winning Livable Centers Initiative (LCI), the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is awarding 14 local governments a total of $678,000 in grants. The grants will help these communities to either create new quality growth plans in specific locations or to fund the implementation of a previously-awarded LCI study to enhance the livability of these areas.

 The recipients for grants to fund new LCI study areas are the City of Milton and Cobb County at $100,000 each.  Twelve other communities will receive various amounts of funding for supplemental studies that will help them further implement their existing LCI studies.

With this latest round of awards, ARC has assisted 109 communities with more than $142 million in planning and implementation grants to create more livable communities. These grants help local governments devise strategies that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by better connecting homes, shops and offices; enhancing streetscapes and pedestrian amenities; and improving access to transit options.

“LCI has helped communities across metro Atlanta re-tool and redesign over the years, creating more places that attract residents and businesses alike,” said Tad Leithead, ARC Chairman. “Our local government partners have used these grants to the benefit of their communities and the entire region.”

The LCI program is funded with federal transportation dollars. Once communities have completed their plans, they are eligible for a larger pot of federal funding to build the transportation projects required to see their plans realized.

Since the first LCI grants were awarded in 2000, more than 84,000 residential units, 20 million square feet of commercial space and 35 million square feet of office space are either planned, under construction or complete in these areas. Region-wide, 67 percent of all office space built since 2000 has been built within LCI areas. And, LCI areas have attracted 8.5 percent of all new residential units and 21 percent of all new commercial development built in the region.

“Communities are eager to revitalize their town centers and underutilized properties to create places that foster a neighborhood feel and environment,” said Dan Reuter, ARC’s Land Use Division Chief. “LCI grants have helped communities re-imagine what their communities can be and then helped them make those plans a reality.”

The 2011 LCI recipients are:

Hwy 9 Activity Center

Award Amount:            $100,000

Sponsor:                          City of Milton

This study will focus on the Highway 9-Windward Parkway Activity Center. A master plan that shows a holistic view of development and related transportation improvements that would increase connectivity with the surrounding neighborhoods is needed to guide future growth. The LCI study will help establish the vision for this area and determine the needed implementation actions, including appropriate land use and zoning changes. An LCI plan at this location will also serve as a catalyst for adjacent areas to follow the trend and foster changes that are consistent with LCI goals. The resulting effect is anticipated to formulate strategies to develop walkable, mixed-use nodes along the corridor with multimodal transportation options that link within the study and with neighboring communities.

Six Flags Activity Center

Award Amount:            $100,000

Sponsor:                          Cobb County

Due to its proximity to numerous regional assets, such as I-20, the Fulton County Airport, industrial employment centers, Six Flags Over Georgia and the Chattahoochee River, more intense development in the Six Flags area would be well-supported by an LCI study. The study area currently contains a mix of older residential and commercial uses that are not integrated and sometimes compete. The purpose of the study is to develop a master plan that includes multi-modal transportation options with existing and new land uses, including mixed-uses and compatibility among the various uses. The study will result in recommendations to improve the bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure, access to public transit and efficient freight movement in the area. Additionally, the study will provide guidance in the development of programs and incentives to induce sustainable development to meet the needs of future residents, employees and visitors.


Supplemental Studies

Sponsor Study Funding
City of College Park College Park Transit Oriented Development Plan $50,000
City of East Point Main Street Transit Oriented Development Plan $40,000
City of Hapeville Trails and Bicycle Feasibility Study $15,000
City of McDonough Town Square Connectivity and Implementation Plan $50,000
City of Sandy Springs 10 Year LCI Update $50,000
City of Stockbridge 10 Year LCI Update $50,000
DeKalb County Kensington Transit Oriented Development Plan $33,500
Gwinnett Place CID 10 Year LCI Update $50,000
Gwinnett Village CID Signage and Wayfinding Master Plan $20,000
Henry County I-75 Parallel Connector Feasibility Study $50,000
Midtown Alliance Greenprint Midtown $20,000
Perimeter CIDs Commuter Bike-Pedestrian System Feasibility Study $50,000


For more on ARC’s LCI program and a list of past recipients, visit

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