Archive for December, 2011

2012 LCI Application Period Closed, 20 Applications Received

December 21, 2011

The application period for 2012 LCI studies closed on Friday, December 16 at 5:00 p.m. ARC received 20 applications for funding in all three categories — new LCI studies, supplemental LCI studies, and PLAN 2040 LCI Innovation — requesting a total of $1.6 million.

Over the next few weeks, ARC staff and an external review committee will be evaluating the applications and will make their final recommendations for funding. ARC anticipates announcing its selections before the end of the first quarter of 2012.

For more information, visit

New Livability/Placemaking Grant Opportunity from NEA

December 15, 2011

See the below from a Dec. 13 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) e-mail blast (please note that ARC is not affiliated with NEA or the administration of this grant):

We are pleased to announce that the National Endowment for the Arts has posted the guidelines for 2012 Our Town grants.

Now in its second year, Our Town supports creative placemaking projects that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. Our Town will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, seek to:

  • Improve their quality of life.
  • Encourage creative activity.
  • Create community identity and a sense of place.
  • Revitalize local economies.

Pending availability of funding, grants will range from $25,000 to $150,000. Projects may include planning, design, and arts engagement activities that reflect a systemic approach to civic development and a persuasive vision for enhanced community vibrancy.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 11:59PM EST
GRANT AMOUNTS: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, or $150,000
PERIOD OF SUPPORT: September 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014
ELIGIBILITY: A partnership between a local government entity and a nonprofit cultural institution is required; additional partners are encouraged.
PROGRAM INQUIRIES: Email to schedule a call with NEA staff.
GRANTS.GOV QUESTIONS: Contact Help Desk at 800-518-4726 or

NEA staff will be conducting Our Town webinars on Wednesday, January 11 and Tuesday, February 7, 2012 to answer questions and walk applicants through this year’s guidelines. Schedule and registration details will be posted on the Our Town guidelines webpage next week.

For more information on creative placemaking and to view the 51 Our Town grants awarded in 2011, visit

Please share this opportunity with any organizations or communities that may be interested in applying.

The National Endowment for the Arts

Reminder: 2012 LCI Applications Due This Friday, December 16

December 12, 2011

Reminder: Applications for 2012 LCI study funding are due to ARC by 5:00 PM this Friday, December 16. For more information, visit or our October 2011 blog post on the topic at Best of luck!

ARC Recognizes Four Cities for Their Sustainability Programs

December 7, 2011

ARC Media Release (follow-up to December 6 release)

(ATLANTA, December 7, 2011) Four cities in the Atlanta region are the latest jurisdictions to earn Green Communities certification for leadership in implementing policies and practices that contribute to efficient and sustainable use of resources in metro Atlanta. The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) presented certifications to local officials at its board meeting earlier today.

The city of Kennesaw earned Green Communities certification at the Bronze level. Three previously certified cities achieved certification at a higher level –The City of Norcross achieved Gold certification, and the cities of Dunwoody and Woodstock achieved Silver certification. All together, 16 jurisdictions have been certified since the program was created three years ago.

Cities and counties earn Green Communities certification by implementing practices and policies in 10 categories, ranging from energy efficiency and green building to transportation and water efficiency. ARC launched the Green Communities Program three years ago to foster greater environmental stewardship and to recognize local governments that invest in programs leading to a more sustainable region. ARC’s Green Communities program is the first program in the country that seeks to transform a region by promoting sustainability through a “green” certification program for local governments.

ARC created Green Communities to showcase the ways in which local governments are helping to transform the region by reducing their environmental footprint. The jurisdictions recognized this week are leading the way to a more sustainable region through their policies and best management practices.

“Dunwoody, Kennesaw, Norcross and Woodstock are setting an example for businesses and other organizations that are seeking to use resources wisely and efficiently,” said Tad Leithead, ARC chairman. “Sustainability – economic, social and environmental – is the foundation of our newly adopted Plan 2040, and we applaud the efforts of all of our certified Green Communities for their leadership in ushering in a more sustainable region.”

The following communities were certified:

City of Dunwoody

The City of Dunwoody earned Silver certification after being recognized as a Bronze Green Community in 2010. Since then, the city has completed energy audits on 20 percent of its buildings, with the remaining building audits to be completed within four years. Dunwoody adopted a parks and open space master plan and specifies best management practices for maintaining landscaping. These practices include integrated pest management and the use of drought-tolerate and native plants. The master transportation plan includes bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly policies. The city has stepped up its recycling efforts by hosting drop-off events for electronics and batteries.  In addition, all applicants for special events permits must submit a recycling plan with their application. Accomplishments for which Dunwoody was recognized in 2010 include a green fleet policy that gives preference to the purchase of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, the establishment of the Dunwoody Sustainability Commission which has developed a public awareness and education campaign on Dunwoody’s sustainability efforts through the use of brochures, business cards, stickers, T-shirts and social networking and the Safe Routes to Schools Program that improves the walking and biking environment around Dunwoody’s five elementary schools.

City of Kennesaw

The City of Kennesaw earned Bronze certification in 2011. Kennesaw requires all new city-owned buildings greater than 5,000 square feet to be LEED certified and offers expedited plan review and site inspection for developers building LEED-, EarthCraft- and Energy Star-certified projects in the city. To improve energy efficiency, the city completed energy audits on all city buildings and implemented recommended improvements in more than half of the buildings. Traffic signals now have new LED signal light inserts, which use substantially less power than conventional incandescent bulbs and have a longer effective life. The city purchased a vacant house and renovated it for use by the city’s parks and recreation department for youth and art classes. It is reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills by providing curbside recycling to single-family residents and commercial customers for paper, glass, metal containers, plastic and corrugated cardboard. A commute options program for employees includes compressed work week scheduling, preferred parking for carpools, an employee recognition program and secure bicycle parking at government facilities. The City of Kennesaw works with the Cobb County School District to promote the Safe Routes to School Program to elementary and middle schools within the city limits. The city works with these schools to provide sidewalks and bike pathways to the schools and improve safety at intersections.

City of Norcross

The City of Norcross earned Gold certification after being recognized as a Silver Green Community in 2010. With commitment and support from the Sustainable Norcross Commission, the city is transforming its practices across all departments. Norcross requires new city-owned buildings to achieve LEED certification and has adopted policies addressing anti-idling and green fleets. Unique to Norcross is its closed loop processing of residential yard debris. Yard trimmings are collected and turned into compost, mulch and soil products, which are sold to the city, local businesses and residents.  Norcross replaced decorative lighting downtown with LED lights and installed photocells for dusk to dawn operation. This action, along with use of LED lights for the city’s Christmas tree, has saved 57,000 kWh, for a cost savings of $6,400 annually. The parks master plan adopted in 2011 includes natural areas, open spaces and greenways that increase connectivity of greenspace. The city deconstructed three properties and salvaged items instead of taking debris to the landfill. The community was invited to a Salvage, Pickin’ and Porch Party at which salvaged items were auctioned off. Those items that did not sell were donated, recycled or used to create artwork.

City of Woodstock

The City of Woodstock earned Silver certification after being recognized as a Bronze Green Community in 2010. Last year Woodstock was recognized for its Greenprints Project Master Plan, a comprehensive park, trail and open space initiative that establishes a foundation and framework for the creation of a citywide green infrastructure system. Residential and commercial green building is encouraged by offering reduced development review time and fees for projects that achieve LEED, EarthCraft, Energy Star or WaterSense for New Homes certification or include the installation of a renewable energy project that produces a minimum of 1 kWh. During 2011, the city completed energy audits on almost half its buildings, with the remaining audits to be completed within four years.  A 6.8kWh solar panel on the council chambers roof generates more than 11 percent of the power needed for the facility. Woodstock is also the first city in Georgia to install a municipally owned, free public charging station for electric vehicles.

Complete information about ARC’s Green Communities Certification Program, including the measures each community has implemented, is available on the agency’s website at

ARC Board Re-Elects Tad Leithead to Serve as Planning Agency’s Chairman

December 7, 2011

ARC Media Release

(ATLANTA, December 7, 2011) Tad Leithead was elected to another two-year term as chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta region, at the agency’s board meeting today. He is the first citizen member to serve as ARC chairman in the organization’s history, first elected to that post in December 2009.

Mr. Leithead has served on the ARC board since July 2000, representing the citizen district that includes portions of Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb and Atlanta. He previously served as chair of ARC’s Transportation and Air Quality Committee.

“I’m honored that the ARC board has put their faith in me to serve another term as chairman,” said Mr. Leithead. “Together, our board and excellent staff have accomplished a great deal on behalf of the Atlanta region during the last two years, but we remain at a crossroads with several substantial challenges and opportunities facing us.  I look forward to leading the organization at this exciting time in our history.”

Prior to forming his own governmental relations and consulting firm two years ago, Mr. Leithead spent more than 23 years in commercial real estate in metro Atlanta, including senior vice president for Cousins Properties. Active in the community, Mr. Leithead is chairman of the Cumberland Community Improvement District, a self-taxing group of commercial property owners that is directly responsible for almost $3 billion of transportation improvements in Cobb County. He serves on the board of the Bank of North Georgia, as well as the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additionally, Mr. Leithead serves on the boards of the Fulton County Perimeter Community Improvement District and the North Fulton Community Improvement District. He is past chairman of the board of The Walker School. Mr. Leithead is a graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia with a B.A. in philosophy.

The Atlanta Regional Commission is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 67 other cities.  The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.

ARC to Recognize Four Cities for Sustainability

December 6, 2011

ARC Media Advisory:

Who: The Atlanta Regional Commission, the official planning organization for the 10-county Atlanta Region, will recognize four cities for their efforts to implement greener, more sustainable policies and practices. The city of Kennesaw will receive certification for the first time, and the cities of Dunwoody, Norcross and Woodstock are being certified at a higher level after their initial certification last year. All together, 16 communities have earned Green Communities certification since the program began three years ago.

What: ARC’s Green Communities Certification is a voluntary “green” certification program for local governments designed to foster greater environmental stewardship and encourage local governments to demonstrate leadership on environmental sustainability. Certified Green Communities set an example by conserving energy, investing in renewable energy, conserving water, reducing waste and protecting and restoring the community’s natural resources. This initiative is the first regional “green” certification program in the country.

When: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 1 p.m.

Where: Atlanta Regional Commission Board Room, 40 Courtland Street, Atlanta, GA 30303

Why: ARC created Green Communities to showcase the ways in which local governments are helping to transform the region by reducing their environmental footprint. The jurisdictions being recognized this week are leading the way to a more sustainable region through their policies and best management practices. They are setting an example for businesses and other organizations that seek to reduce their environmental impacts. More information about the program is available at

Georgia Tech City Planning and Civil Engineering Students to Present on Friday 12/9

December 5, 2011

See the below announcement from our contacts at the Georgia Tech School of City & Regional Planning. Come out and support our future planners and learn about some interesting topics!

Every year, the civil engineering and city planning graduate students enrolled in the transportation planning course present the results of their group projects to interested professionals in the Atlanta area. This year, the students are presenting the results from eight studies that you may find interesting:

  1. Implementation of Georgia HB277: Systems Approach Options
  2. Reauthorization and the Federal Role in Transportation Planning and Funding
  3. Transportation Enhancement Project Prioritization in Georgia
  4. Reducing Freight Delivery Impacts in Atlanta’s Urban Core
  5. Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Options
  6. The Potential Impacts of HOT Lane Expansion in Atlanta
  7. Interconnected Transit Services:  Public Buses and Jitney Partnerships
  8. Public Acceptance of Automated Traffic Enforcement Technologies

The presentations will be held on Friday, December 9, 2011 from 8 a.m. until approximately 12 p.m. The presentations will be held at the Student Center, located at 350 Ferst Drive, Room 321, Atlanta, GA.

To RSVP, please contact Bianca Smith at the Center for Quality Growth & Regional Development at

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