Archive for April, 2012

Worst to First: Transportation Access for Older Adults, People with Disabilities and Non-Drivers

April 30, 2012

June 7, 2012 | 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Loudermilk Center for the Regional Community | 40 Courtland Street, NE | Atlanta, GA 30303

Last year the Atlanta region ranked worst among large metro areas for access to transit for older adults, persons with disabilities and non-drivers. But regional leaders have worked hard to create transportation alternatives. There are more options today than ever before and more are on the way.

Join us for a day-long summit to discuss what works and what else will increase transportation options to move Atlanta from worst to first. Presenters include:

  • David Goldberg, Transportation for America
  • Dan Dirks and Joanne Hutchinson, Community Transportation Association of America
  • Virginia Dize, National Center on Senior Transportation, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
  • Panel of local experts

Be a part of the discussion on innovative strategies and mobility management, followed by an in-depth workshop on the Regional Transportation Referendum.

Registration online is required. Deadline: May 31, 2012.

Register at

Call 404-463-3243 with questions or comments.

$25 registration includes continental breakfast, lunch and parking.

FHWA Complete Streets Workshop in Macon on Monday, May 30

April 30, 2012

From a recent Federal Highway Administration e-blast:

The FHWA Georgia Division is sponsoring a Complete Streets Workshop in Macon at the GDOT Area Office, 4499 Riverside Drive, on Wednesday, May 30th.  The workshop will focus on how to advance complete street concepts through stakeholder engagement, case studies, analysis techniques with application of learned principles.  The workshop should be of great value to planners, engineers and other transportation project implementers.

Reserve your attendance by emailing Andrew Edwards, FHWA Planning Team Leader, at

The draft agenda is as follows:

Georgia Complete Streets Seminar, 5-30-2012

Macon, Georgia

8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT


  • General Introductions
  • Interest in Complete Streets

Complete Streets: A Context-Sensitive Approach

  • Link to CSS and Livability
  • Walkable Thoroughfares

BREAK: 10:00 – 10:15

The Stakeholder Engagement Process

  • Planning/CSS/NEPA Linkages

Complete Streets Case Studies

  • Examples of Complete Streets deployments
    • European experience: “Shared space”
    • Domestic experience: Overcoming barriers to implementation
  • FHWA’s Local Bottleneck Reduction initiative

BREAK: 11:30 – 12:30

Analytical Techniques for Complete Streets

  • Introduction to Multi-modal level of service techniques
  • Data collection and assembly: MPO examples
  • Modeling and scenario planning methods

Applying Context-Sensitive Solutions: A Hands-on Workshop

  • Further defining Context
  • System and Project Level exercises

Discussion & Questions

Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Assessment Now Available Online

April 24, 2012

Report examines investments in — and value of — regional creative economy

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s Atlanta Fifty Forward and PLAN 2040 documents underscored the value of arts and culture to the Metro Atlanta region.  In response, the ARC Board emphasized the importance of implementing plan directives that include “systematic annual data collection and analysis regarding the development of the creative economy in Georgia” and the development of a regional cultural master plan.  However, few precedents exist that demonstrate comprehensive regional cooperation to foster arts and culture.

To that end, the Atlanta Regional Commission contracted with the Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition from July to December of 2011 to conduct research and prepare a report related to arts and culture in our region.

Research activities included:

  • Cultural forums in each of the 10 metro counties
  • Inventories of non-profit cultural groups and cultural facilities
  • An overview of for-profit “creative industries” in the region
  • An overview of cultural plans, agencies, policies and ordinances in the region
  • Samples of “regional” cultural agencies and cultural plans
  • Potential funding sources for a future regional cultural master plan

Each cultural forum explored the role of arts and culture in economic development, quality of life, education and regional cooperation.  Participants were also asked to identify the infrastructure and resources needed to support a thriving cultural community for the region.

This report provides ARC with a clear snapshot of the cultural industry in the region and allows for a comparative analysis between the Metro Atlanta region and competing regions.  The data gathered provides a benchmark that can be updated on an annual basis and lays the groundwork for a future regional cultural master plan.  Input obtained in the cultural forums also helps to identify opportunities where the role of arts and culture could interface with ARC policies and areas of focus.

To view the report and other supporting information, visit ARC’s Metro Atlanta Cultural Assessment web page.

Southface to Host LEED for Homes “Lunch & Learn” on April 25

April 17, 2012

From a recent Southface Energy Institute e-blast:

LEED for Homes: Residential Certification Options
Lunch & Learn
April 25, 2012

Interested in learning how residential projects can certify under the LEED for Homes program? This Lunch & Learn session is a great place to get started!

Learning objectives:

  • Explore LEED certification options for residential projects
  • Identify LEED program eligibility requirements
  • Explore roles and responsibilities of the process participants
  • Explain the LEED for Homes certification process

Lunch is included in the ticket price. This session is eligible for one AIA CEU and one GBCI learning unit.

Visit for more information and to register.

ARC’s Community Choices Program to Help Five Communities Implement Visions

April 16, 2012

(ATLANTA, April 13, 2012)The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) will provide planning and technical assistance to five communities around the region, helping them reach their respective quality-growth visions. Each year, through the Community Choices program, ARC provides cities and counties with the tools, resources and strategies needed to implement the unique plans they have for their communities.

ARC Community Choices communities and projects selected for 2012 are:

City of Duluth – Assistance with reviewing and revising the downtown overlay district, to include adding quality growth components promoted in the city’s comprehensive plan.

City of Lithonia – An in-depth review of the Main Street Overlay District to check for implementation of the adopted Livable Centers Initiative study and recent Blueprints process, including revisions to the overlay as needed.

City of Morrow – Audit of commercial zoning districts and assistance in creating an implementation plan for a rewrite of the city’s zoning ordinance.

City of Pine Lake – Quality growth audit, comparing the city’s comprehensive plan and other planning documents to its adopted ordinances and policies.

City of Powder Springs – A review of the city’s development and permitting processes, including a comparison to three peer local governments.

“This is a great list of projects from across the region, and this assistance represents ARC’s commitment to help local governments implement their plans in efficient ways,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “And it doesn’t stop here. The lessons we learn through the Community Choices program will also be passed on to other communities in the future.”

The Community Choices program provides a broad range of tools, resources and technical assistance to help communities shape more vibrant futures.  The goal is to assist local governments with making appropriate, long-term decisions about where, when and how they should grow in order to achieve their community’s unique vision.

For more information on the Community Choices program, visit

Community Planning Institute on Water Resource Management: May 3 in Macon

April 12, 2012


In partnership with the Georgia Planning Association, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Office of Planning and Environmental Management provides a series of classes called the Community Planning Institute (CPI) to Georgia’s planning commissioners, elected officials and staff. The Institute provides information about local planning for land use, water resources management and solid waste planning.

The next CPI is set for Thursday, May 3 in Macon and will focus on Water Resource Management. This one-day workshop provides an introduction to water related issues in Georgia, including information on the effect of land use and development decisions on water quantity and quality. The workshop is appropriate for elected officials, public works staff, and local planning staff.

Visit the CPI page for more information, and download the registration form to register.


GIS4EconomicDevelopment Workshop: May 24

April 12, 2012

From a recent Georgia Tech Research Institute e-blast:

GIS4EconomicDevelopment 8-Hr Workshop, May 24, 2012

Offered by the Georgia Tech Research Institute | GIS@GTRI Program

Economic development agencies and professionals use data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to retain, grow, and attract businesses and to market their community, regions and states. Is your Economic Development story up to date?

With the advent of Google maps, countless analytical tools including GIS, and access to BIG data through the Internet, the robust detail you can use to tell an economic development story has increased exponentially.

The GIS4EconomicDevelopment hands-on course will:

  • Introduce you to the concept of thinking geospatially
  • Take you on a dive into resources and tools available to enable disparate data to be put together and used most effectively
  • Offer hands on experience, practice the art of telling a new economic development story with geotechnologies with special emphasis on site suitability and demographic analysis

Space is limited. REGISTER NOW at

REMINDER: ARC Seeking Input on Regional Community Engagement Plan. Survey Closes April 15!

April 11, 2012

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is updating its Regional Public Participation Plan and needs your input! The final plan will be called the Regional Community Engagement Plan and will be based on Value and Access. The agency is seeking valuable public comment, so please take a few minutes and let us know your thoughts via this survey. The survey will be live through April 15. For more information on ARC’s community engagement activities, please visit

Dr. Vukan Vuchic Speaking at Ga Tech, April 5

April 2, 2012


The below is from a recent Georgia Tech University Transportation Center / Georgia Transportation Institute e-blast. Visit for information on how to contact the Institute for further details on this seminar.

University Transportation Center / Georgia Transportation Institute

Luncheon Seminar Series

Urban Transportation: Developments and Progress toward Livable Cities

Speaker: Dr. Vukan R. Vuchic, Emeritus Professor of Transportation Systems Engineering and City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania

When:  Thursday, April 5th @ 11:00 am

Where:  Instructional Center, Room 105

A light lunch will be provided.


An overview of several stages of transportation/city relationships will be followed by a review of transportation modes and their characteristics. Serious problems of traffic congestion and methods for achieving a balanced transportation system, particularly between private cars and public transportation, will be defined. Bus, rail and automated modes will be reviewed. Valuable lessons from successes and mistakes will be described and illustrated by examples from many world cities and different countries. Great need for better understanding of the complex problems of urban transportation will be emphasized. The final focus will be on a review of methods for achieving more efficient and sustainable solutions – balanced transportation systems.


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