Archive for May, 2012

Atlanta Regional Commission Adds Arts & Culture to Planning Scope

May 24, 2012


ARC Press Release

(Atlanta, GA – May 24)  This week, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) voted to incorporate arts and culture as a part of its regional planning efforts on behalf of the 10-county Atlanta region. In doing so, ARC assumes the role of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition (MAACC), to promote the Atlanta region as a premier center for the arts and culture.

“It is an exciting time for ARC to join hands with the leadership of MAACC and the work they’ve done to nurture arts and cultural assets throughout the Atlanta region,” said Tad Leithead, ARC chairman. “Metro areas that recognize and plan for vibrant arts and cultural offerings are positioned to attract more jobs and knowledge workers. We plan to remain on that cutting edge.”

During the past year, ARC has undertaken work with MAACC to conduct a regional arts inventory and to assess the role of arts and culture in economic development, quality of life, workforce development and regional cooperation. Based on this foundational work, ARC will now undertake development of a Regional Cultural Master Plan and other initiatives around arts, culture and the creative industries.

“On behalf of the Executive Committee of MAACC, we are delighted by ARC’s action, which reaffirms its commitment to furthering arts and culture as necessary and critical components of the continued growth and strengthening of our communities throughout the metro region,” said Mara Holley, MAACC Chair and Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Government and Institutional Banking  Wells Fargo. “MAACC’s efforts will now continue as part of ARC’s team and will be strengthened by becoming part of the broader planning agenda of the ARC.”

ARC’s Metro Atlanta Cultural Assessment identified key findings about the value of arts and culture to the region, including:

  • In 2011, the 10-county region was home to 15,236 arts-related businesses that employ 62,310 people.
  • There are 1,740 cultural non-profit organizations in metro Atlanta, generating $502,192,525 in revenues and with $1,877,866,314 in assets.
  • A sampling of originating zip codes for ticket sales taken from the eleven largest cultural institutions in the region shows more than 1.7 million transactions, representing visitors from all 50 states.

“A healthy arts and culture community is vital to the economic stability of our region,” said Mr. Leithead. “It is a true economic driver and quality of life measure for our residents.”

For more information, contact Grace Trimble at (404) 463-3192 or


2012 Metro Atlanta Solid Waste Managers & Planners Meeting: June 19

May 24, 2012


Solid Waste Managers, Planners, and Other Interested Parties:

Mark your calendars for the 2012 Metro Atlanta Solid Waste Managers & Planners Meeting on Tuesday, June 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Amphitheater on C-Level at the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), 40 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.

Hosted by ARC’s Land Use Division, the meeting will focus on solid waste planning legislation and rules changes in Georgia, as well as programs, policies, education and best practices in solid waste management and operations, recycling, waste reduction and other areas of sustainability in Metro Atlanta and the state.

Participants can look forward to discussion and informative presentations from organizations working closely with local communities on these important issues. Speakers will include:

 Attendance is free.

If attending, please RSVP via email to Andrew Smith at ARC with your name and the organization with which you are affiliated.


REMINDER: Register for a “Wireside Chat” To Learn About the Transportation Referendum

May 21, 2012

On July 31, you have the opportunity to vote on a referendum that will fund $8.5 billion in transportation improvements through a regional one percent sales tax. The Atlanta Regional Commission will host a series of 12 Wireside Chats over six evenings in June to help you understand what projects are on the list and how the penny tax would impact your community. Local officials will be on the phone to answer questions during each chat. In order to participate, simply register your name and phone number at and be available at the designated time on the number you provide. With more than 150 projects on the list, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn the facts and make an educated decision on July 31.

1942: Seventy years ago, Franklin Roosevelt gave what has become known as the “Map Speech” at one of his fireside chats. In anticipation of his radio address he asked all Americans to buy world maps. The response was overwhelming and actually created a shortage of maps across the United States. More than 80% of citizens listened to the President’s address on February 23, 1942, in which he detailed the progress of the wars both in Europe and in the Pacific, while citizens used their maps to follow along at home.

Cut to 2012, and the Atlanta Regional Commission is taking a page out of history by organizing a series of Wireside Chats. It faces significant communication challenges in advance of several hundred thousand residents going to the polls this summer to consider an additional sales tax to support transportation investments. Whatever decision voters make, it is critical that an individual’s choice is based on the facts about how the tax works and the projects supported through this additional revenue. The regional project list is diverse, improving both the existing network and expanding options for the future. But with 157 projects (and many others on the local project list), it is difficult even for highly engaged voters to understand the impact on their lives.

2012: ARC will host 12 hour-long telephone conversations, featuring a brief overview of the transportation projects, and a Q&A forum. Advertised in advance, citizens will be asked to sign up for any of the 12 chats. Several days ahead of the chat, they will receive email reminders with a project map attached. The night of the scheduled chat, citizens will be called at the number they registered and have the opportunity to ask questions. Everyone who asks a question will receive an answer, even if it wasn’t answered live during the call.

Regional Housing Forum: June 6 at 9:30 a.m.

May 7, 2012

Mark your calendars for the next Atlanta Regional Housing Forum, set for Wednesday, June 6, 9:30-11:45 a.m.

Focusing on the theme “This is NOT Your Parent’s Housing Market,” the event will take place at the Loudermilk Center for the Regional Community, 40 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303-2538.

Dr. Arthur C. Nelson, Presidential Professor of City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah, will deliver the keynote presentation. A panel discussion will follow, featuring experts Eugene James , Director of Metrostudy Atlanta; Egbert Perry, Owner, Chairman and CEO of The Integral Group; and Dan Reuter, Land Use Division Chief at the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Visit the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum website for more information and online registration.

America became a “suburban” nation after World War II, principally by meeting the needs of the Baby Boomers. The “American Dream” was to own a home on a large lot in the suburbs. That was then, and this is now. The American dream is now plural; people want more out of their neighborhoods and communities than in the past.

Our next Housing Forum will feature a presentation by Dr. Arthur C. Nelson and will review how changing demographics, economics, and financing are changing Americans’ preferences for housing, neighborhoods and communities. It will also synthesize several national housing preference surveys to show that what Americans want now is very different from what they wanted just a generation ago. The presentation will show the mismatch between what Americans want and what they have, and summarize options to close the gap.


Dr. Arthur C. Nelson, FAICP, is Presidential Professor of City & Metropolitan Planning in the College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah, where he is also Director of the Metropolitan Research Center, Adjunct Professor of Finance in the School of Business, and Co-Director of the Master of Real Estate Development Program.

Previously, Dr. Nelson served on the faculty in planning and public policy at Georgia Tech, and was adjunct professor of law at Georgia State University.

Dr. Nelson has conducted pioneering research on smart growth, public facility finance, economic development, and metropolitan development patterns. He is the author of more than 20 books and 300 other scholarly and professional publications.

Dr. Nelson’s current work focuses on how demographic economic forces along with shifts in housing preferences will reshape America’s metropolitan areas for the rest of this century.


9:00 a.m. Registration

9:30 a.m. Welcome – Bill Bolling, Context for Forum

9:45 a.m. Presentation by Dr. Arthur C. Nelson

10:45 a.m. Panel Discussion

  • Eugene James | Director, Metrostudy Atlanta
  • Egbert Perry | Owner, Chairman & CEO, Integral Group
  • Dan Reuter | Land Use Division Chief, Atlanta Regional Commission

11:45 a.m. Adjourn

Please note that there is NO FEE to attend the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum, but we do ask that you register AND that you bring nonperishable food items for donation to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

ARC Staff Presenting at May 22 FHWA-FTA Webinar

May 7, 2012

Attention transportation planning professionals:

Mark your calendars for an upcoming joint FHWA/FTA webinar on Tuesday, May 22.

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s own Land Use Division Chief Dan Reuter will be presenting on ARC’s August 2010 Peer Exchange (middle of page), sponsored by FHWA and FTA through their Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) program.

Read below for further information as advertised in a recent e-blast.


Connect with the transportation planning community at the first in a series of Transportation Planning Information Exchange Webinars, known as The Planning Exchange, on Tuesday, May 22, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT.

This FREE kick-off event will introduce participants to the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program. Learn how to access Federal resources such as peer exchanges, scenario planning workshops, innovative public involvement strategies, and more!

Click here to register now!

The Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program supports this webinar series that provides ideas and state-of-the-practice information to local, regional, State, and Tribal governments; transit operators; and community leaders in support of effective transportation decision-making in addressing the needs of their communities.

The program also supports the development of a high-performing workforce, enabling transportation professionals to make more informed decisions through training and technical assistance.

For more information about the overall Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program, visit:

Transportation Referendum Wireside Chats: June 2012

May 1, 2012

You are invited to talk to local officials about the upcoming transportation referendum. During 12 Wireside Chats over six evenings in June, local officials will provide a brief overview of and answer your questions about the July 31st referendum and the project list it would fund. These evening phone conversations are organized by jurisdiction, and you are invited to participate in as many as you’d like.

Register at or by calling 404.463.3227.

How it works:

  • Several days in advance of your wireside chat you will receive an email reminder and background documents for your review.
  • On the night of any wireside chat for which you have registered, you will receive a call on the number you provide. After a brief overview of the referendum and the projects it will support, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. Everyone who asks a question will get an answer either live that night or in writing afterward.

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