Healthy Livable Communities

Focus Resources on Areas of Need

Focus Resources in Areas of Need 2016-10-12T12:49:18+00:00


In Partnership With Local Communities, Strategically Focus Resources in Areas of Need and Importance

ARC works closely with local governments to assist them with planning and with implementing their plans in a way that benefits not only local residents, but the entire region. This is done through grants like the LCI program, public/private partnerships like the Transformation Alliance and the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance, and free programs like Community Choices.



From major employment centers like Buckhead and Downtown Atlanta, to smaller downtowns like McDonough and Suwanee, ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program helps communities re-invest in areas that already have the infrastructure to support jobs and development.

Through a competitive grant process, LCI helps local governments, community improvement districts (CIDs) and local residents re-envision their communities in a way that increases mobility options, encourages healthy lifestyles, provides easy access to jobs and services, preserves the environment and focuses on long-term economic prosperity.

LCI provides funding for planning studies and transportation projects, such as sidewalks and intersection improvements. The ARC board has allocated $314 million over the next 15 years for transportation projects resulting from completed LCI studies.

Downtown Suwannee

With help from LCI funding and public input, the city of Suwanee transformed its downtown into a vibrant live-work-play community.

By the Numbers

184 million

Total federal investment in 112 communities through ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative.

  • $8.2 million in LCI studies
  • $3.7 million in supplemental studies
  • $172 million in transportation projects (design, right-of-way and construction of 105 projects) in 63 LCI communities
13 percent

…reduction in daily vehicle miles traveled per capita in the region since 2000.



The Community Choices program provides free planning and zoning-related technical assistance to local governments. Since its inception in 2005, ARC has completed dozens of Community Choices projects for jurisdictions large and small.

Projects include:

  • Developing and implementing zoning overlay districts
  • Developing design standards
  • Rewriting of zoning codes and ordinances
  • Conducting audits to assist with quality growth
  • Taking inventories of housing or and/or commercial property
  • Researching best practices

EXAMPLE: Helping Lithonia Inventory its Housing Stock

Lithonia housing

Community Choices helped Lithonia conduct an inventory of all residential properties in the city. To accomplish this, ARC developed a web-based tool and trained volunteers to gather the information. Now, Lithonia has a full electronic database and interactive map of its existing housing conditions. The city also has a report that outlines, next steps and possible tools the city might use to enhance its housing options.

The inventory was the first step in Lithonia’s participation in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing program, which also provided support for the inventory.



The Atlanta region is embracing the idea of transit-oriented developments (TOD), which typically include a pedestrian-friendly mix of housing, office and retail or other amenities build around transit stops, such as a MARTA rail station. Successful TODs can increase transit ridership, reduce household driving, and improve access to jobs for low-income residents and working families.

An effort is underway to ensure that TOD projects are developed in an equitable fashion that address the needs of the entire community. The goal is to foster mixed-income communities that offer affordable housing options and access to jobs and other amenities, such as fresh, healthy food, for residents of all income levels.

To promote equitable TOD in the Atlanta region, a group of government agencies, businesses and nonprofit groups, including MARTA, ARC and Enterprise Community Partners, came together to create the TransFormation Alliance, with funding provided by the Ford Foundation. Equitable TOD seeks to achieve:

  • Increases in property values without displacing the residents who would most benefit from the increase
  • Greater economic opportunity by creating easier access for low and moderate income households
  • A balance between return on investment for private investors and equity goals
Oakland City thumb



Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world. As such, it is not just a driver of the region’s economy, it is arguably the region’s biggest economic asset.

The area around the airport is home to several large corporate headquarters (Delta Air Lines, Chick-fil-A and Porsche Cars North America), but the market has often lagged the rest of the region and has developed without a cohesive strategy or overall identity.

The Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance aims to change this by transforming the airport area into a world-class Aerotropolis, making the area more attractive to international corporations, logistics companies and others that can benefit from proximity to the world’s busiest airport. The Alliance, which includes businesses, local governments, nonprofits and other interested parties, is developing a Blueprint to help foster and guide development in the area.

Atlanta airport area



Metro Atlanta is a dynamic and thriving region that competes globally for business and talent. Maintaining and growing the region’s economy requires collaboration across business sectors and political boundaries. The Atlanta Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy is bringing these diverse interests together to create a stronger Atlanta region with an economy that is sustainable well into the future.

The Strategy is being implemented by hundreds of volunteers across the region who are working in four committees, each focused on a specific area of the economy:

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Developing an Educated Workforce

Goal: Improving K-12 education and helping more of the region’s youth graduate from high school and obtain technical certificates or college diplomas.


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Supporting Innovative Entrepreneurs

Goal: Making metro Atlanta a more nurturing and attractive environment for entrepreneurs by trying to attract venture capital while creating a network of support for start-ups.

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Growing Prosperous Businesses

Goal: Better connecting employers with local education institutions, promoting the Atlanta region as an attractive place for companies looking to relocate, and advancing public policy that supports economic competitiveness.

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Developing Healthy, Livable Communities

Goal: Attracting and retaining an educated workforce by improving the region’s quality of life  – such as walkability, mobility, and access to parks to culture.

 It is the policy of ARC to:

  • Encourage increased housing, services and employment opportunities for
    residents around transit stations
  • Focus investments in redevelopment opportunities of a regional scale
  • Implement targeted planning efforts for areas with infrastructure of strategic regional importance
  • Ensure access to opportunities and resources for the region’s disadvantaged and vulnerable populations