Two front doors of a duplex

How Zoning (Don’t Yawn!) is Helping Atlanta Deal with Population Boom

By Kate Sweeney | Atlanta Regional Commission | February 28, 2019

Zoning updates don’t often generate headlines. But recent changes to city of Atlanta’s residential zoning regulations have received a flurry of press attention. Let’s unpack what’s going on: The Situation: A Swiftly Growing Population Have you counted the construction cranes dotting the skyline? Work crews are having a tough time building enough housing to handle … Continue Reading →

Alpharetta City Center is a new mixed-use development in downtown Alpharetta

Alpharetta’s Downtown Took 15 Years to Become an ‘Instant Success’

By Curt Holman | January 24, 2019

You might say that Alpharetta City Center affirms the adage that it takes years of work to become an overnight success. About 15 years ago, Alpharetta began planning to transform its downtown into a more lively and walkable destination that could serve as an anchor for this fast-growing North Fulton community. The city received a … Continue Reading →

A rendering of an aerial view of The Stitch, a deck park covering a portion of 75/85

Parks of the Future…Built Atop Highways?

By Kate Sweeney | Atlanta Regional Commission | January 18, 2019

Imagine a peaceful picnic atop 14 lanes of rush-hour traffic. It could happen, if Central Atlanta Progress’s “The Stitch” concept becomes a reality. The 14-acre park would cover the Downtown Connector from the Piedmont Avenue bridge north to the Spring Street flyover, an injection of park land that would, in effect, “knit” together spaces long … Continue Reading →

How Constellations Coworking Space Adds to Sweet Auburn’s Revival

By Curt Holman | January 4, 2019

Our Transformations series highlights projects that are helping to reshape the Atlanta region. Constellations Workspace is an innovative coworking space housed in a century old, renovated brick building in downtown Atlanta’s historic Sweet Auburn neighborhood. But Constellations isn’t just another stylish redevelopment project. It also has a unique mission to connect with the surrounding community, … Continue Reading →

Reinventing Shopping Malls for the 21st Century

By Kate Sweeney | Atlanta Regional Commission | January 3, 2019

Above: renderings of North Point Mall renovations Time was, indoor shopping malls were the hot hangouts. Where else could you get a makeover, put in a game of Galaga, and nab the latest cassette tape of your favorite band? Gulp. Showing our age? Well, many shopping malls across the country are, too. In a time … Continue Reading →

View of the downtown and Midtown skyline

What’s in Store for 2019? 5 Things to Watch in the New Year

By Paul Donsky | Atlanta Regional Commission | December 28, 2018

So, 2018 is in the books, and it was an eventful year. The Atlanta-region Transit Authority – the ATL from here on out – sprang to life, as did Express Lanes on I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties. We learned how to ride – and dodge – the ubiquitous electric scooters with quirky … Continue Reading →

Crowds mill outside the What’s Next ATL podcast booth at the 2018 ARC State of the Region Breakfast.

Metro Atlanta’s Top Issues in 2019—According to its Leaders

Episode #6 | December 13, 2018 | 13 minutes

For this bonus podcast episode, we asked leaders from around the region to tell us what they see as the biggest issues facing the Atlanta region for 2019. From affordable housing, to transportation, to jobs and more, they gave us an earful. The Guests Christopher Tomlinson, executive director, SRTA and GRTA; executive director, the Atlanta-Region … Continue Reading →

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Crowds cheer on Atlanta United. Photo courtesy Atlanta United.

The Data Cup: How Does Metro Atlanta Match Up with Metro Portland?

By Paul Donsky | Atlanta Regional Commission | December 6, 2018

As Atlanta United prepares to meet the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup this weekend – we can already hear Five Stripes supporters firing up their beloved “A-T-L!” chant – we decided to compare these two proud metro areas where it really matters: the data. We’ll use the penalty shootout format here, with one data … Continue Reading →

Passionate fans cheer and raise hands at a sporting event

Metro ATL, a Region of Transplants, Has Fallen Hard for Atlanta United

By Kate Sweeney and Paul Donsky | Atlanta Regional Commission | December 4, 2018

Atlanta would never embrace soccer, many critics scoffed, when the city was awarded an MLS franchise a few years ago. Um, just how wrong was that analysis? A recent story from CNN explores how Atlanta United has captured the city’s heart and, err, united this growing, diverse region. The team is preparing for its first … Continue Reading →

Debbie Aschemeier and Beth Hogan

The Golden Girls, Redux: Inside the Boomer Roommate Trend

Episode #3 | November 15, 2018 | 17 minutes

 Aging? Then this story’s for you. And, guess what? We’re all aging. In just 12 years, one in four of us will be 60 or older in metro Atlanta. And as our demographics change, we need to change how we think about building communities that work for everyone. In this episode, we visit Beth … Continue Reading →

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An apartment building in Atlanta

Cost of Living: Taming the Housing Affordability Crunch

Episode #2 | November 8, 2018 | 22 minutes

 Whether we’re renters or homeowners, housing affordability is a problem for many of us—certainly around the entire country, but increasingly, right here at home in metro Atlanta. In this episode, we set out to learn more: What are the factors that contribute to metro Atlanta’s housing affordability problem, and what are people doing about … Continue Reading →

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A visualization of the Atlanta skyline with word bubbles to symbolize Metro Atlanta speaking.

Transit is Best Way to Tackle Traffic, 2018 Metro ATL Speaks Survey Says

By Paul Donsky | Atlanta Regional Commission | November 2, 2018

What do metro Atlanta residents feel is the best way to address metro Atlanta’s traffic problems? The answer, according to this year’s just-released Metro Atlanta Speaks survey, is clear: expanding public transit. That’s just one of the insights found in the public opinion survey, which is commissioned each year by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The … Continue Reading →

The little-known (in metro Atlanta) Flint River is at the center of an effort to knit the communities around Atlanta’s airport together through greenspace. Credit: Stacey Funderburke

Finding the Flint: How ATL’s Overlooked Waterway Could Spark South Metro Revival

Episode #1 | November 2, 2018 | 15 minutes

Put your hand up if you knew that Georgia’s second longest river runs beneath Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – and that it runs in culverts and ditches through no fewer than five cities and counties surrounding the airport before leaving the metro area. Keep your hand up if you knew this river—the Flint—is at the … Continue Reading →

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LaFrance Walk

Small ATL Development Has Big Ideas for Improving Walkability, Housing Diversity

By Kate Sweeney | Atlanta Regional Commission | November 2, 2018

It’s called the “missing middle” housing problem. In much of metro Atlanta, neighborhoods have one kind of housing: single-family homes. What’s missing is the mix of housing types often found in older communities – think duplexes, four-plexes, carriage houses, courtyard apartments, and the like. A wide variety of housing – at a range of price-points … Continue Reading →

Chalk art in Marietta Square

Plannerisms: Today we Learn About…Placemaking

By Kate Sweeney | Atlanta Regional Commission | October 31, 2018

Plannerisms, our series of audio shorts, gives you a clear explanation of planning terms related to things taking place in metro Atlanta today – in 90 seconds or less. Today, we learn about…placemaking. More on Placemaking As you hear in the audio short above, placemaking can range in scale, from a city transforming an empty … Continue Reading →

Two men talking at ConnectATL 2018 with people walking in the background

How Metro Atlanta Communities are Preparing for our High-Tech Future

By Jim Jaquish | Atlanta Regional Commission | September 14, 2018

From Teslas to terabytes – and what the heck is 5G? – technology is moving fast these days. Self-driving cars, “smart” traffic lights, and other innovations promise to change our region. And this future is right around the corner. That’s why about 400 local elected officials, planners, and transportation experts from around the region gathered … Continue Reading →

4th Ward Park

Big Increase in Affluent Renters Shakes Up Local Housing Market

By Paul Donsky | Atlanta Regional Commission | September 13, 2018

Why buy a home when you can rent? That, it appears, is the attitude of a fast-growing number of high-income households in metro Atlanta, according to a new report from the Atlanta Regional Commission. The region’s rental housing market has fundamentally shifted in the past decade, the report found. The following two charts tell the story. … Continue Reading →