A project rendering of the overlook on the Cumberland area’s Bob Callan Trail

Beyond the BeltLine: 4 Innovative Projects on the Bike-Ped Scene

By Kate Sweeney and Curt Holman |

The Atlanta BeltLine justifiably generates plenty of buzz and headlines. But there’s much more to the region’s bike-ped network. Communities across the region are adding to the well-over-200 miles of trails already in place in metro Atlanta, to develop what will be a comprehensive, connected trail network. Let’s explore four of the most innovative projects … Continue Reading →

How 3 Innovative Atlanta Parks are Transforming Their Communities

By Kate Sweeney | Atlanta Regional Commission |

As springtime draws nearer, many of us are itching to get outdoors. For many metro Atlantans, that means heading to the nearest park. And in our green-canopied region, it’s easy to take parks for granted. But let’s move beyond the swing-sets and walking paths for a moment—and consider how parks can help create a sense … Continue Reading →

Station Soccer has been a big hit for people of all ages

Reminding us Why We’re Here: An Arts and Culture Conversation

By Jim Jaquish | Atlanta Regional Commission |

A concert in the town square. A mural on the side of a building. An old school converted to a showcase of local history. These are just some examples of how arts and culture play an important role in defining community and fostering thriving, vibrant places to live. Yet arts & culture is often overlooked … Continue Reading →

Two front doors of a duplex

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

By Kate Sweeney | Atlanta Regional Commission |

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 →

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 | | 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 |

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 |

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 | | 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 | | 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 |

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 | | 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 |

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 |

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 |

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 →