Atlanta Regional Commission
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the metro Atlanta, Georgia region, defined as a 10-county area including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, including the city of Atlanta. It also serves as the metropolitan planning organization for those and eight more counties in the Atlanta region, including Barrow, Bartow, Coweta, Forsyth, Newton, Paulding, Spalding, and Walton counties.
ARC and its predecessor agencies have coordinated the planning efforts in the region since 1947, when the first publicly supported, multi-county planning agency in the United States was created. At that time, the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) served DeKalb and Fulton counties and the city of Atlanta (which is already in both of those counties). Since then, ARC membership has grown to its current size of 10 counties and 63 municipalities.
The ARC is funded through a number of sources: local, state and federal government entities and private funds.
The Board membership of the commission includes: 1) each county commission chairman in the 10-county region; 2) one mayor from each county (except Fulton County); 3) one mayor from the northern half of Fulton County and one mayor from the southern half of Fulton County; 4) the mayor of the City of Atlanta; 5) one member of the Atlanta City Council; 6) fifteen private citizens, one from each of the 15 multi-jurisdictional districts of roughly equal population, elected by the 23 public officials; and 7) one member appointed by the Board of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Agency structure and functions
The ARC is divided into numerous departments, covering a broad range of issues, from the region's growing senior population to region-wide transit issues to GIS data. The agency's structure and functions can be oulined as follows:
- Office of the Director
- Communications: communications services, community involvement, graphic services, information center, marketing, media relations, MARC Youth Leadership Program
- Community services: aging services, Georgia Region 3 Advisory Council, governmental services, workforce development
- Comprehensive planning: data research, environmental planning, land-use planning, transportation demand management, transportation planning, GIS
- Support services: accounting, budget, contracts and grants Administration, facilities management, human resources, information technology, purchasing
Each fall ARC give awards for noteworthy new projects. The categories are
- Development of Excellence, which usually goes to large projects like a redone town square
- Exceptional Merit for Context Sensitive Neighborhood Infill Design
- Exceptional Merit for Historic Preservation
- Exceptional Merit for Infill Redevelopment
- Livable Centers Initiative Achievement Award