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Region Matters Thought Leadership

These New Projects Aim to Create a More Vital, Connected Metro Atlanta

By Kate Sweeney

These days, so many of us are looking to live in dynamic, pedestrian-friendly places, the kind where you don’t have to get in your car to do everything. But creating these communities can be difficult.

That’s the challenge Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program is set up to address, awarding planning grants each year to help communities re-envision themselves as more vibrant, connected places. This year, 11 communities have received LCI grants.

The projects provide a glimpse into the transformation potential these grants offer. They include: revitalizing a dying shopping mall in Gwinnett County; energizing a downtown in Henry County to improve road safety and examine ways to offer “missing middle” housing options, and turning a suburban corridor in Cobb County into a place that’s safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, while promoting transit and boosting the economy.

Since 2000, LCI grants have helped communities to reach their goals of creating more pedestrian-friendly places that better connect people to jobs and transit options.

The grants are funded through federal transportation dollars. They cover 80% of the cost of each study or project, with the grant recipient making a 20% match. Read on, for a look at several of this year’s recipients.


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