ARC Awards $940,000 in Livable Centers Initiative Grants to Help Five Communities Become More Vibrant, Walkable Places

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) announced today that it has awarded $940,000 in Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) grants for five planning studies across metro Atlanta to help communities transform into more walkable, bikeable, live-work-play environments.

Once studies are completed, grant recipients become eligible to apply for federal transportation funding to bring their visions to life.

This year, ARC celebrates 25 Years of LCI investments throughout the region. The program began in 1999 to reduce vehicle miles traveled and improve air quality by creating vibrant, mixed-use developments that encourage walking or other alternate modes of transportation.

“We are excited to partner with our newest round of grant recipients who share ARC’s commitment to create thriving communities for all,” said Samyukth Shenbaga, Managing Director of Community Development at ARC. “As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the transformative LCI program, we are proud to work with these visionary communities to ensure inclusive, innovative, and resilient outcomes.”

LCI is recognized as a national best practice for how metropolitan planning organizations can lead efforts to alleviate transportation concerns while improving overall quality of life.

2024 LCI Study Grant Recipients

Note: Specific grant allocations are subject to change based on adjustments made by the LCI sponsor.

Downtown Atlanta Creative Wayfinding Plan
Project Sponsor: Atlanta Downtown Improvement District
Grant Amount: $140,000

In preparation for the 2026 Soccer World Cup, this study aims to update the pedestrian and vehicle wayfinding sign system in Downtown Atlanta to encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use. The plan also aims to highlight the work of Atlanta artists and culture bearers by commissioning local artists to design tactical wayfinding features such as murals and directional signage that reflect Atlanta’s vibrant and diverse culture.

Downtown Fayetteville Creative Placemaking Strategy
Project Sponsor: City of Fayetteville
Grant Amount: $160,000

The goal of this LCI Study is to develop a creative placemaking strategy for the Downtown Mixed-Use District and create a walkable and livable downtown core. The study will explore placemaking, public space activation, interactive art concepts, open space utilization and activation, and pedestrian and bicycle connectivity enhancements. The City desires to establish an arts district along the Lee Street Corridor, creating an incubator space for public arts and local artists, and to develop a marketing plan for existing and future businesses within the area.

Extensive involvement and engagement from the community is expected to include the establishment of an advisory board consisting of members of the city’s arts and creative community, business owners, property owners, city staff and elected and appointed officials.

Jimmy Carter Boulevard Area Master Plan
Project Sponsor: Gwinnett County
Grant Amount: $280,000

The master plan has two major objectives: Defining a multi-modal transportation network along Jimmy Carter Boulevard that includes pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to transit locations; and making future land use recommendations to foster pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use communities near transit locations, projects known as transit-oriented developments (TODs), in appropriate locations. Through robust community engagement, the vibrant immigrant communities and global enterprises along Jimmy Carter Boulevard will help identify locations for public murals.

In addition, the plan will identify strategies for new housing types, development and preservation of affordable and workforce housing, and redevelopment in key parts of the existing LCI area. This ambitious planning effort will also examine infrastructure improvements such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities and transit, identify open space and placemaking activation locations and recommend code amendments to the Gateway 85 Overlay District.

Springs in Motion LCI Update & Connectivity Study
Project Sponsor: City of Powder Springs
Grant Amount: $160,000

This LCI plan update will study ways of better connecting the city’s newest assets, including Thurman Springs Park, Powder Springs Dog Park, the Hardy Family Automotive Amphitheater, and the new Powder Springs City Hall. The focus will be on walkability, pedestrian safety, and incorporating the planned Silver Comet Trail connection paths, which provide direct access to Downtown Powder Springs. The study will also look at traffic calming, a parking plan, identifying locations for electric vehicle changing stations, and determining the location of and access to transit stops based on new local bus routes identified in Cobb County’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP).

This plan will also ensure the city’s infrastructure keeps pace with the growth in housing as the city works to increase housing supply. The city also plans to create more opportunities for art installments, cultural events, and public art in the burgeoning downtown district through partnerships with local arts organizations.

Town Center CID LCI Plan Update
Project Sponsor: Town Center Community Improvement District (CID)
Grant Amount: $200,000

This initiative will update Town Center CID’s nearly 10-year-old LCI plan to reflect the significant changes taking place in the area, such as increased enrollment at Kennesaw State University, growth at Cobb County International Airport, with upwards of 250 flights a day, and substantial development occurring throughout the district. This plan update will consider changes to land use and zoning ordinances, examine proposed transit routes and bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, explore housing initiatives, and study multi-modal connections for the community. The updated concept plan will make recommendations informed by an existing plans assessment, market analysis, and an action plan to guide anticipated growth of the CID over the next several years.

Learn more about these programs and the entire LCI program at