Between 2008 and 2010, The Civic League for Regional Atlanta held a series of facilitated discussions with 746 people across the 10-county region called Neighborhood Forums. Our goal was to ensure that citizens’ voices were represented in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s “Fifty Forward” project, an ambitious visioning initiative centered around critical topics expected to impact metro Atlanta for decades to come. In all, 13 forums were held, with each focused on one of five topics: diversity, sustainability, land use and housing, transportation, and public health and healthcare.
We listened to and recorded everything Neighborhood Forum participants told us, and then turned our data over to researchers at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, who organized and summarized it. Last month, we proudly shared what Forum participants told us about their hopes, needs and priorities for their region with ARC staff and about 100 business, civic and public sector leaders who met at a final Fifty Forward event to draft a vision for metro Atlanta, circa 2060.
The Fifty Forward Neighborhood Forums represent a big step toward more inclusive regional policy making. We are grateful to those who participated for their thoughtful comments and original ideas and to our colleagues at ARC for their enthusiastic support. We encourage you to take a look at the report — entitled “Prominent Themes in the Neighborhood Forums of The Civic League for Regional Atlanta” — available here.