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Master Plan Strives for a 'Seamless' Chattahoochee River for the Atlanta Region
A joint planning effort by the city of Atlanta, Cobb County, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) is exploring ways to make the land along the Chattahoochee River more livable, workable, and playable for Atlanta and beyond. In SaportaReport, Walt Ray with TPL and Byron Rushing with ARC detail the intentions guiding the process.
The $1.5 million study deals with the length of the river from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park. That 100-mile stretch, divided among many jurisdictions, includes: city and county parks, state conservation lands, federal property, a sundry mix of trail authorities, and more. It's also governed by a variety of planning frameworks, including ARC's 2016 regional trails plan, Cobb County's 2017 trails plan, and Tim Keane's Atlanta City Design, adopted by the city in 2017.
The aim of the RiverLands project is to stitch all of those elements together to create what Rushing calls "a seamless public realm along the Chattahoochee River." One goal is to connect existing and new trails to the Silver Comet Trail, suburban communities, and MARTA stations. Others include driving economic development, restoring ecological habitat, and increasing public access to open green space.