Airport Area Planning

Atlanta Aerotropolis and Airport Area Planning

Dr. John Kasarda of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pioneered the "aerotropolis" concept, which is an urban development form comprising aviation-intensive businesses and related enterprises surrounding an airport. Cities like Dallas, Memphis, Detroit and Washington, D.C. are putting the concept into action in this country—in addition to cities around the world, including Amsterdam, Seoul, Dubai and Bangkok. Information on the Aerotropolis Concept can be found at

With the recent expansions of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, including the opening of the new Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. International Terminal, along with the changing economy after the Great Recession and the emergence of the aerotropolis concept as a development model, ARC has engaged local governments, business, citizens and others in the area surrounding Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Working with these public and private partners since 2011, ARC helped in the creation of the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance (the Alliance), a 501(c)(6) non-profit, focused on increased investment and economic development around the busiest airport in the world and the region’s international "front door."

As stated by Dr. John Kasarda, “The true challenge is planning to get the aerotropolis right. If there is not appropriate planning, airport-area development will be spontaneous, haphazard, economically inefficient and ultimately unsustainable. The aerotropolis model brings together airport planning, urban and regional planning, and business site planning, to create a new urban form that is highly competitive, attractive and sustainable.”

ARC will partner with the Alliance to plan and prepare for the region’s next big activity center and one that can positively impact all other activity centers in the region. Visit the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance website for more information on this organization and how to get involved. You can also follow the Alliance on Facebook and Twitter @AtlAerotropolis.

Airport Area Task Force

The Airport Area Task Force began meeting on August 17, 2012. This group was integral in the creation of the Alliance as well as the genesis for the creation of airport area Community Improvement Districts (CIDs). This forum for public dialogue and discussion on improving the airport area will continue as a part of the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance. Meeting summaries from the 2012 and 2013 meetings are available below. Airport Area Task Force meetings are usually held at the Technical Support Campus at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Contact Jon Tuley by phone at 404-463-3307 or by e-mail at for more information on these airport area planning efforts.

Other Aerotropolis and Airport City Efforts

See how other regions around the country and around the world are investing in their airport areas.

The Global Gateway Event

On June 22, 2012, the Airport Area, Clayton County, and South Fulton Chambers co-hosted the Global Gateway event, along with support from several local governments, Georgia Power and ARC. See below for an event summary, presentation slides, and videos of the event.

Global Gateway: Doug Hooker Opening Remarks

Global Gateway: Tad Leithead

Global Gateway: Nancey Green Leigh, PhD, FAICP

Global Gateway: Panel Discussion and Q&A

© 2014 Atlanta Regional Commission   |   40 Courtland Street NE - Atlanta, GA 30303   |   404.463.3100   |