Fifty Forward Future Forums

The key component of ARC’s Fifty Forward initiative was a series of quarterly future forums held during 2008 and 2009 to explore trends, issues and possibilities for the Atlanta region during the next 50 years.

The goal of these forums was to explore and frame new ideas, foster a regional dialogue and bring community leaders together to develop plans of action for the future success of the Atlanta region. At each forum, ARC provided a keynote address by a national or international expert on the forum topic. After each keynote presentation, a panel of knowledgeable, local panelists responded, added their thoughts and ideas, and engaged participants in discussion. Results of the forums were captured by video and printed reports.

The Fifty Forward Future Forums explored the following topics:

Sustainability

We are experiencing a global push toward more sustainable development and consumption patterns and metropolitan areas are at the heart of the movement. Nurturing a strong economy, while preserving our environmental quality, could prove to be our region’s greatest challenge over the next 50 years. What will the world-wide push toward sustainable development patterns mean for our regional transportation system? How will the “greening” of our region impact our economy? What new skills will our workforce need to cope with a green economy? Learn more about the Fifty Forward Sustainability Forum....

Demography and Diversity

The character and personality of any urban region is a reflection of the people who inhabit it. So when we ask the question of what will metro Atlanta be like 50 years from now, we are really asking what will the citizens be like at that time. How diverse will our region be? How tolerant of diversity will they be? How will that level of tolerance impact our economy and our ability to compete for human resources in the increasingly global marketplace? How will the move toward a more heterogeneous population impact our civic and political systems?  Learn more about the Fifty Forward Demography and Diversity Forum...

Megaregions, the Economy and Globalization

The growth of the strong urban centers of the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion (PAM) leads to questions about how the Atlanta region will interact with and connect to Birmingham, Charlotte, Spartanburg/Greenville, Chattanooga, Raleigh-Durham and other metro areas. Will we need to develop high speed rail technologies? Will one urban center emerge as a manufacturing hub, while another emerges as a financial hub? How will we work with our sister metro areas to ensure that our collective economic, social and environmental future is secure? Learn more about the Megaregions Future Forum...

Technology and Innovation

The last 50 years has seen our society radically changed by advances in technology; the Internet alone has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other and the way we receive information. The pace of technological advancement is increasing such that the next 50 years could see even more radical technology-induced societal change than the last half-century. What will it mean for human health and longevity when the human genome is fully mapped and understood? What will be the impact of improved information systems on the way we manage water and transportation systems?  Learn more about the Technology Future Forum....

Housing and Development

In light of the sustainability challenges and our population growth and change, what will the impact be to our urban form? Can we continue to use land and other natural resources in the same way we do now? Will people’s age and ethnic backgrounds demand we provide different housing options than we currently do? Will we even be able to affordably house a population that could easily top 10 million people by 2060?  Learn more about the Housing and Development Future Forum...

Transportation

It would be folly to have a conversation about sustainability and land use issues without considering the impacts of our transportation system. How will people travel to and within the region 50 years from now? Will the need to travel be reduced by technological advances in the telecom industry? How will we fuel our transportation modes? And, how do we ensure that our development patterns and transport systems are integrated and mutually supportive? Learn more about the Transportation Future Forum...

Health Care

The relationship between urban form, transportation, the environment and our health as a society and as individuals is becoming increasingly clear. As we continue to develop as a region, the question of how healthy we will be and the societal costs of decreasing health will be important ones. How can we or should we design our communities in the regional context to encourage healthy living across our lifespan? Additionally, how we best care for each other in times of poor health.  Learn more about the Health Care Future Forum...

Energy

How will our society be powered over the next 50 years? Will peak oil have an impact on our economy or will we be able to develop significant alternative energy sources before we approach an economic crisis? Will we be able and willing to invest sufficiently in research and development of new energy technology to find alternative energy sources that can power our economic engine? Learn more about the Energy Future Forum...

 

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