Atlanta: A City or a Region?

Atlanta also nearly quadrupled in physical size as the city annexed surrounding land.  By 1970, Atlanta city limits included over 130 square miles.  As road conditions improved, commuters were able to move farther from their jobs.  Farms in neighboring counties quickly turned into subdivisions. 

Atlanta Area in Square Miles

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Atlanta quickly encompassed more than just what was included in the city limits.  Transportation, water, and other problems threatened to curtail Atlanta’s growth.  City planners formed the Atlanta Regional Commission to think regionally and to include neighboring counties in their long-term growth strategies.

The roots of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) go back as early as 1948 when Atlanta began to “sprawl” into outlying counties. This video shows how more and more neighboring counties were included in the Atlanta region as the population continued to grow and spread. Today as many as 28 counties around Atlanta are included in the ARC’s Atlanta region for various statistical purposes such as the census, water planning, workforce development, and air pollution.

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