Atlanta’s resilience journey
Atlanta is a cosmopolitan city that celebrates a diverse cultural tradition, high levels of education, and the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the US.
However, the city’s success has led to an overtaxed transportation system, which causes traffic congestion and increases Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), creating new challenges such as poor air quality and social cohesion. A lack of affordable transportation options also exacerbates growing inequality, impeding the city’s poorest communities from access to food centers and economic opportunities.
Atlanta’s high dependence on highways makes infrastructure a primary concern. A disaster affecting a major highway or bridge could prevent emergency responders from reaching areas affected by electrical outages or assisting citizens trapped in areas of flooding. The city is working to mitigate the potential impact of resilience shocks such as infrastructure failure through the creation of an Emergency Preparedness and Management group consisting of 30 multidisciplinary stakeholders.
Meet the Chief Resilience Officer
Megan L. Sparks
Senior Director of Programs and Strategic Partnerships
Megan is a visionary leader with boundless energy for driving sustainable, equitable growth among people, organizations, and communities. She serves as Senior Director of Programs and Strategic Partnerships, in Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ inaugural One Atlanta office, which focuses on equity and resilience. In this role Megan oversees programming, partnerships, and other equity- and resilience-based strategic initiatives. Additionally, she serves as the Administration’s leader on resilience and representative to the global urban resilience movement.
Previously Megan has served in strategic leadership roles across the corporate and non-profit sectors and founded her own boutique non-profit, civic, and public consulting firm.