Atlanta is a participant in the Cities of Service Guiding Opportunities program. Through the program, participating cities engage residents and other local stakeholders to create Opportunity Zone investments that benefit local communities. Cities of Service provides each city with $25,000 and two years of technical assistance and places two full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members in each city hall to build capacity for resident engagement.
In 2019, Atlanta was a finalist for the Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award for its program to transform vacant, blighted lots into urban gardens and food farms. The award elevates city-led strategies that most successfully engage citizens to help create and implement solutions to pressing local problems. The city leased city-owned property to residents and provided training, public promotion, fundraising assistance, and other support to ensure the success of urban gardens and food farms and increase access to healthy food.