Smart Growth America staff, partners, developers, local leaders and allies discuss implementing transit in Middle Tennessee

From right: Smart Growth America’s Geoff Anderson with Ken Rose, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mitchell Silver, American Planning Association; and Arthur Guzzetti, American Public Transportation Association. Photo courtesy of the Nashville Area MPO.  

In 2010 Middle Tennessee’s mayors agreed on a milestone, ten-county vision for transit. Last month, leaders in the region met to talk about how to make those plans a reality.

More than 250 political leaders, transportation and land use planners, transit agency partners, developers, architects, engineers, academics, and non-profit advocates came together on October 25 and 26, 2012 in downtown Nashville to discuss the first steps of implementing the region’s innovative transit plan. The event was organized by the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, and sponsored by Transportation for America, a joint project of Smart Growth America and Reconnecting America.

Left: Nick Donohue, Policy Director of Transportation for America. Right: Michael Lander, founder of the Lander Group and Steering Committee Member of LOCUS. Photos courtesy of the Nashville Area MPO.

Joining the discussion was Geoff Anderson, Smart Growth America’s President and CEO, who contributed a national perspective to transportation policy in Tennessee. Ken Moore, Mayor of Franklin, TN and Steering Committee member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council gave the Summit’s opening remarks about what better transit would mean for the Middle Tennessee region. Nick Donohue, Policy Director of Transportation for America, weighed in on how the project might overcome the types of funding challenges so many agencies face today.

On day two, Michael Lander, founder of the Lander Group and Steering Committee member of LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, spoke about the economic potential of building real estate around transit stations. And Bridget Jones, Executive Director of Cumberland Region Tomorrow, a coalition partner, spoke about how local communities provide a regulatory framework that enables opportunities for transit‐supportive development.

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