With the recent release of Made in Place: Small-Scale Manufacturing & Neighborhood Revitalization, we’re spotlighting a few standout examples of cities that have fostered a small-scale manufacturing sector to revitalize their local economy. Knoxville, Tennessee benefits from a strong community of makers, real estate developers, and residents with longstanding roots and connections to the city. In 2016, Etsy officially named Knoxville as the first “Etsy Maker City” and the Mayor’s Maker Council voted to adopt the motto “The Maker City” in 2017.
A new report from Smart Growth America and Recast City illustrates how encouraging more small-scale manufacturing in downtowns and neighborhood centers can help create a more resilient and inclusive small business environment, increase the accessibility of the local job market, and create a foothold for future growth.
Distilleries, jewelry makers, and 3D printers — what do they all have in common? Each is part of the emerging, national movement of small-scale manufacturing, and can contribute meaningfully to a community’s downtown economy. Made in Place: Small-Scale Manufacturing & Neighborhood Revitalization, a forthcoming report from Smart Growth America in partnership with Recast City, will explore this innovative industry and showcase best practices for downtown revitalization.
Chris Duerksen (left) and Roger Millar (right) lead Alcoa, TN’s technical assistance workshop on smart growth zoning for small cities.
The aluminum industry brought jobs and new residents to Alcoa, TN over the last 100 years. Now the city is working to evolve and remain vibrant for 100 years to come. An update to the city’s development and zoning codes is one way they’re making that happen.
To get that project off the ground, the City of Alcoa and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) welcomed Smart Growth America and Clarion Associates for a technical assistance workshop on September 1 and 2, 2015. Roger Millar, Smart Growth America’s Vice President of Technical Assistance, and Chris Duerksen, Clarion’s Senior Counsel, met Alcoa leaders and community members to talk about smart growth zoning codes for small cities. The workshop was designed to show how zoning code changes can help create vibrant town centers within small cities, as well as how more compact, walkable development can boost the local economy and reduce public expenses.
Knoxville wants to build on the success of places like Market Square (above). Photo via.
Downtown Knoxville, TN, is seeing a resurgence. New businesses and residents are moving to the area, and the City is working hard to bring similar success to neighborhoods throughout the city. Could investments in public transportation help?
To help answer that question, leaders in Knoxville welcomed Smart Growth America on July 15 and 16, 2015 for a technical assistance workshop on transit-oriented development. Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President of Economic Development, and Dena Belzer, President of Strategic Economics, spoke with elected leaders, municipal staff, representatives from regional and state agencies, and Knoxville residents about how investment in public transit could multiply the city’s economic development successes.
Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council recently interviewed Madeline Rogero, mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, to ask her how local governments can catalyze brownfields redevelopment and jumpstart revitalization. In the video above, Rogero discusses how strategic investments by local government have made brownfield sites in Knoxville more attractive to potential developers.
Knoxville, Tennessee is refocusing development toward the city’s historic core and older neighborhoods, and the strategy is driving an economic turnaround for the city.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, a member of the Advisory Board of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, says the city has focused on “strong, safe neighborhoods; living green and working green; an energized downtown and job creation and retention” during her time in office. The approach is bringing new businesses and residents to downtown Knoxville.