On October 25, 2019, U.S. Representative Steve Cohen convened a roundtable about Complete Streets in his district, which includes most of Memphis, TN. Local advocates and people from the city, county, and state government attended to discuss the Complete Streets Act of 2019—legislation sponsored by Rep. Cohen—and other ways the federal government could assist communities creating streets that are safer for people biking, walking, or rolling. Below are comments from Sylvia Crum, the Commute Options Program Manager at Innovate Memphis, who spoke during the roundtable.
Between September 2017 and January 2018, the National Complete Streets Coalition worked with 30 transportation professionals from the Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga regions in Tennessee to identify and overcome common barriers to Complete Streets implementation. In the seven months since then, each region has taken steps to move Complete Streets forward in their communities.
Many rural communities in America have been struggling as the economy has changed dramatically over the last few decades, but some of these communities are evolving and finding new ways to adapt. This is a story of how one small mountain town in northeast Tennessee has found new economic opportunity by investing in reliable, high-speed broadband internet to catalyze new growth and development focused in their walkable, historic downtown.
This month, the Complete Streets team returned to Knoxville, TN for the third and final workshop of the Tennessee Consortium Series. Despite the weather’s best efforts (it turns out, a frozen street is not a Complete Street), not even a snowstorm could stop us from convening for two last days of intensive hands-on learning.
In the second workshop of the Complete Streets Consortium Series, we reunited with the teams from the Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville regions of Tennessee to focus on collaboration.
The Complete Streets Consortium Series works with three jurisdictions across the same state to improve inter-agency collaboration, create a peer-learning network, and identify strategies to overcome common barriers to Complete Streets implementation. Last month, we held the first of three workshops in the series in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Check out the visual recap below:
Last month, Complete Streets director Emiko Atherton traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee to speak in the Walkability Speaker Series, a series that highlights the benefits of walkability and explores strategies to cultivate more walkable environments. The series is a collaborative effort led by the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization with the support of East Tennessee Quality Growth, the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors, the Knoxville Chamber, and the Knoxville Chapter of the American Planning Association. Emiko and I were excited by the opportunity to scope out Knoxville and get to know some of the local champions of smart growth and walkability, since we’ll be back before too long as part of our Complete Streets Consortium Series.
A green lane for bicyclists in Knoxville, TN. Photo via the Knoxville Mercury.
Building a connected network of streets that is safe for everyone, no matter how they travel, takes region-wide collaboration. Our newest technical assistance award is designed to help three agencies in Tennessee do just that.
Smart Growth America and our program the National Complete Streets Coalition are proud to announce that a partnership of agencies in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville, TN is the winner of our first-ever Complete Streets Consortium technical assistance.
The Gates Art Gallery building in Lowell, MA’s Acre neighborhood. Lowell is hoping to support small-scale manufacturing in the neighborhood. Photo by Richard Howe via Flickr.
Four communities are using small-scale manufacturing for downtown revitalization to create economic opportunity, and will receive free technical assistance from Smart Growth America, made possible by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Small-scale manufacturing has emerged as an innovative strategy in today’s urban economic development toolbox. For many cities, this new industry can connect residents to good paying jobs and economic opportunity in the neighborhoods they call home. Smart Growth America’s newest technical assistance program helps cities integrate small-scale manufacturing spaces into their economic development work.
Participants at our 2016 workshop in Chattanooga, TN.
Last week we announced the six new communities that will receive one of our free standard technical assistance workshops in 2017. This program, now in its sixth year and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities’ Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, has helped more than 70 communities across the country use development strategies to meet their goals.
As we look forward to working with next year’s communities, we wanted to take a moment to look back on the diversity of faces and places we’ve visited this year.