City to Host Workshop on Transit Oriented Development

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

City to Host Workshop on Transit Oriented Development

Posted: 07/09/2015
Next week, City of Knoxville officials will host representatives from Smart Growth America for two days of discussions about transit oriented development (TOD). The workshops on July 15 and 16 are part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. They will include a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15, at the East Tennessee History Center.

The discussions will help inform residents and community leaders about the benefits of TOD -- a type of community development that includes a mixture of housing, office, retail and/or other amenities integrated into a walkable neighborhood and located within a half-mile of quality public transportation.

City officials are hoping to use the workshops as an opportunity to engage local residents, City staff, elected officials and the business community in a discussion of how public transportation investment can be used as a tool for economic development in Knoxville.

“Transit oriented development has great potential to encourage investment along our urban commercial corridors, which are also the major arteries of our public transit system,” said Mayor Madeline Rogero. “It makes sense to encourage mixed-use development in areas that already have a variety of transportation options.”   

Knoxville area residents are invited to the public meeting on July 15 for an introductory presentation that will feature a broad overview of strategies for implementing TOD in Knoxville and surrounding communities and how it would benefit the region. The next day, the Smart Growth representatives will conduct in-depth workshops for City staff and local planning professionals.

“Smart Growth America is committed to providing training to help local leaders keep cities and towns livable, vibrant places,” said Roger Millar, Smart Growth America Vice President. “This workshop will provide the community with an opportunity to learn more about transit options and transit oriented development in a local context. Now is a great time to assess how Knoxville can most effectively align future development with transit investments.”

In December 2014, the City of Knoxville was one of 14 communities nationwide selected from a pool of over 120 applications by Smart Growth America to participate in the technical assistance program. Stretching from Florida to Washington State, these 14 communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike. The City of Alcoa was also selected, in partnership with the Transportation Planning Organization.

The program, made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant to Smart Growth America from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. Two other nonprofit organizations — Project for Public Spaces and Global Green — currently have active grants under this program to help communities get the kinds of development they want.

As a national leader in the field, Smart Growth America has accumulated extensive experience working with communities to help them use land strategically, make the most of existing resources and invest strategically to catalyze private development. 

Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For additional information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org.