Sustainable Growth

Sustainability Director

Brian Blackmon
(865) 215-4430

400 Main St., Room 598
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Recent regional efforts such as Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) and Together! Healthy Knox asked the public to define a common vision for the future of local landscapes, health, and economies. A recurring theme in these public conversations is that thoughtful and sustainable zoning, construction, and redevelopment strategies will be necessary to achieve many of the community’s health, safety, and environmental goals. The City strives to help implement these strategies to help ensure that Knoxville’s future reflects community values and allows for social and economic vitality over the long term.  In doing so, we work closely with groups such as the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), Knox County Health Department, Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC), residential and commercial contractors, and other local stakeholders.

Plan East Tennessee (PlanET)

Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) is an ambitious process to imagine the future of East Tennessee and to chart a path to reach a shared vision. Initiated in 2011, PlanET’s public input and planning process called upon nearly 10,000 local residents, businesses, and nonprofit groups to define how East Tennessee should advance over the coming decades. Out of this community input arose a shared, regional vision that:

“East Tennessee will be recognized internationally as a premier region of choice and opportunity by virtue of our exceptional quality of life, scenic natural beauty, unique cultural heritage, healthy people and places, strong institutions, talented workforce, entrepreneurial spirit, and prosperous economy.”

This vision is achievable but not inevitable. Building on public input, PlanET also defined specific goals, objectives, and strategies that will help the region realize its potential. Achieving the vision will require commitment and coordination among all regional decision makers, including public agencies, the private sector, non-profit groups, and individual citizens.

Learn more about PlanET at: and

Transit Oriented Development

Transit oriented development (TOD) is 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.

In 2015, City of Knoxville officials hosted representatives from Smart Growth America to help introduce city leaders, residents, and other stakeholders to concepts related to transit oriented development.  The public presentation from Smart Growth America is available here: Transit-Oriented Development Presentation 7-15-15 [PDF]