Downtown Chattanooga

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June 27, 2017
Chattanooga: A Livable City 
Chattanooga: A Livable City 

What is livability? Is Chattanooga considered a livable city? The literal translation of livability means “ suitability for human living.” However, the bounds of livability go a bit farther.


In a 2006 case study by Community Research Connections, researchers compared the efforts of two urban areas through the trails of improvement. They found that the strongest characteristic of livability was a sustainable, planned community. “In relation to cities, livability describes the surpassing of basic living conditions to meet aspirations,” one study states.


In other words, urban areas with the ability to plan sustainably will reach their goals for a better tomorrow. Along with sustainability, aspirations should include social spaces, economic dynamism, housing choices and the development of a progressive economy in order to make a healthy, happy environment.


Leading the pack on sustainable planning are cities like San Francisco that promote policies to aim for zero waste to landfills and 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. A city commended for their public transportation and numerous public spaces, Seattle recently released a plan to expand housing affordability to make the city livable for all. While Austin, Texas is gaining recognition for its “Urban Utopia” that has both walkability and diverse housing.


According to the World Resources Institute, sustainable cities are on the rise across the world with results that are making a positive impact on their citizens and the world around them.


And what positive impact is Chattanooga making? With an almost 40 year community history of planning and executing projects in our urban core, Downtown Chattanooga has morphed from a forgotten cityscape to a bustling, mid-sized city. With aspects of the City Center Plan coming to life including the redevelopment of the Miller Park District and current planning underway like the Downtown Parking Study, each effort is pushing the city to be a stronger, more appealing and sustainable area for future generations of Chattanoogans.