Downtown Chattanooga

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April 30, 2013
Urban Design Challenge: Where are We Now?
Urban Design Challenge: Where are We Now?

In August of last year, the Urban Design Challenge Finale took place at Track 29. If you were at the event, you were treated to stunning concepts of what Downtown Chattanooga could look like at six key sites: 700 Block of Market Street, Civic Forum Block at Market & 11th Streets,  Patten Parkway, 4th Street Corridor, Vine Street Corridor and Main & Broad. While showcasing the local talent in architecture and design in Chattanooga, the community was tasked with envisioning the future potential downtown has and that quality urban design is important to its lasting use and functionality.


The 4th Street Corridor group, Elemi, won the River City Challenge Award while the BroadJump Team who focused on Main & Broad Streets won the Civic Vision Award. And after eight months, Urban Design Challenge is still being talked about in our community and referenced to in new and potential development downtown.


Marc Brennan attended the Urban Design Challenge finale and recently announced the renovation of an old gas station at Vine Street and Georgia Avenue into a new restaurant, Universal Joint. This restaurant will help revitalize that corner and assist in connecting UTC and its students to downtown.


David Hudson, Paul Darr and Justin Dumsday who were members of the BroadJump team recently discussed the announcement of a trampoline park, apartments, brewery and restaurant as well as other mixed-use spaces in the Main & Broad Street area that was consistent with their idea of connectivity and animation in that area.


The goals of the Urban Design Challenge were to empower locals to foresee the best possible uses of key downtown sites in hopes that these visions would become reality and get the community talking about meaningful urban design. With the program still on the community’s mind several months later and with the technology start-up culture present in Chattanooga, maybe the tech hub and innovation center proposed for the Civic Forum Block will be the next venture spawned from the Urban Design Challenge.