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Knoxville Regional
Transportation Planning Organization

400 Main St, Suite 403
Knoxville, TN 37902

email: contact@planeasttn.org
phone: (865) 215-2500
fax: (865) 215-2068

Regional Partners Embark on Three Year Regional Planning Effort


Posted 02/04/2011

In the fall of 2010, the City of Knoxville asked MPC to prepare a grant application to the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program. The result was $4.3 million award, among the largest in the country.


In 2010, the Community Development department of the City of Knoxville asked MPC staff to prepare an application in pursuit of a grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program.

The Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program was initiated in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), co-leaders with HUD in the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The grant program was designed to support metropolitan and multi-jurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments. 

The Knoxville area application was successful! The City, supported by a large consortium of project partners, was awarded $4.3 million to create a regional planning plan for the area within the Knoxville metropolitan statistical area, identified as Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union counties. The grant application process was extremely competitive, with grants awarded to 45 of approximately 200 applications submitted. The Knoxville region’s grant was among the largest awarded, with only five other regions across the country receiving larger grants.

A cooperative agreement with HUD was signed by the City establishing February 1, 2011 as the starting point for this three year effort. The consortium of partners has begun meeting to help identify all of the potential stakeholders in the region. All of the mayors of cities and counties within the planning area have been invited to play a role in the planning process. Advisory groups are being formed.

Consultants will be brought on board to assist with the planning initiative. MPC will manage the planning process; identifying, collecting and analyzing regional data; and generally making sure that all the interested people show up at the right time and right place. The University of Tennessee will play a major role in developing the plan and analyzing the planning process.

The primary goals identified in the application are to:
  1. Establish an identity and direction for the region and the planning process in year one;
  2. Engage, educate and develop a shared vision sustainable vision for the region in year two; and
  3. Adopt a regional plan for livable communities and a strategy to implement the proposals and recommendations identified in the plan.
This regional planning process will address several key questions:
  • How will we live? In what types of communities do we want to live, work, and play?
  • Where will we live and work? What areas in the region are suitable for development? What areas may pose challenges or present opportunities for more livable development?
  • How will we get to the preferred future? What steps are needed to move the region from where it is now to the desired types of communities and growth patterns?
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