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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

National Summit Brings Community Leaders to Knoxville


Posted 03/14/2012

Last week, downtown Knoxville was the setting for the Smaller Places Summit, a gathering of community leaders from across the country, hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Communities.


Last week, downtown Knoxville was the setting for the Smaller Places Summit, a gathering of community leaders from across the country, hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Communities. The goal of the Summit, held at the Four Points Sheraton-Cumberland House March 5-7, was to accelerate efforts to build economically vibrant and resilient communities through their current projects and beyond. It was a unique training opportunity that brought together teams from 15 smaller urban and rural places that have grants through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The Knoxville region’s Sustainable Communities grant supports the Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) effort.

Attendees represented a diverse group of communities:
  • Central Minnesota
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • East Alabama
  • East Arkansas
  • Freemont County, Idaho
  • Havre, Montana
  • Helena-West Helena, Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New River Valley, Virginia
  • Northwest Michigan
  • Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
  • Porcupine, South Dakota
  • Southwestern Wisconsin
  • Spokane Tribe, Washington
  • Western North Dakota

Several members of the Plan East Tennessee team participated in the Summit, with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero serving on a panel for sustaining regional and local collaboration.

The Summit was an opportunity for participants to connect with peers from smaller regions and rural places, as well as with leading national practitioners, thinkers, investors, and policy makers. The workshops provided access to much of the best available information in rural sustainable development and offered opportunities to learn from colleagues and national experts.

According to Julie Graham, PlanET Community Leadership Chair, “this was a valuable opportunity to interact and share ideas with grantees who have similar rural-metro areas and demographics.”

Over the next few weeks the PlanET team will be processing what they learned, sharing it will other project partners, and developing several key action steps to keep the PlanET process moving forward.
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