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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

2013 Livability Report Card Gauges Region’s Quality of Life

Posted 11/25/2013

The 2013 Livability Report Card for the PlanET region highlights conditions affecting quality of life for area residents by providing statistics and ratings in twenty key areas including transportation, health and the local economy.

East Tennessee’s youth have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Area roads and bridges need more than $1 billion in repairs and upgrades. New home construction is down 70 percent from pre-recession activity.

PlanET research partners recently released the 2013 edition of the Livability Report Card, taking a close look at quality of life issues in the five-county region. While residents enjoy good quality of life, there are stark reminders that there is room for improvement.

Economy, community health, environment, housing, and transportation are among the major topics of evaluation, highlighting both strengths and challenges to life in the region. This year’s report is the third edition since the PlanET project began in 2011.

“Having access to this information is a great benefit to our region,” said Mark Donaldson, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Planning Commission in Knoxville. ”While not all of the information in the report is positive, it paints a bigger picture of the assets and the challenges we face, and it helps identify where support and services are needed most.”

Produced by the Metropolitan Planning Commission and the University of Tennessee’s Center for Business and Economic Research, the Livability Report Card provides detailed data about the individual counties and communities in the region. The information will be used by area leaders and city and county officials drafting a 30-year plan for the region.

The Report Card also will serve as a benchmark to track changes in quality of life as the 30-year regional plan moves from development to implementation.

Other findings of this year’s study:

  • Several job sectors, including research and development, information services and manufacturing in plastics, aluminum and industrial services, have made local gains that outpace national trends
  • About 65 percent of the region's adults and 40 percent of children are overweight. More than 30 percent of residents report little or no leisure time physical activity, even though half of the region's households are within one mile of a public park.
  • There is a 13-month supply of unsold homes across the region. Nashville and Memphis report 5.4-month and 6.3-month supplies, respectively.
  • The region reports above-normal rates of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Poor air quality is a contributing factor. Air pollution is worsened by high levels of motor vehicle traffic—nearly 340 million tons of truck freight move through the region each year, and the average daily automobile commute of area residents is 35 miles.

The 2013 Livability Report Card is available for download on the PlanET website at: http://www.planeasttn.org/Livability

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