Jon Coddington, project director at RiverCity Company and visiting professor of architecture and urban design at UTC, shared plans to revitalize W. Main Street in Chattanooga using public art at the “Take the Lead’ forum held at the University.
Hundreds of people attended this event to contribute their ideas to make Chattanooga more livable. Community leaders representing architecture, education, aging, and healthcare led discussion sessions on issues affecting the city and the region. Two doctoral candidates enrolled in the UTC Ed.D. in Learning and Leadership program, Greg Laudeman and Eleanor Cooper, assisted with the planning and hosting of the “Take the Lead” workshop.
Coddington hopes a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts will help rejuvenate the area on W. Main Street from Broad Street to Alstom Power near the Tennessee Riverwalk.
“Chattanooga is on the cusp of doing terrific things. We want the grant to act as a community development catalyst,” Coddington told the audience.
Many people voiced concerns about issues throughout the city, such as extending the Greenway in East Brainerd, more recreational facilities for the city’s youth, and reducing traffic congestion.
“We don’t want Chattanooga to become like Atlanta with so much traffic,” said one audience member.
Coddington and other panelists said the city needs to be proactive and expand transportation opportunities for residents.
“It’s going to take partnerships between public and private groups and ideas such as park and ride locations and incentives for employees to live near their workplace,” said Coddington.
Take the Lead sponsors include The Honorable Mayor Ron Littlefield, Choose Chattanooga, Southeast Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities, Chattanooga Health and Performance Institute, Chattanooga Leadership Think Tank Roundtable, Leadership Chattanooga, Partners for a Livable Chattanooga, and The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.