Date of Award


Document Type

Terminal Project

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)


Planning, Development and Preservation


Dr. Eric Morris

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Benedict


Chattanooga has a long history as a transportation hub, for railroads, trucking, and streetcars. One need look no further than the 1943 hit song, “Chattanooga Choo-choo” for evidence that, until the mid-20th century, Chattanooga was closely associated with trains and transportation. In addition to this legacy as a hub of transportation, the Chattanooga area is currently experiencing robust population growth. Chattanooga is a small metro area of about 530,000 people (about 170,000 in the city limits) in southeast Tennessee. The city grew 7.8% between 2000 and 2009, which is comparable to the county, which grew by 9.3% in the same period, and the metro area, which grew by 10.8% (US Census, 2010 and 2000). This represents a gain in the city over the 1990s, when the county’s population grew by 7.8% and the city’s grew by only 2.0% (US Census, 2000 and 1990). While some of this is due to Chattanooga’s aggressive annexation policies, the convergence between city and county is still significant. This suggests that the city is once again a hot market . Journalists have written in the local paper that this dramatic shift in growth priorities would not have been possible if not for investments made in downtown Chattanooga in the 1990s, mainly the opening of the Tennessee Aquarium, but also including the opening of the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, additions to the Hunter Museum of Art, and the making of the Tennessee Riverwalk, a riverside trail that connects parks that dot the Tennessee River the city of Chattanooga (Chattanooga Times-Free Press, 2011). Chattanooga has also recently gained a reputation as a creative Mecca, with its own typeface, fiber-optic high-speed Internet, one of the greenest car plants in the South (which, among other things, turns paint waste into cement), and a recently implemented (thought still somewhat buggy) bikeshare program (Phillips, 2012, Hightower 2012).

Additional Files

t31coversheet.pdf (55 kB)
Cover Page

t31TPpres2.pdf (20188 kB)