Planning for Chattanooga in 2015

March 06, 2015 at 4:10 PM

The City2City Planning Committee has been meeting to determine the destination of another metro area visit in 2015. Several regions were researched, including Northeast Ohio; Peoria, Illinois; Providence, Rhode Island; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Louisville, Kentucky. Based on metro area data, published reports, and online research on initiatives taking place in each region, the areas that appear to offer the greatest inspiration to Springfield and the Pioneer Valley are the Chattanooga and Louisville regions. Both areas have made significant efforts to revitalize their downtowns, have been successful in implementing broadband service, and have recent business investment.

Through ongoing dialogue, the Planning Committee identified issues of greatest concern and interest to our region as follows:

• Fiber-optic service
• Higher education in the urban core
• Riverfront revitalization
• Sustainability, or “green” initiatives

The African American Heritage Museum in Chattanooga was also of interest to committee members.

Given the interests of the group and the region, and after much discussion, it was determined that the Chattanooga, TN metropolitan area would best fit the needs of this year’s City2City visit. Chattanooga has redeveloped its waterfront as a vital attraction, has a high-speed fiber-optic network that is drawing new high-tech businesses, and is known for its arts and culture districts. The University of Tennessee anchors one of the downtown neighborhoods, where the African American Heritage Museum is also located. Also, in Tennessee, community or technical college is free. In the area of sustainability, one major initiative is a shuttle fleet of zero-emission electric buses (free to riders).

With this in mind, the Planning Committee has begun planning the next City2City trip to Chattanooga, TN in the fall of 2015. The timing will most likely be late September/early October. The Committee is open to feedback on this decision and will continue the planning process this spring. In addition, a late spring event is being planned to bring City2City participants together to talk about issues in our region.


Tags: Chattanooga fiber optic service riverfront higher ed in urban core African American Heritage Museum Tennessee University of Tennessee electric buses

Paul Robbins


Paul Robbins of Paul Robbins Associates-Strategic Communications is managing the City2City Pioneer Valley blog. The intent is solely to provide information about the initiative and inform those interested about ongoing City2City initiatives. Paul is a member of the City2City Greater Springfield planning committee and participated in the first trip to Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina. He will post content generated by City2City participants, provide updates on related initiatives and publish input from those interested in the initiative. For those wishing to provide content, Paul can be reached at