For the unenlightened, the Scenic City to which I refer is Chattanooga, TN. Over the past couple dozen years our city has become a shining example of downtown revitalization. During those decades, a city that was once declared the most polluted in America has rebounded with a thriving urban center. A major component of that revitalization has been our community’s understanding of the vital importance of the quality of the urban public realm. Our commitment to cooperation and collaboration in the planning, design and stewardship of our shared assets has been one of our defining characteristics.
However, despite our hard-earned reputation, there seems to have been a recent sea change in the level of quality of the built environment and in the level of public discourse that once was the cornerstone of our renaissance. In this space I will express my thoughts and concerns about our downtown, please feel free to comment as you will. From time to time I may also make observations about architecture and urban design as they relate to our city.
Downtown Chattanooga is very important to me, as it has been my personal and professional home since leaving graduate school a decade ago. Accordingly, I do not intend to sugarcoat any observations. My vocabulary is somewhat limited due to an Alabama public school education. As such, I often have to revert to working “blue”, so read at your own risk (sorry Mom). I promise to do my best to not make this a place of constant bitching and moaning about the state of things. However, it is the nature of critique to make observations that are sometimes unpleasant. I will call 'em like I see 'em, and hopefully in the future we will see more projects and processes worthy of praise.