Can a community plan for rapid growth in a fiscally sustainable way? That is a central question for Knox County, a growing and urbanizing area at the geographical center of the East Tennessee region. The County has launched a process to create a Comprehensive Land Use and Transportation Plan, which will guide development in the unincorporated areas surrounding Knoxville over the next 20 years. It’s an important moment—the first time the County has addressed both land use and transportation in a coordinated way. Excitment is building for the possibility of significant transformation.
To kick off this major planning effort, the team—which is led by Kimley Horn and Planning NEXT with support from Ninigret Partners, Urban3 and Cannon & Cannon—participated in a two-day orientation workshop and tour with County leadership. Over the next 18 months, the team will be examining data and trends, as well as soliciting community input, to consider where and how the County should grow and invest in infrastructure. Given the dynamic nature of the land use issues, tradeoffs will need to be studied, through an evaluation of different scenarios to understand the long-term revenues and costs associated with growth. It’s a significant undertaking, but with a great start the team and County leadership are well positioned to carefully weigh options and develop a truly impactful roadmap for the future.