“Great cities have great parks.” — Scott Martin, the City of Chattanooga’s new Administrator for its also very new Parks & Outdoors Department.
He’s not wrong. New York City has Central Park, one of the most extraordinarily well-maintained parks in the US, San Francisco has Golden Gate Park, San Diego has Balboa Park… we could go on.
That’s why Martin + his team are beginning a nine-month park planning process to reinvent Chattanooga as “a city in a park.” The best part? Every single citizen in Chattanooga can contribute.
- Nine months of consulting, planning + getting community feedback
- Then, the plan goes to City Council for adoption
- Finally, the department will figure out funding + put the plan into action
If you’re thinking that nine months seems long, you may be shocked to hear that it’s actually like pressing “fast forward” on the planning process — according to Martin, Vancouver, Canada’s Parks + Rec plan took four years to create.
- Equity | Everyone deserves access to a great public park
- Access | Barriers to Chattanooga’s green spaces should be removed + parks should be safe, clean, and fun
- Quality | Chattanooga should set a standard for park design, construction, and maintenance
- Place | Parks play a big role in making our neighborhoods + city a great place to live — which is why a focus on parks is so important
What will it involve?
The main focus of the plan will involve improving Chattanooga’s existing parks.
So, what kind of improvements? Well, a lot of that depends on your feedback: Could the public bathrooms stand for an upgrade? How are the walking trails? How easy is it to find the park nearest you? Is it a great place for all ages to enjoy?
“Chattanooga is one of those places where if you care, you can make a difference. This won’t be a plan that sits on a shelf and collects dust.”