Downtown passersby likely know the Patten Porch Project — colorful swings, seating, street murals + all — pretty well.
But what’s going on behind the scenes? Is the project over? Are there changes coming? We got the scoop on downtown’s liveliest urban design project.
🏙️ Project timeline
- 2018 | In partnership with the Enterprise Center, the design studio conducted a public life study with Gehl Planning Group and pinpointed that the site at Georgia + Market is one of the most social downtown spaces.
- 2019 | The project received a national grant + funding from the city, hired WMWA Landscape Architects and Genesis the Greykid as the design team, and began community engagement.
- Early 2020 | Design refinement with the community began.
- Late 2020 | The project was installed.
- Early 2021 | The team shifted to engagement activities at hotels of displaced Patten Towers residents after the complex fire in March.
🏙️ And now?
The pilot program isn’t over — currently, the team is entering a phase of activation and programming at the space, in addition to refining the design + studying the project to see what’s working well.
Gehl recently developed an app for The Porch Project that allows the team to observe + collect data on how people are using the space.
- The app software was designed specifically for this project, and is being piloted to see if it can be utilized for public space designs throughout the city.
The project’s overarching goal is to hone in on a final design that can function as a more long-term change to the area. The team hopes that the community-led design process itself can also be replicated across Chattanooga and other cities.
🏙️ National Attention
- The design team recently received an honor award in the urban design category via the American Society of Landscape Architects’ annual awards — this was the first national award that Chattanooga has ever received via ASLA.
- Blue Zones, one of the grantors, also published a national article on the project.
🏙️ Get involved
If you live + work downtown | Take part in upcoming workshops for the project to provide feedback and ideas.
If you spend more time in the suburbs | Join the porch coffee talks on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. to engage with the space + community.