Chattanooga leaders introduce plan to make Innovation District more inclusive, accessible

The Innovation District is a central hub in downtown Chattanooga where people can find creators, collaborators, and 'the next big thing.' (Image: WTVC)

In the heart of downtown Chattanooga, there's the Innovation District. According to the website, it's described as a section of a city where creative thinkers, entrepreneurs, students, and tech-savvy innovators can collide and collaborate to implement new ideas.

Mayor Andy Berke created a task force in 2013 to keep the momentum of the city going after EPB introduced the gig. That task force suggested creating a central hub of the city where creators could work together. The Enterprise Center already existed at that time.

In the past five years, the Innovation District has changed. Now, the Enterprise Center is working on moving it forward. Tuesday night, the Enterprise Center introduced its Framework Plan.

The website says, "the Framework Plan revolves around shared values that animate our work, inform our proposed use of land and inspire how we think about the people and culture that are integral to the Innovation District."

The goal is to expand public engagement in the district, provide an inclusive environment, and broaden the reach.

There's also a need for more public space and well-connected street and sidewalks. This is already in progress with the city's work at Miller Park near MLK Boulevard.

The goal for the city, stakeholders, and the Enterprise Center is to support:

  • 1) Startup incubators and accelerators
  • 2) Business support programs
  • 3) Smart-City and other research opportunities to enhance public services, products and processes
  • 4) Space and support for K-12 and post-secondary education programming to build the talent pipeline
  • 5) Multi-functional innovation centers that include collision and joint work spaces

For more information on this plan, click here.

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