Urban areas like Knoxville and Knox County operate through the interworkings of many groups: profit and nonprofit, government and private, elected and appointed, paid and volunteer. The Metropolitan Planning Commission is a major player among these.
MPC staff members typically lead or attend more than 100 community meetings per year. Their research, reports, and analyses contribute to landmark decisions about our area's future, often forming the foundation for long-range plans of action. Even routine zoning and addressing items at the MPC office touch the lives of thousands of citizens and developers.
MPC plays a leadership role in core planning efforts like neighborhood planning, transportation planning, development review, and market and economic studies.
An interesting part of MPC's work, however, is serving as part of a larger team for various projects around town. Some examples of these are listed below.
MPC staff work with local coalitions as well as the city and county parks departments in an ongoing effort to expand a regional system of walkways and river and lake recreational routes. Staff also provide GIS and graphic support, including logo design.
The Addressing Department at MPC worked with the Census Bureau to prepare for the Census 2000 and maintains an ongoing relationship with the U.S. Post Office and 911 Emergency Systems in coordinating all city and county addresses.
MPC has a full-time planner devoted to historical preservation and also provided graphic design support.
MPC planners, graphic designers, and the GIs team played a crucial role in preparing a 124-page application which helped Knoxville win approval of a $100 million federal grant to revitalize the central city area.
When the Knoxville Community Development Corporation received a $22.1 million federal grant to revamp the Mechanicsville neighborhood, MPC helped KCDC staff and community leaders develop a neo-traditional design featuring tree-lined sidewalks, parks, and front porches. Planners then prepared an amendment which was adopted into the Knoxville Zoning Ordinance to facilitate these design features for this neighborhood and others in the future.
In addition to examples listed above, MPC also provides staff support to the Metropolitan Planning Organization, The Cumberland Avenue Design Review Committee, the Fort Sanders Forum, the Downtown Linkages Study, and the Urban Transportation Issues Committee. MPC functions as an extension of city and county staff for numerous special projects.