College Convenes Key Watershed Stakeholders in New Visioning Project

Now much more than a studio, the Tennessee River Project kicked off at the Jan. 9 workshop, where discussion covered topics from economy to ecology, tourism to transportation and conservation to climate change. In September 2016, students in the College of Architecture and Design traveled the Tennessee River, researching for their studio designs...

Now much more than a studio, the Tennessee River Project kicked off at the Jan. 9 workshop, where discussion covered topics from economy to ecology, tourism to transportation and conservation to climate change.

2016_0902-ft-loudoun-lock_500x350In September 2016, students in the College of Architecture and Design traveled the Tennessee River, researching for their studio designs and ultimately taking the first steps toward a broader visioning effort for the entire watershed.

On their journey, students in the Governor’s Chair Tennessee River Studio, along with their professor, Brad Collett, met face-to-face with people who influence or are influenced by the river, and four months later, students welcomed many of those stakeholders to UT’s campus to begin an exciting, perhaps unique think tank to protect and support the waters of the Tennessee Valley.

Now much more than a studio, the Tennessee River Project kicked off at the Jan. 9 workshop, where discussion covered topics from economy to ecology, tourism to transportation and conservation to climate change.

“I’m impressed with the students’ work and see value in pulling together all of these pieces from across the 900-mile watershed,” said Jack Fellows, director of thegood-img_2696 Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a participant in the consortium. “I believe this can be a real economic driver for the state as we look at new ideas to approach river design through the perspectives of tourism, conservation and economy.”

The Tennessee River Project is a unifying and forward-looking research and visioning effort for the watershed, the people who live within it and those who visit it. Led by Collett and the UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair Phil Enquist of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the project will expand on the work of students in the fall 2016 studio to identify and examine issues that are affecting or might affect the Tennessee River watershed.

Representatives from organizations across Tennessee attended the visioning workshop and engaged in discussion about 21st Century opportunities and challenges for the watershed:

  • City of Knoxville
  • East Tennessee Quality Growth
  • East Tennessee Tourism Council
  • Kennerly Montgomery & Finley PC
  • Legacy Parks Foundation
  • National Land Realty
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • River City Company
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute
  • Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Tennessee Scenic Rivers
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Tennessee Water Resources Research Center
  • University of Tennessee College of Architecture + Design
  • University of Tennessee Department of Biosystems Engineering
  • University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

good-paulbamson-img_0201Inspired by presentations of the students’ fall 2016 research, the group began to define the Tennessee River Project’s goals in research, teaching, convening and public engagement and examine challenges and opportunities related to tourism, riverfront trails, access, water quality, industries, ecologies, clean and renewable energy and more.

The consortium will next form a steering committee and determine the focus of the fall 2017 studio. Soon, the group will begin work to establish an enduring research entity, a resource that will benefit the region and world, and determine the short- and long-range needs of the Tennessee River and the group’s responses to those needs.

 

 

Source: archdesign.utk.edu