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Chattanooga, the 4th largest city in the state, is located in Southeast Tennessee near the border of Georgia at the junction of four interstate highways. The city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its beautiful downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront. Chattanooga boasts the most productive affordable housing program in the nation, and is notable for leveraging development funds through effective public/private partnerships, with significant civic involvement on the part of private foundations. Chattanooga was one of the first US cities to effectively use a citizen visioning process to set specific long-range goals to enrich the lives of residents and visitors.
Attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium, Lookout Mountain, Civil War battlefield sites, the African American Museum, and the Appalachian Trail bring thousands of people to the area, as do events like the Riverbend Festival, Bessie Smith Strut, Fall Color Cruise, the Creative Discovery Museum for children, and the Southern Writers Conference. Chattanooga is the home of NCAA Division I-AA national football championships and hosts the national softball championships every year. Public entities and private citizens worked together to build the 20,000 seat Max Finley Stadium completed in 1998. The city and county have developed an extensive greenway system which includes 5 miles of constructed “river walk” beginning downtown and meandering through the historic art district and several parks. The city supports a downtown shuttle fleet of zero-emission electric buses - manufactured in Chattanooga - for commuters and visitors wishing to park-and-ride.
People who love the out-of-doors use Chattanooga as a base for hang-gliding, bass fishing, mountain climbing and caving expeditions; the verdant Smoky Mountains and Tennessee River watershed support the greatest variety of flora of any area in the United States.
The local economy includes a diversified mix of manufacturing and service industries, four colleges, and several preparatory schools known throughout the South. "Sustainability" is a key concept for industry and government working together for enlightened development.
With its scenic beauty, stable population and economy, civic vitality and cross-sector partnerships, fiscal integrity, and strategic location, Chattanooga enters the 21st century as one of the most progressive and livable mid-size cities in the US. In this decade the city has won 3 national awards for outstanding "livability,” and 9 Gunther Blue Ribbon Awards for excellence in housing and consolidated planning.
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