CRT's Quality Growth Tools
Making an Impact in Middle Tennessee
|Cumberland Region Tomorrow (CRT), a regional quality growth collaborative partnership in the 10-county middle Tennessee region, has gained a reputation for providing tools and resources that help communities implement quality growth planning and development that makes wise use of fiscal resources, enhances economic competitiveness, and provides more choices and a higher quality of life for citizens. One of CRT's most well known tools is the award-winning Quality Growth Toolbox, which has assisted numerous communities in pursuing quality growth strategies and policy implementation. However, CRT offers other tools that communities can use to achieve more specific outcomes as well.
One such tool is the GIS GreenPrint Tools for Quality Growth. Four years ago the term "greenprinting" was mostly a foreign concept in middle Tennessee. Greenprinting has gained prominence as an additional tool in helping the planning sector to make decisions that ensure access to and knowledge of critical lands for conservation. Greenprinting is the creation of scenarios that help communities make informed quality growth and conservation decisions. It provides planning decision makers with consolidated GIS data, which can then be analyzed to develop the best possible scenario for development.
In 2006, CRT introduced the concept of GIS greenprinting to the 10-county middle Tennessee region in the Quality Growth Toolbox chapter "Conserving Our Region's Land, Water, Natural, and Cultural Resources." This new tool was the first of its kind in Tennessee and is the most comprehensive set of consolidated GIS planning information now available in Tennessee. This web-based tool allows for free access to both laypersons and planning experts to navigate, analyze, and compare large sets of data layers from the parcel to regional scale.
To date, the GIS GreenPrint has been used as a comprehensive planning tool by several communities in the 10-county region leading to comprehensive plans and policies that support local open-space conservation priorities. One such plan is the current Robertson County Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan.
The Robertson County Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan is an intergovernmental initiative of the county and the cities of Adams, Cross Plains, and Coopertown to create a long-term vision and strategic plan for the county's residents. The 2040 Vision Plan is designed to build off the desire of citizens to retain the rural, agricultural economy that is unique to Robertson County while managing encroaching growth from the Nashville metropolitan area and capitalizing on opportunities for economic development as outlined in the Realizing Robertson's Future Economic Development Plan.
CRT first began working with Robertson County with the 2006 release of the CRT Quality Growth Toolbox and partnered with American Institute of Architects (AIA) of Middle Tennessee to fund and implement the region's first quality growth pilot project in the county. This collaborative partnership led to the AIA 150 Blueprint for America Visioning Workshop for Robertson County and produced a 2007 summary report titled "On Preserving Open Space and Revitalizing Historic Town Centers," which led to broad consensus among Robertson County citizens "to maintain the agriculture landscape and encourage future growth around existing town centers and infrastructure" and recommended that the county create a Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan.
In 2012, completion, adoption, and implementation of a comprehensive growth and development plan was formally called for by the Robertson County, Adams, Coopertown, and Cross Plains commissions and city councils. Consultants for the Robertson County Comprehensive Growth and Development Plan are currently using CRT's GIS GreenPrint data to compile and analyze the county's key natural, cultural, agricultural, and historical assets. This information will be used to create a plan that guides growth and development while protecting these assets. "To have all of this data in one place and to be able to show it so clearly is an amazing asset for us as we work with Robertson County leaders in achieving their growth and development goals," said Carey Hayo of Littlejohn Engineering.
Statewide Implementation of GIS GreenPrint Data
Greenprinting helps communities make informed quality growth and conservation decisions, providing planning decision makers with consolidated GIS data that can be analyzed to develop the best possible development scenario.
The CRT Quality Growth Planning Audit, to be released in 2013, seeks to identify planning policies and tools being implemented in all 56 local government municipalities and counties within the 10-county middle