UT Students, Community Discuss Downtown Development

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee architecture students will meet Wednesday with residents and community leaders to discuss Knoxville’s downtown development.

UT architecture Professor Mark Schimmenti said the public is invited to meet students at 2 p.m. in Knoxville’s Community Design Center, 19 Market Square, to map out a plan for the future of downtown Knoxville.

“Community members can sit down with UT students and tell them what they think Knoxville should be,” Schimmenti said. “The students will make notes by drawing on a (six-foot) long map of downtown. When they are done, the map will be a large diagram representing the dialogue that went on.”

Jennifer Magee, UT interior design lecturer, said a main goal of the event is to create a document of ideas.

“The idea of pen on paper will be the critical aspect of this meeting,” Magee said. “We are looking at major issues affecting downtown, hoping that the proposals we come up with really express what the community is interested in doing.”

Students will use information gathered Wednesday to create a series of design proposal drawings that explore links between major sites, space between buildings, and other aspects of downtown, Magee said.

“These drawings will establish guidelines and principles about the way streets should be defined, how new buildings should be introduced, and how old buildings should be reused,” Magee said.

“We hope our proposal says, ‘This should be our goal, this is what we should be trying to achieve, and these are the kinds of things that make a good city.'”