Today Glass Street was filled with members of the Tennessee Chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Chattanooga community, all participants in a design charrette hosted by Glass House Collective. After a welcome presentation, teams explored the area before breaking out into workshops, with the goal to create plans of action to transform the neighborhood.

Some common themes appeared as the teams brainstormed, including the need for better access to food and community gardens, the possibility of water features and parks, and ways to emphasize the area’s history. Several teams agreed that revitalization starts by slowing down car traffic, increasing foot traffic, and making Glass Street a destination point.

What is really exciting about this collaboration with AIA is that these plans will give us a roadmap to share with the neighborhood residents and business leaders and start discussions about how they would like their neighborhood to grow. The process begins, and will succeed, with the energy and enthusiasm of community involvement.

The workshops have already generated a lot of excitement in the community. Turnout was greater than expected, which was a wonderful surprise. Several participants were tweeting photos and live updates on our Twitter using the hashtag #AIAonGlass). Nooga.com and News Channel 12 came by and covered the event today as well. Tomorrow, each team will have a chance to share their ideas with the public at a special presentation at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center.