Urban Fold

Giving Regionalism A Chance

A non-profit group is trying to convince Nashville-area cities and counties to engage in regional planning and cooperation to halt the region's fast-expanding sprawl.

"Local officials and planning experts believe they can help Middle Tennessee communities save themselves from the mistakes that have hurt sprawling Sun Belt cities from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

Cumberland Region Tomorrow, a nonprofit group that tries to encourage planned growth, has launched a barnstorming tour of Nashville-area cities and counties to urge leaders to put aside decades of competition for tax revenues, jobs and subdivisions and instead work together to make the most of population growth.

Middle Tennessee communities have reached the limits of what they can do alone, these advocates say. Water is running low in some local communities, while the level of traffic is rising. Cumberland Region Tomorrow and its backers believe they can fight these ills and others by appealing to communities' self interests.

The effort to promote more regional planning carries risks. An effort that is too weak could create intractable problems that will take decades to correct...But a regional planning effort that is too aggressive might drive off the development entirely."

Full Story: For now, regionalism is little but talk


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