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UT’s Smart Communities Initiative to Partner with Southeast Tennessee Development District

UT has chosen the Southeast Tennessee Development District to be its 2015–16 Smart Communities Initiative (SCI) partner.

Through SCI, UT pairs faculty and students with Tennessee cities, counties, special districts, and other governmental organizations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at improving the region’s economy, environment, and social fabric.

The Southeast Tennessee Development District/Chattanooga Area Regional Council of Governments ( is a special-purpose unit of government created by executive order and composed of municipal and county governments. The district serves ten counties in the southeast region of the Tennessee River Valley Basin (Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie) and three counties in northeast Georgia (Catoosa, Dade, and Walker.)

UT’s SCI was piloted this year with the City of Cleveland. Faculty and students in twenty courses have been working on thirteen projects ranging from developing a branding campaign for the city to studying the feasibility of a community ice-skating rink to mapping stormwater infrastructure. Some of the projects concluded in the fall; others are continuing this spring.

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