A ven diagram showing Physical Development's Relationship to Social, Economic and Environmental Issues.
Physical Development’s Relationship to Social, Economic and Environmental Issues

Planning Approach

RPA encourages wise planning of Hamilton County’s physical development by recommending policy that integrates land use, transportation, and resource management. This approach involves making assessments, generating ideas, and creating implementation tools for elected officials and community stakeholders. It is important to emphasize that plans crafted by RPA address other community issues but only through the lens of physical development. For example, a plan may suggest that buildings face the street. If the buildings have windows and patios that offer a clear view of the street, this will provide more “eyes on the street”. If there are people watching the activity on the street, it is likely to deter crime. Recommending that buildings face the street is an aspect of physical development that can address the social issue of crime.

RPA Planning Principles

The following principles guide the work of the RPA Planning should:

  1. Provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the community;
  2. Be proactive and visionary;
  3. Reflect the integration of comprehensive economic, social, and environmental factors;
  4. Promote the wise use of existing resources without compromising options for the future;
  5. Recognize the importance of diversity in the community, including the people, cultures, values, places, and natural resources;
  6. Involve citizens in the planning process;
  7. Reflect a high ethical standard, free from conflicts of interest;
  8. Seek to find a balance between what is good for the community as a whole and the rights of citizens as individuals;
  9. Incorporate realistic and flexible implementation tools and assign responsibility for specific areas of implementation;
  10. Recognize the importance of the urban, suburban, and rural areas to the economic and cultural vitality of the entire community;
  11. Facilitate new growth while protecting neighborhoods, infrastructure, and the environment; and
  12. Be an ongoing process in which previously developed plans are reviewed periodically and updated or modified as needed if conditions or preferences have changed.

This is the context in which RPA’s planning work is grounded. The nature and history of the planning area; the legacy of previous planning efforts; and the role, approach, mission, and principles of the RPA all shape this plan for physical development in the Chattanooga-Hamilton County area.