The Benwood Blog

Highlighting the people and projects that are working to make Chattanooga great within Benwood’s four focus areas Place, Talent, Advantage and Culture.

Place

Looking Toward Tomorrow (with a nod to Yesterday)

Looking Toward Tomorrow (with a nod to Yesterday)

Giving an old building a new sense of purpose in our Center City.


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Culture Place

Designing Health

Designing Health

A little over a year ago, I was asked by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to be part of a panel discussion at the AIGA Head, Heart, Hand: Design Conference. I shared the stage with Doug Powell from IBM, Matthew Trowbridge, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and George Aye, from Greater Good Studio. Our topic was Designing a Healthier Future for Children, and we were tasked with demonstrating how we used design thinking in our work to improve health on the population level. In the interest of full disclosure, my education is in clinical exercise physiology and not design, so I was a little confused when I got the email asking me if I would like to take part in the conference.


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Talent Place

What Ferguson Taught Us: A Brief Study in Questions

How many white parents have to teach their children to fear the police? How many white communities call in police experts, including the police chief, to teach their children what to do if approached by the police? How many organizations are allowed to police themselves?


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Place

Money, Passion and Story: The Drivers (or Barriers to) Great Urban Design in Chattanooga

Money, Passion and Story: The Drivers (or Barriers to) Great Urban Design in Chattanooga

It seems to me that there is a disconnect that, in spite of excellent civic leadership in this amazing city, is
keeping design and development from being what it could or should be. This is especially true in the public realm, both within the urban fabric and elsewhere. Sitting at the annual convention for the American Institute of Architects and listening to the many masters of our profession present their works has suggested a few culprits to me, and while there may be others, these appear to be the standouts: Money, Passion and Story.


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Place

Sustainability is not a Four-Letter Word

Sustainability is not a Four-Letter Word

What is the biggest misconception surrounding the word, sustainability?  I was recently asked that question, and Agenda 21 immediately sprung to mind.  For those not familiar, Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.  For many, calling the plan non-binding and voluntary is simply lip service.  Sustainability has become a trigger word, embedded with undertones of conspiracy and overtones of mistrust.  Within this fear-based paradigm, “sustainable development” becomes a catch phrase that really means “government theft of property rights.”


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Competitive Advantage Place

On Local Food: Education, Choices, & Change

On Local Food: Education, Choices, & Change

There are thousands of labels in a grocery store.  Most are confusing and skew the truth; not disclosing everything it took to put such a nice little package on the shelf for you. Companies take great care in diverting your attention toward specifically added vitamins and nutrients, branding their products so you feel better about buying it. “Organic.” “Transitional.” “Enriched.” After all, Cheese Puffs have cheese, which has calcium, which is good for you, right? (This was someone’s logic that I recently heard. My mouth dropped.) We are removed from the makings of real cheese. “Healthy” has become a moving target as marketers and magazines pitch their products and ideas. While labels contribute to this problem, lack of education does, too.


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Place

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."


During the previous two decades this city has mustered the will to reinvent itself through keen leadership and a collaborative spirit. Chattanooga’s leaders were connected and focused to achieve what many believed was impossible – new life from a decayed urban core. ChattaNEWga would appear to have a bright future with positive growth on the horizon. We should now prepare for the new challenges that come with early success. Now is the time to dig deeper into the public-private partnerships that have been the foundation of Chattanooga’s rebirth.


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Competitive Advantage Place

Their Soul Will See Mountains

To you Vanguards and to others here tonight, I’m humbled to be in front of you and awed by my task – to take only ten minutes to get you up to speed on what we’ve done here and how we’ve done it over the past 30 years.


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Competitive Advantage Place

An Interview with Chattanooga's New Local Food Hub Director

An Interview with Chattanooga's New Local Food Hub Director

It's clear that Chattanooga is a special place. The amenities and opportunities in our community are a result of Chattanoogans working to lay the groundwork for positive development and growth in our region, leaving it in better shape than it was found. This year, our city made more movement in that direction by bringing Ray Rollison to town. He’s the director of the upcoming Harvested Here local food hub, and is working to get locally grown food to more people while providing farmers with an avenue to increase production. Ray was so kind to take a few minutes to talk with me about himself, the landscape of our local food shed, and how the Harvested Here food hub will help develop it. Chattanooga, (virtually) meet Ray Rollison!


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Place

Toward an Urbanism of the South

Toward an Urbanism of the South

When a community builds a road or a park or a public building, both the integrity of the design and the level of quality express the values and aspirations of the people who live there. This public realm is the way that the community tells the world about itself. In a sense, cities are like people- they are not defined by what they think of themselves, or how they view themselves, they are defined by their actions.


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Most Recent

  1. Ready....Set....2.0

    by Sarah Morgan

By Category

  1. Competitive Advantage
  2. Talent
  3. Culture
  4. Place

 

On Our Minds

Words from Sarah Morgan

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