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

The Holston River

The Holston River

Let’s get personal, down home, no holds barred, personal. I am a southern writer and as such my memories make up a large part of my copy. Some of those memories are as recent as the ice cream I had yesterday, some decades ago, growing up on a farm in Eastern Tennessee. Memories are my treasures. I pull them out and use them to connect to people, place and time. Part of an innate desire we as humans have to feel connected.


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Competitive Advantage Place

A New Model for Food Banks

A New Model for Food Banks

At this time of year, people struggle to eat fresh, local produce. One of the first challenges is knowing what is in season, the second is finding a local source. No one struggles more with this challenge than the low-income community.


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Place

Legend or Legacy?

Today one of my close friends from college posted a photo on Facebook where he is posing casually with his wife at the rim of the Grand Canyon. Their posture and the rust-colored ridge and basin are iconic. We know this place. But this wasn’t a recent get-away. Sara passed away only weeks ago after a battle with cancer. The photo was chosen out of many scans – what we once called snapshots - as eulogy. It is not surprising that a grieving man might choose this bright day and study of contrasts to do the important human work of remembering. He chose well.


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Place

A Good Start

A wise man once said that cities are like forests. They live and die, grow and shrink, cycle and recycle. As such, cities can never be “finished”. It has been suggested, however, that downtown Chattanooga has reached such a point. The case has been made that we’ve done everything we can downtown and now our focus needs to shift to something else. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s not possible for a city to be finished, I still don’t buy the idea that downtown Chattanooga is “done”. In fact, the best you could say is that we’ve started a lot of things


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Place

Addressing Food Deserts from the Inside Out

Addressing Food Deserts from the Inside Out

Why are some ideas embraced, and others ignored? This is an applicable question to many initiatives in Chattanooga, specifically the efforts to put a Band-Aid on food deserts. What really would cause a food desert to change, take root, and grow?


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Place

10 Hopes for Chattanooga

10 Hopes for Chattanooga

My biggest hope for Chattanooga? Wow. Where do I begin? Let me start with the four-letter word itself, Hope. Hope with a capital “H”. Hope as a noun. Hope as a verb. Hope as active and Hope as passive.


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Place

Standing Up for a Sense of Place

In Chattanooga, and indeed throughout the United States, we are blessed with a considerably cleaner environment than the majority of the world.  But it hasn’t always been this way. Our very own Scenic City is a well-documented cleanup poster child, overcoming the “dirtiest city in America” moniker so famously bestowed upon us by Walter Cronkite for our smoke-shrouded ridges and soot-filled valleys in the 1960’s.  The turn of the century industrial revolution, followed by the manufacturing boom of the post-WWII era, was the one-two punch that built up Chattanooga’s economy while wreaking havoc on our environment.


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Place

New Beginnings

Beginnings are beautiful things. Oh, the promise of the first kiss, the freshly turned page, the opening note, and indeed the first post for a new blog. I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to contribute thoughts on urbanism and design to this space. To guide this beginning I have been asked to respond to the question “What is your biggest _____ for Chattanooga in the next five years?” I will fill the blank with the word “question”. Here then, is my big question for Chattanooga in the next five years: Will we begin again to fulfill the promise of our built environment?


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Competitive Advantage Talent Place

Is a just Chattanooga possible?

Would you be willing to trade places with anyone in the city? If someone put a blindfold around your life's story, and somehow, magically, you were able to swap places with someone else in Chattanooga, would things still turn out alright?


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Place

The Value of Food

What do we value most about the food we eat?


I see this question as a great challenge that we as Chattanoogans will face in the next 5 years. When we get busy, enjoy convenience too much, and forget why we eat, and what implications come from our food choices – we’ll start to put negative values on the food we eat.


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  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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