According to a recent report from the Brookings Institute, only three major U.S. cities are currently experiencing a recovery. One of those cities, Knoxville, TN, has seen a steady recovery under Local Leaders Council Advisory Board Member Mayor Madeline Rogero.
Retailers moving into old downtown buildings, an abundance of freshly planted greenspaces, and a stream of new jobs in Knoxville, Tennessee, are all signs to Mayor Madeline Rogero that for the last year prosperity has been blooming in her city.
“We feel very good about how we’re coming out of this recession,” Rogero said. “We see new interest. We see new development that’s occurring. We’re optimistic that this recovery is going to continue.”
Rogero has only been in office for a year. But she remembers, as a resident and as director of the city’s community development office, when the recession hit. Sales tax revenues fell. The building inspections department that had always funded itself from fees had to tap the city budget.
“People were losing their jobs. People were losing their homes,” she said.
Nonetheless, the city continued investing in infrastructure and fostering private investment, often using funds from the 2009 federal stimulus plan. The goals were to attract businesses and to keep people working on construction jobs such as a housing project for the elderly.
Smart Growth America is proud to be working with Mayor Rogero as Knoxville continues to thrive.