Rhett Bentley
Thrive Regional Partnership
(843) 597-0439

A research effort between Thrive Regional Partnership and Georgia Institute for Technology has developed an interactive data platform to support government and industry leaders in making informed infrastructure decisions at the community and regional level in greater Chattanooga.

Rossville, Georgia: At its annual State of Freight Forum earlier this week, Thrive Regional Partnership unveiled its latest research project, the Greater Chattanooga Freight Hub (GCFH), in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

The geospatial data portal is the first of its kind to integrate information from across three states (Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee) that are critical corridors of the southeastern supply chain network. The resulting research will be a resource to several sectors in the 16-county region (and beyond), including the logistics and manufacturing industries, public leaders, and educational institutions that have supply chain and transportation professional programs.

“Called the heart of Freight Alley, this region is a critical logistics hub that supports our local industries and consumers. But, there’s a lack of centralized data that highlights how freight movement in one state or sector impacts quality of life in another,” said Debra Stone, Logistics Cost Analyst for McKee Foods and chair of Thrive’s Freight Mobility Coalition. “This research partnership will provide planners, businesses, and elected officials open access to the information they need to make well-informed decisions that encourage safe and efficient transportation of people and goods.”

This initial research is only a baseline. The GCFH data portal is intended to be a “living resource,” that can continue to adapt to the needs of area planners, industries, and curriculum builders.

“An objective data source to understand the transportation trends across state and county lines will be a valuable tool in infrastructure decisions and policies in all levels of government,” said Dan Howell, Chair of the Tennessee House of Representatives Transportation Committee.

Potential applications include locating key corridors for projects that could optimize state and federal funding; research support for long range transportation plans by area Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tennessee, as well as Dalton, Georgia; and curriculum development for colleges and universities in the tri-state to meet the talent demands of the booming manufacturing and logistics industries in greater Chattanooga.

Additionally, this research will parallel environmental priorities determined in Thrive’s Cradle of Southern Appalachia regional conservation blueprint. By layering transportation needs and projections alongside environmental priority areas, planners and leaders can make decisions that support an array of stakeholders.

Access the Greater Chattanooga Freight Hub from Thrive’s website here: https://www.thriveregionalpartnership.org/projects/gcfh.

About Thrive Regional Partnership (Thrive)

Thrive Regional Partnership inspires responsible growth through conversation, connection, and collaboration across the tri-state greater Chattanooga region. For more information, visit www.ThriveRegionalPartnership.org

About the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization (CSPAV)

The Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization (CSPAV) is a division of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development at Georgia Tech. CSPAV develops and applies geospatial technologies to help communities prepare for economic, social and environmental uncertainties. CSPAV is at the forefront of collaborative, interdisciplinary research for local, state, national, nonprofit and private entities across the country and the world. For more information, visit www.cspav.gatech.edu

About the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD)

The Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) at Georgia Tech is dedicated to the study, dissemination, and implementation of ideas and technology that improve the theory and practice of quality growth. Through research projects, presentations, and academic publications, CQGRD evaluates and advocates for policies, planning practices, and technologies that foster quality growth. For more information, visit www.cqgrd.gatech.edu.