Downtown Knoxville has completely transformed in the last decade, and its neighboring communities on Sevier Avenue in the South, Magnolia Avenue in the East and Central Street in the North are not far behind. It is time to move beyond Downtown and create that same sense of place that made Downtown so desirable in specific targeted areas.
Much of the growth we have experienced has been largely through sprawl and often from misguided policies. On Council, I worked to replace these policies with smart growth principles by adopting a Complete Streets Ordinance. Our work reduced the parking requirements and allowed housing on commercial corridors where transit is located. As Mayor, I will make sure our land use patterns improve and development reflects the changing demographics and demands for walkable neighborhoods.
With success comes challenges, like affordability. As Knoxville continues to grow, there will be a need for more affordable housing. I will continue the Affordable Development Fund and work directly with KCDC, non-profits, and developers to incentivize the market to address this important issue.
In addition, as Mayor, I will recommit our city to addressing homelessness. Along with the Rogero Administration, Council has taken recent steps to address homelessness by creating a low-barrier shelter and a Behavioral Health Urgent Care Facility to provide an alternative to treat mental illness and/or substance abuse problems rather than jail. But we must do more: Because in a city that is growing and succeeding like Knoxville, I believe we have a moral imperative to work for proper housing for all our citizens.