Committee Chair

Tucker, John C.


Dept. of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the surrounding area has undergone a notable transformation in recent decades. Many of these changes have been used to promote the city as an environmentally friendly place to live, and the phrase sustainable development is frequently used to describe local growth and planning. However, no comprehensive analysis has been undertaken to determine whether Chattanooga is truly headed toward becoming a sustainable community in terms of environmental, social, and economic considerations. Based on the concept of sustainable development, as defined by the United Nations and others, and on sustainability studies conducted in four other cities, a set of thirty indicators was developed by which to evaluate the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Ten indicators were selected for each major area of concern: environment, society, and economy. These indicators were then assessed according to city and county data sets to determine the overall trends in sustainability. While the city has seen substantial improvement in several environmental areas, including improved air and water quality since the 1970's, much of this improvement is largely due to federallyadopted laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Many environmental, social, and economic indicators suggested that Chattanooga is still embracing many unsustainable practices, particularly in the areas of transportation and air quality, environmental justice, wealth distribution, and leadership.


I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the researching and writing of this work, especially Professor John Tucker, whose guidance and encouragement was indispensable. I would also like to thank Dr. Henry Spratt for his willingness to provide insight into the issues of sustainability and Dr. David Abom for sharing his ideas and expertise with regard to biodiversity and conservation. I cannot thank my family and friends enough for their support throughout my graduate studies; without their love and faith in me, I would not have made it through my first semester.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Sustainable urban development--Tennessee--Chattanooga; Environmental indicators--Tennessee--Chattanooga



Document Type

Masters theses




ix, 158 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.2 .H676 2006