The Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area ranks 199 out of 221 metro areas when it comes to the most sprawling areas in the country.


(WBIR - Knoxville) The national nonprofit group Smart Growth America released a report Wednesday that said the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (Knox County, Anderson County, Blount County, Loudon County, and Union County) ranks among the most sprawling in the country.

The report, "Measuring Sprawl 2014" shows scores for metro areas in four areas: development density, land use mix, activity centering, and street connectivity. The average score is 100, meaning areas with scores higher than 100 tend to be more compact whereas areas with scores lower than 100 are more sprawling.

Here are the Knoxville MSA scores:

Development density - 88.10

Land use mix - 60.62

Activity centering - 100.77

Street Connectivity - 82.53

Overall, the Knoxville MSA has a composite score of 68.22, ranking the are 199th out of 221 metropolitan areas ranked throughout the country.

The good new, however, is Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said the strategies suggested in the report to reduce sprawling are already being implemented in the City of Knoxville.

"We are doing our part by focusing on redevelopment from the core of the city outward. We're promoting mixed use form based codes, mixed use zoning code," she said. If you look at the south waterfront form based code, the zoning there, and the Cumberland Avenue that will promote smarter growth, smarter development. We also have increased our KAT bus service to more frequent runs on our major routes. That encourages more people to take alternative transportation."

Mayor Rogero added the other areas that make up the Knoxville MSA must do their part as well to improve the area's sprawl development ranking.

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