Image Credit: Patriots Engage – Chattanooga
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
The Chattanooga City Council adopted Mayor Tim Kelly’s Climate Action Plan last week. A press release from the city says it will “protect Chattanoogans’ quality of life” but concerned citizens say it will impact their ability to live freely without government control and surveillance.
“At its core, this is a sustainability and growth plan for Chattanooga, one that will lead to social and economic benefits that all residents care about – like more transportation options, good-paying jobs, more accessible parks and greenways, and energy cost savings for taxpayers,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “I want to thank our City Council for their vision and leadership in formally adopting the plan tonight.”
Kelly’s administration has said that data collection mechanisms recommended in the plan will not violate privacy, restrict movement, or lead to community-wide surveillance.
Concerned citizens have filed paperwork in chancery court to stop the plan from being implemented by the city.
According to the suit, if Chattanooga becomes a net zero carbon community it will impose solar energy initiatives on Chattanoogans who do not wish to participate – potentially leading to fines and penalties – and will restrict how citizens can use their own private property.
Originally published in 2015 as the Chattanooga Smart City Plan, the Climate Action Plan’s focus is now on sustainability, equity and climate change.
One of the goals, having city government achieve zero carbon emissions by 2040 through the use of an all electric fleet of vehicles, will be funded in part by federal grants.
Concerned Chattanoogans say the plan is Chattanooga’s version of the UN 2030 plan. Chattanooga is currently the only city in Tennessee participating in the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance, aligning itself with the World Economic Forum’s ideals.
With the adoption of the plan in place, the city will now work to establish two committees, one internal and one external. The internal Climate Action Plan implementation committee will be comprised of local city government staff who will “ensure the plan’s goals are integrated into all departmental work” while the external Chattanooga Climate, Sustainability, and Resilience committee will “include representatives from across Chattanooga who will work with city staff to engage the community in the implementation of the plan city-wide.”
Patriots Engage – Chattanooga notes that new signs are going up at Chattanooga city limits. One such sign located on Highway 58 in Harrison lists seven “sister” cities of Chattanooga, including Wuxi, China.
Chattanooga is installing eighty-six new smart city intersections, “the largest urban Internet of Things deployment of its kind in the United States” according to Seoul Robotics who is partnering with the Chattanooga Department of Innovation Delivery and Performance and the Center of Urban Informatics and Progress at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Once complete, the city will have the capacity to monitor over a hundred intersections – the entire downtown area.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.