Downtown Kingsport Master Plan Kick-off – The City of Kingsport, Tennessee has set its sights on transforming its downtown into a thriving hub of activity that attracts businesses, residents, and visitors. To achieve this goal, they have enlisted TSW to lead a multidisciplinary team in developing a master plan for the area. This plan will integrate and expand upon previous planning efforts to create a unified vision that will guide the development and redevelopment of downtown Kingsport.

A key focus of the plan will be on public improvements and streetscape upgrades that create a welcoming and functional environment for residents, businesses, and visitors alike. This will involve analyzing existing conditions and identifying areas for improvement such as street design, sidewalk conditions, and public spaces like parks and plazas. The team will work to develop a plan that promotes walkability, safety, and accessibility for all members of the community.

Another significant aspect of the project will be an analysis of the existing downtown Academic Village, which is home to several educational institutions. The team will evaluate the demand for expansion and amenities and recommend appropriate size and locations for these student-centered needs. The goal is to create a plan that reinforces and magnifies Kingsport’s downtown role as the economic and cultural heart of the community.

One of the unique features of the Kingsport project is the OneKingsport initiative, a community-driven effort to promote collaboration and progress across the city. The downtown master plan will build upon this initiative by bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders and building consensus among different groups, including property owners, business owners, public agencies, City advisory groups, Chamber of Commerce, local students, educational institutions, and residents.

The final plan will serve as an official policy document of the City, providing direction for the type, location, and scale of new development and associated downtown improvements for the next decade. It will also help facilitate public and private investments in the area, supporting the City’s broader goals for economic growth and community vitality.

To ensure broad community engagement, the team has set up a project website and will be hosting a series of public input opportunities throughout the planning process. The project’s Kick-off Workshop will be held on October 19 at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. The team encourages all Kingsport residents to attend and share their ideas, feedback, and concerns about the future of downtown Kingsport.


project website

Downtown Kingsport Master Plan Kick-off

A brief history of Kingsport…

Kingsport was developed by European Americans after the American Revolutionary War, at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Holston River. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Kingsport, where Confederates and Union forces fought, ended with a Confederate surrender and resulted in the city losing its charter.

In 1917, the city was re-charted and became an early example of a garden city, designed by John Nolen, a city planner and landscape architect out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The plan organized the city into areas of commerce, churches, housing, and industry, and included some of the earliest traffic circles in the United States. Kingsport still carries the nickname, the Model City, due to Nolen’s distinctive plan.