The Chattanooga region's vitality is dependent on its natural resources. Surrounded by mountains and on the banks of the Tennessee River, downtown Chattanooga has become a national case study for sustainability.

The Ochs Center has an increasing focus on environmental issues. In particular, the Ochs Center is focused on the relationship between environmental issues and economic issues. The Och Center's work has included a best practices policy assessment for a local foundation and a valuation of local environmental assets.

At the regional level, Ochs Center staff have worked with leading environmentalists to explore the economic ramifications of of siting and development decisions. The Ochs Center is also developing research on the interrelationship of environmental, health and economic issues related to access to affordable and nutritious food.

For reports see: 

Fiscal Impact of Land Use and Development in Hamilton County (July 2008)

State of the Chattanooga Region Report 2008: Environment (October 2008)

Alternative Use Analysis: Beaman Park to Bells Bend Corridor (May 2009)

An Analysis of the Economic Impact of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the East Kentucky Power Cooperative Region (July 2009)

Washington County Coal Power Plant Memo (December 2009)