Business

Technology

Clean break— Chattanooga

Preface

This Tennessee city used to be known for its smog and stench. However, Chattanooga has cleaned up its act, establishing itself as an emerging technology hub and the home of Volkswagen’s only US factory. How did that happen?

Tennessee, Volkswagen, emerging, factor, hub

Chattanooga used to be the kind of town that passing motorists avoided. A pall of orange and grey pollutants hung in the air, spewed by factories that dumped waste into a stretch of the Tennessee River skirting the centre. It was perhaps no surprise when, in a 1969 broadcast still legendary in Chattanooga, journalist Walter Cronkite announced that it was the dirtiest city in America.

Today the scrofulous industrial base in this city of 170,000 has become green and hi-tech; firms large and small occupy its converted brick factories and warehouses…

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