Tim Keane, Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability, Charleston, S.C.
What are some of the great accomplishments of Charleston? Charleston has seen historic growth in its population due to a diversified economy. We have attracted the attention of the software industry, tourism has grown, we expect to have 6 million visitors in the next 10-15 years, and we're building a new port terminal.
Charleston is also participating in energy efficiency programs initiated by the White House and is in a pilot program for resilient cities in America working with the National Science Foundation in gathering best practices.
What are some of the challenges in Charleston? Housing and community development is getting less funding from the federal government. We are challenged with finding adequate housing for low- to mid-income residents. We are also challenged by transportation. We need to find other solutions outside of the Federal Transit Administration to fund public transit improvements.
What does the future of Charleston look like? The future of Charleston is big on downtown redevelopment. Our downtown will grow with taller buildings and mixed density and mixed utilization. We will also revitalize suburban areas and old shopping centers.
City Spotlight: Founded and settled by English colonists in 1670, Charleston grew from a colonial seaport to a wealthy city by the mid-eighteenth century. Through the mid-nineteenth century, Charleston's economy prospered due to its busy seaport and the cultivation of rice, cotton, and indigo. Later, major sources of capital came from the Charleston Naval Base, the area's medical industry and the tourism industry. Today approximately 4.51 million people visit our city annually, generating an estimated economic impact of $3.22 billion.